A proposal to build 14 residential homes in place of a long-standing day camp in Brick’s Herbertsville section gained approval this week.
The township’s zoning board on Wednesday night voted in favor of the development, which will replace the Olde Riverside School and Camp at the corner of Herbertsville and Winding River roads. The new construction will back up to the Winding River Village senior community, see the creation of a new public street, as well as the addition of a drainage basin which will have connections to the city sewer system.
“I think the progress is evident” in the application, said board engineer Brian Boccanfuso, who worked with the developer behind the project to iron out a number of remaining technical questions, mainly centering on drainage and ensuring the development would not negatively impact about 25 acres of preserved land nearby.
“We’re adjacent to 25 acres that are preserved, at Havens Homestead, which the township owns, as well as the Sawmill Tract and Sawmill Creek,” said Township Planner Tara Paxton, noting that the area includes habitat for multiple species of owl, including the familiar Barred owl.
Before Wednesday night’s meeting, the only remaining area of the development proposal that needed clarification was the drainage, for which more detail was provided to the board’s engineering staff before the meeting. The drainage basin will measure about the size of one lot and include an emergency spillway to meet current codes. The area is not in a flood zone.
“We don’t ever expect the emergency spillway, which is located on the southern edge of the basin, to have water going over,” said project engineer William Stevens. “It would take some kind of catastrophic failure for that to happen, and I can’t really think of a situation where it would.”
Stevens also clarified that the homes would be built with basements, but not finished basements, and there would be no ingress or egress to basement areas from the outside.
The application was looked-upon favorably by the board at least partially because of the intensity of the use being proposed for the parcel. Under zoning ordinances adopted in the 1970s, the site was intended to be developed with dense, multi-family housing, essentially flowing from the Maple Leaf Park development on the south side of Herbertsville Road. The developer of the property, a Michigan man who never appeared at any hearings, had already gained permission to build the 14 single-family homes on a cul-de-sac in place of what could have been dense housing squeezed into an otherwise lightly-developed parcel.
The development is estimated to reduce traffic on Winding River Road even beyond what was generated by the Olde Riverside camp, with a traffic engineer testifying that the homes would see less than half the traffic of the approximately 60 trips at peak hour generated by the business.
No members of the public spoke in favor of, nor in opposition to, the application. One board member, Eileen Della Volle, voted ‘no’ on approval, however all of the remaining board members supported the application after a motion to approve it was made.