Marlboro planners approve development that includes affordable housing

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MARLBORO – An application that proposed the construction of 280 homes, including affordable housing, has been approved by the Marlboro Planning Board.

The application submitted by El at Marlboro 79, LLC, was part of a settlement agreement related to Marlboro’s obligation to provide opportunities for the development of affordable housing in the community.

The application was represented by attorney Salvatore Alfieri during the board’s July 1 meeting.

Affordable housing is defined as housing that is sold or rented at below market rates to individuals and families whose income meets certain guidelines.

“I don’t want to entertain a project of this size or scope, but a judge told us we have to,” said Mayor Jonathan Hornik, who sits on the board.

“We have been dreading these days coming when we had to address the unfulfilled affordable housing problem of Marlboro, which was created well before any of our time.

“This application is only here because we are required by a court order to satisfy our (affordable housing) obligation. That being said, what we try to do when we deal with a court ordered settlement is to come up with products the town needs.

“I am a second generation family in Marlboro and my kids will be a third generation and they need a place to live. These are the types of units we need for the next generation. I want to compliment (the applicant) for coming up with a product this town will use and need,” Hornik said.

The application involved a 34-acre property on the northbound side of Route 79 opposite Butchers Lane. The development site is just south of Ryan Road. A portion of the Henry Hudson Trail adjoins the site along the rear of the property line.

The applicant proposed subdividing the property into 226 lots, consisting of 224 lots for attached townhouses of at least 2,577 square feet each, a 2.7-acre lot for 56 affordable housing units and a 14.6-acre lot containing roads, a clubhouse and a storm water management basin. Access to the residential development would be from Route 79.

The 224 townhouses were proposed to be constructed in 16 eight-unit, three-story buildings and 16 six-unit, three-story buildings. Each townhouse would have three bedrooms and a two-car garage.

The 56 affordable housing units were proposed to be constructed in two three-story buildings. The application proposed 11 one-bedroom units, 33 two-bedroom units and 12 three-bedroom units.

According to Mitchell Newman of Lennar Homes, the project’s developer, each townhouse will have a two-car garage, a basement and an 8-foot-tall privacy fence for the backyard.

Newman said the price of the market rate units would be based on prices in Marlboro when the homes become available, which he estimated to be between $400,000 and $500,000.

In addition to a garage provided with each townhouse, 226 on street parking spaces were proposed, with 113 parking spaces for the townhouses and 113 parking spaces for the affordable housing units.

Hornik said his primary concern with the application was how it would affect traffic on Route 79, a state highway that runs between Freehold Borough and Matawan.

“It is really important to me and I know it’s not in our purview, but I want a traffic light put here. I don’t know what it costs and what it takes to engineer it, but it is really important to me.

“I know I can’t (base my vote) on traffic, but … I will push as hard as I can to require a light in front of this development because I think it’s necessary,” the mayor said.

The applicant’s representatives agreed to look into constructing a traffic light at the Route 79 access at the new residential development.

Following the testimony, a motion to approve the El at Marlboro 79 application was passed with “yes” voted from Chairman Mark Barenburg, Vice Chairman Andrew Pargament, Township Councilwoman Carol Mazzola, Hornik and board members Neil Betoff, Rohit Gupta, David Gagliano, Lynn Franco, Steven Kansky and Andrew Kessler.