Manalapan zoners OK assisted living facility

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By PETER ELACQUA
Staff Writer

The Manalapan Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved the construction of a 97-unit assisted living facility on Gordons Corner Road.

In a 7-0 vote, board members granted a use variance for an application filed by Meridian Living at Manalapan, LLC. Attorney Gerald Sonnenblick represented the applicant.

The use variance was required because an assisted living facility is not a permitted use in the commercial zone.

According to testimony presented in the case, the assisted living facility will be built on a seven-acre site at 289 Gordons Corner Road, between Dunkin Donuts at 285 Gordons Corner Road, and a KinderCare school at 293 Gordons Corner Road. There are single-family homes to the south of the assisted living facility’s parcel. The new building will share a driveway with KinderCare, according to the resolution approved by the zoning board Dec. 17.

The 97-unit assisted living facility will contain 55 studio units, 40 one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom family units. The zoning board will permit the assisted living facility to be 53 feet tall in a zone that does not permit a building to be taller than 50 feet.

An earlier application that proposed an office park on the property was withdrawn due to local opposition, according to the resolution. staff member or by ambulance. The applicant anticipates about three ambulance trips per week and said ambulances will not use a siren when entering the site, according to the resolution.

Aber said a shift of 20 nursing staff members will run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Administrative staff shifts of 10 members will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The dietary department staffing is 10 members and their shifts run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. A 15-member shift runs from 3-10 p.m., with the post-11 p.m. shift being staffed by five to seven employees.

Visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., however, visitors will also be permitted during off hours.

Traffic Engineer John Rea, representing the applicant, said that only a few residents of the assisted living facility will have a vehicle. Staff members and visitors may experience a minimal delay entering from or exiting to Gordons Corner Road, he said.

Board members agreed with Rea’s findings that the proposed facility would have a limited impact on trip generation and would not have any significant impacts on traffic or safety.

Architect Barry Brommer, representing the applicant, said plans call for a four-story building with 100,000 square feet of patient related spaces. The 97 living units will have a maximum of 120 beds. There will be a 1,250-square-foot maintenance garage and a 2,100-square-foot covered front porch.

The driveway will lead to a covered drop-off area at the front of the building. The site will contain areas for outdoor activities and a walking path.

The property is wooded with trees between 40 and 80 feet tall and the applicant will have to preserve some trees as a visual and physical buffer and will add additional evergreen trees as depicted on a landscaping plan, according to the resolution.

Two residents expressed concern about the building being visible from their property and one resident requested a fence along his property line, which Meridian’s representatives agreed to provide.

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