Housing is in path of Rt. 92

A developer wants to build a retirement community on property that was all ready to become a proposed Rte. 92.

By: Joseph Harvie, Staff Writer    
South Brunswick Post, 06/02/2005

A developer is seeking a variance to build a retirement community on property slated for proposed Route 92.

Centex Homes will go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment tonight (Thursday) to seek a use-variance to build an age-restricted community on Perrine Road that includes 72 single-family dwellings, 216 condominiums in nine buildings, and a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse.

The property is zoned office research. The office research zone usually contains scientific laboratories, corporate offices and high technology labs.

In addition to the use-variance, Centex is seeking a variance to construct the buildings 55 feet high. According to the current application, which is on file in the Planning Department, there is a 35-foot height restriction on residential buildings in the township. According to the application, Centex is requesting a use variance to extend that height to 55 feet.

In a memorandum in the application, Centex said since the community would be built in the office research zone, where the building height restriction is over 50 feet, the 35-foot height restriction that applies to residential properties should not apply.

In addition, the developer must contact the N.J. Turnpike Authority because part of the proposed parcel is in the right-of-way of Route 92, a proposed 6.7-mile limited access toll road that would run from the N.J. Turnpike at Exit 8A to Route 1 at Ridge Road.

According to the township tax Web site, the property is owned by the Providence Corporation of Monroe.

A letter in the application from the N.J. Turnpike Authority stated that they have not been contacted about building on the land. In addition, the applicant has been instructed by the zoning board and the Planning Department to contact the Turnpike Authority.

The application states that Centex is offering the township a 64.26-acre parcel as dedicated open space, which is required when building a planned adult retirement community in South Brunswick. The property is near Broadway Road but is not accessible from that road.

According to the application, the Planning Department advised the Zoning Board of Adjustment that the township has paid money to the county to maintain the land and already has it dedicated as open space. The department also said the land is owned by the township.

According to the application, there also are concerns about pedestrian traffic in the proposed retirement community. According to a memorandum included in the application, bikeway and pedestrian walkways were not included in the application and need to be included in the proposal.

In a memorandum in the application, the Environmental Commission is recommending that buffer zones be added to the west, northwest and northeast portions of the parcel and should be planted with trees. The commission said the proposed height of the buildings could be an "eyesore."

According to a letter from CME, the township's engineering firm, an environmental study should be done on the parcel because of pesticides that may have been used when the land was used for farming and because of oil tanks that were buried on the property.