Residents of adult community oppose asphalt plant application

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HOWELL – More than 400 residents of an adult community in Howell have signed a petition stating their opposition to an application filed by a company that is seeking approval to operate an asphalt manufacturing facility on Yellowbrook Road.

The application filed by L&L Paving, 89 Yellowbrook Road, Howell, is currently before the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Hearings on the application have taken place in recent months. In December, the zoning board heard testimony on Dec. 3, 10 and 17.

L&L Paving is proposing to remove an existing concrete manufacturing facility and to develop an asphalt manufacturing facility at its property in a Special Economic Development (SED) zone. L&L Paving is seeking a use variance from the zoning board in order to proceed with its plan.

During the zoning board’s Dec. 10 meeting, residents of the Equestra adult community spoke about the application. Equestra is on Route 33 at the intersection of Colts Neck Road. The adult community is in the vicinity of Cranberry Road and Yellowbrook Road, near L&L Paving’s operation.

Representatives of Equestra attempted to present the zoning board with a petition signed by more than 400 people objecting to the asphalt manufacturing plant application.

The residents were informed by the board that the petition cannot be accepted as part of the official record because all of the people who signed it were not available to be cross-examined by the attorney who represents L&L Paving.

Following the meeting, John Doherty, the chairman of Equestra’s Civics Issues Committee, commented on the issue.

“We have a senior community off Route 33 and we have something like 483 homes. On the west side (of Equestra) which is (closer to) the L&L Paving plant, we have about 190 single-family homes and you can imagine the concerns people have,” Doherty said.

Doherty said the residents tried to present their petition to the zoning board, but were told the board “cannot accept the document because then (the applicant’s attorney) has the right to cross-examine all the people.

“Well, we had 429 signatures on the petition…. we play by their rules, they can’t accept it … but we certainly wanted the information out there that there are 429 people who signed this (petition) who object to the (application),” he said.

Doherty said the zoning board has indicated that comments from residents will be accepted during an upcoming meeting when the application is before the board.

On Dec. 10, residents were only permitted to ask questions of the professionals who represent L&L Paving and have testified about what the company wants to do at its location on Yellowbrook Road.

The L&L Paving application has been carried to the zoning board’s Feb. 4 meeting at the municipal building, Route 9.