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Applicant lays out plan for townhouses, apartments at Marlboro property

MARLBORO – Testimony regarding an application that proposes the construction of 105 housing units and two commercial buildings on Route 79 between Buck Lane and Stevenson Drive is expected to resume at the Marlboro Planning Board’s Aug. 19 meeting.

Testimony on the application began on July 15. Representatives of the applicant, Marlboro Development Group, LLC, began to provide details of what they want to construct.

Members of the public did not have a chance to comment on the application during that meeting, which was conducted remotely.

The applicant is represented by attorney John A. Sarto, of the firm Giordano Halleran and Ciesla, Red Bank.

The applicant is proposing to subdivide the 13.7-acre property into four lots: one lot for market rate townhouses; one lot for affordable housing rental apartments; and two lots for commercial development.

Municipal officials have said the Marlboro Development Group application is the result of a court order stemming from Marlboro’s unresolved affordable housing obligation that dates back to prior administrations.

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 normally would not consider an application like this in Marlboro, but we have been court ordered to have this application so we would like to make it the best we can for those who are going to live in this development and those in the rest of Marlboro,” said Mayor Jonathan Hornik, who sits on the Planning Board.

When testimony began, engineer Sean Savage of Matrix New World Engineering, Florham Park, said the application proposes the construction of 85 market rate housing units and 20 affordable housing units, for a total of 105 housing units.

He said a 10.7-acre lot would contain 18 three-story buildings with 85 townhouses to be sold at market rates. Each townhouse would have a two-car garage.

A lot of slightly less than 1 acre would contain a three-story building with 20 affordable housing rental apartments and 40 parking spaces.

Savage said a 1.1-acre lot would contain an 8,110-square-foot, one-story, multi-tenant commercial building and 42 parking spaces. A 1-acre lot would contain a 4,000-square-foot commercial building and 20 parking spaces.

Savage said there would not be a road connection between the townhouses and the commercial lots and the affordable housing lot. Sidewalk access is proposed from the affordable housing lot to the townhouse portion of the development and the two commercial lots.

Architect Alexander Ovejas of the Pulte Group said the market rate units would have three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a two-car garage.

James Mullen, Director of Entitlements – Northeast Corridor Division at Pulte Homes, said the applicant anticipates the market rate townhouses will be priced between $650,000 and $700,000. The price could reach $800,000 depending on Marlboro’s housing market, according to the testimony.

Architect Thomas Brennan, who designed the proposed affordable housing building at the site, said the building would have four one-bedroom apartments, four two-bedroom apartments and 12 three-bedroom apartments.

Hornik said township officials’ primary concern with the proposed residential and commercial development is traffic.

“A traffic signal at the intersection of Route 79 and Stevenson Drive is long overdue, even before this application was made.

“As Route 79 is a state highway and not under municipal jurisdiction, we have written to the New Jersey Department of Transportation requesting that a traffic signal be installed at Route 79 and Stevenson Drive and expect the DOT will agree and require the installation of a signal.

“I will do everything within my power to ensure a traffic light gets installed in connection with this project. We will get it done,” Hornik said.

The Aug. 19 Planning Board meeting will be conducted remotely. Instructions on how to join the meeting will be posted on Marlboro’s municipal website.

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