Manalapan Planning Board approves assisted living facility

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MANALAPAN – An application that proposed the construction of an assisted living facility on Woodward Road has received final approval.

On Nov. 14, members of the Manalapan Planning Board voted 9-0 to grant final major subdivision approval and final site plan approval to an application submitted by the Stavola Asphalt Company.

Chairwoman Kathryn Kwaak, Vice Chairman Todd Brown and board members Daria D’Agostino, David Kane, John Castronovo, Barry Fisher, Rick Hogan, Township Committeeman Barry Jacobson and Deputy Mayor Jack McNaboe voted “yes” on a motion to grant the approvals.

The board’s vote came after representatives of the applicant cleared up several outstanding issues.

The applicant’s professionals previously described a plan to subdivide a 65-acre parcel at Route 33 westbound and Woodward Road into three tracts and to construct a one-story, 57,776-square-foot assisted living facility on an 8-acre lot.

An assisted living facility is a permitted use at the location, according to the board’s planner, Jennifer Beahm.

During the Nov. 14 meeting, Stavola Asphalt Company was represented by attorney Kate Coffey, of the firm Day Pitney LLP.

The 65-acre property is in Manalapan’s Special Economic Development/Affordable Housing overlay zone and the Route 33 overlay zone.

Stavola Asphalt Company received approval to subdivide the property into three lots: lot 1 (51 acres); lot 2 (6 acres); and lot 3 (8 acres). Lot 3 is the assisted living lot.

Future plans anticipate about 150 residential units, including affordable housing units, on lot 1, and two or three buildings, for retail and/or restaurant use, on lot 2, according to previous testimony.

The assisted living facility is expected to contain 60 residential units, common space and amenity space. There will be 40 private units and 20 semi-private units to serve a total of 80 residents, according to previous testimony.

Testimony indicated 10% of the beds would be Medicaid beds and that Manalapan would receive affordable housing credits for those beds.

The building will be serviced by public water and sewer, and a pump station will be constructed at the site, according to engineer Scott Turner, of Menlo Engineering Associates, who testified on behalf of the applicant on Nov. 14.

Turner said the pump station has been approved by the Western Monmouth Utilities Authority and is awaiting approval from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

There will be access to the assisted living facility from Woodward Road and the applicant will stripe a 50-foot-long lane in the road to allow for left turns into the site, according to Justin Taylor, a principal of Dynamic Traffic, who testified on behalf of the applicant.

James Winckowski, the board’s engineer, said the striping Taylor described for the left turn lane would be acceptable.

McNaboe said considering the commercial development that is planned at the corner of Route 33 and Woodward Road, he did not see how Woodward Road can be maintained with one lane of travel in each direction.

Taylor said Woodward Road would be re-evaluated when the commercial component of the project is proposed.

Part of the discussion during the Nov. 14 meeting focused on the board’s desire to see an internal easement, or connection, constructed between the assisted living facility and the adjoining commercial lot.

Beahm said people who visit the location could benefit from the connection. She said the internal easement would provide an option from having to exit the assisted living facility to Woodward Road just to drive a short distance to the commercial center. The connector road would keep some vehicles off Woodward Road, she said.

After some discussion, Coffey said the applicant would agree to the internal easement between the assisted living facility lot and the commercial lot, but would retain its right to seek a driveway from the commercial lot to Woodward Road when the commercial uses are proposed.

All of the vehicle movements that would be proposed from the commercial center to Woodward Road would be analyzed at that time, the attorney said.

No one from the public commented on the application when given the opportunity to do so.

McNaboe said, “The applicant has more than worked with us” on this proposal as he made a motion to grant the final subdivision and site plan approvals. The motion was seconded and the board members voted 9-0 to grant the approvals.