Brick officials were busy holding two meetings at once Wednesday night – a township council meeting and a zoning board meeting – across the hallway from one another. And at both, votes on projects were delayed.
Herbertsville Road Preservation Sites
As Shorebeat reported earlier this week, Brick Township is planning to preserve two parcels of land near the busy intersection of Herbertsville Road and Maple Avenue. One lot, measuring more than 2-acres in area, is located on the southwest corner of the intersection between the two roads, and one measuring 0.6-acres is located off Maple, opposite Second Avenue. The smaller lot backs up to one residential building as well as Sawmill Pond and the township’s fire training academy property.
Mayor Lisa Crate said the township will move forward with the purchase, however township professionals asked that they be able to ensure the language of the ordinance allowing for the bonding and purchase of the properties is perfect and will not have to be re-published or revised at a cost to taxpayers.
The council did vote unanimously to expand its capital budget for 2023 in the amount of $390,000, the cost of purchasing the two properties, which will be preserved as open space.
The matter is expected to be taken up at the next council meeting, Crate said.
Route 88 ‘Express’ Car Wash
In an unusual switch, the zoning board meeting ended quickly, within a half-hour Wednesday night, with the board considering just one residential variance application to allow a resident to install a fence.
The board was supposed to have continued its hearing on a controversial plan to build a car wash roughly opposite the new Wawa store on Route 88, where a Popeye’s fast food restaurant is also conditionally approved. Neighbors have voiced concerns over extra traffic that could find its way into their neighborhood, as well as the potential for the car was to add to what many consider a dangerous traffic situation already present in the area.
The car was is proposed to share a driveway with a neighboring strip mall, with left turns allowed into the facility from the state highway. Traffic would also exit the business onto the state highway. A traffic engineer previous testified that the only alternative to routing traffic directly onto the busy highway would be to route it onto adjacent residential streets.
“The challenge here is dealing with the NJDOT, and anything including the Route 88 right-of-way is going to require their approval,” said Justin Taylor, a traffic engineer representing the developer. “If we don’t share access, access would have to be from either Kenneth or Kaiser.”
Kenneth and Kaiser avenues are both residential in nature.
A traffic study conducted by an engineering firm estimated about 30 percent of customers would access the car wash from the west, meaning about 30 percent would likely attempt to make a left turn onto Route 88 from the exit lane.
The meeting on the car wash was supposed to have continued Wednesday night, however it will be carried to Jan. 17, 2024 meeting. Residents will not receive an additional notice in the mail alerting them to the date change.