After a slight two-week delay in order to ensure the correct language was applied in legal documents, Brick officials this week introduced an ordinance that would appropriate funds to preserve two properties near the busy intersection of Herbertsville Road and Maple Avenue.
The ordinance, which passed unanimously Tuesday night, sets aside $390,000 to purchase a 2.36-acre swath of land at the corner of Herbertsville Road and Maple Avenue, across from the Krauszer’s convenience store. An additional $19,500 was appropriated for the purchase of an adjacent lot at the terminus of Second Avenue where it meets Maple. Neither property is developed; both are wooded.
The intersection of Herbertsville and Maples avenues is occasionally subject to heavy foot traffic between the Krauszer’s store on the south side of the road and a Dunkin’ Donuts location across the street, neighbored by the Prime Foods specialty market.
The properties are the latest recommendations from a volunteer committee in town known as the Brick Open Space Savers, or BOSS, committee. The committee was established by former Mayor John Ducey to conduct research and make recommendations to the mayor and township council regarding opportunities to preserve sensitive spaces in town that could be subject to development. The committee will continue on under the administration of newly-elected Mayor Lisa Crate.
“The parcel is current zoned as Village Zone, which supports mixed use residential and commercial development on a very busy intersection on Herbertsville Road,” said Council President Heather deJong.
The space, located adjacent to 175 acres of land already preserved in and around Sawmill Pond and for the township’s fire training academy, is also home to three sensitive species, including the Cooper’s Hawk, Great Blue Heron and Bard Owl. It is not uncommon for deer to roam the area as well, especially near the pond.
Township officials said they have requested state Green Acres funding to assist with the purchase, though the bond ordinance appropriates enough for the township to purchase the two sites on their own.
Susan Castiglia, a member of the BOSS Committee, endorsed her group’s proposal at the meeting Tuesday.
“Brick still has many properties under private ownership which remain in a natural state,” said Castiglia, referring to currently-wooded properties that are legally zoned for development by their owners.
She added that the committee also places importance on finding opportunities to preserve space adjacent to land that is already undeveloped.
“The acquisition on the agenda tonight checks all these boxes,” said Castiglia. “By doing this, we are surely making Brick better for ourselves and the future of our children.”