New Jersey Chinese Community Center approved in East Brunswick

Youngsters play computer games while waiting to perform during the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration - Year of the Rooster, at the Metuchen Public Library on Feb 12.

EAST BRUNSWICK–The East Brunswick Planning Board approved the New Jersey Chinese Community Center’s preliminary site plan application to construct a one-story daycare/preschool facility.

The proposed facility will reside on a vacant lot that is 40,000 square feet, located at 957 Old Bridge Turnpike.

Attorney Cynthia Hwang, who represents the applicant, said, “It’s going to be a Chinese bilingual daycare. There is a pretty big Asian population in East Brunswick and there are also a few Chinese schools in East Brunswick so that was part of the reason why they want to put a daycare there. The operator of the daycare, the New Jersey Chinese Community Center, already has a daycare in Somerset.”

Hwang said the applicant went before the board to get a C variance, also known as a bulk variance, approved for the existing side yard, rear yard, parking area and driveway setback, which does not meet minimum building setback per the township’s zoning requirements.

“We were looking for bulk variances where they are, also called C variances, that’s basically where the lot is neither undersized or is configured in a way that’s according to the ordinance. You wouldn’t have the required setback,” Hwang said. “So … we were asking for variances where the Planning Board would say, ‘OK, we grant you variances and you can be instead of 20 feet from the road, you can be 15 feet from the road.'”

Hwang said the daycare center/preschool will have 22 parking spaces.

Having gone before the board three times, Hwang said that during that process there were comments made from board members about the plan which the applicant will try to take into consideration and make adjustments.

“One thing from the board comments or a repeating comment was the traffic issue, so how much additional traffic the daycare would generate because it’s on Old Bridge Turnpike and there are a lot of drivers in the morning. There are peak hours to take into account and there is also Chittick Elementary School which is right across the street,” Hwang said. “So there was a lot [discussion] about traffic and basically we were able to convince the board that the daycare would add very minimal traffic to the overall traffic scheme on Old Bridge Turnpike.”

Now that the board approved the application, Hwang said the applicant needs to get building permits approved by the township’s construction office. Construction could begin in late September once the permits are approved.

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Contact Vashti Harris at [email protected].