105 housing units gain vote of approval from Marlboro planners

MARLBORO – Members of the Marlboro Planning Board have granted preliminary and final site plan approval for a residential development that will include market priced homes and affordable housing units at Route 79 and Stevenson Drive.

The board has granted preliminary site plan approval for the commercial portion of the same application. The applicant is expected to make adjustments to the commercial portion of the application.

Board members said that as a condition of granting approval on the residential portion, the applicant must return before the board to discuss the commercial component within 60 days.

Board members took the action on Aug. 19 when representatives of the Marlboro Development Group, LLC, returned for a continued public hearing.

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

The applicant proposed the construction of 105 housing units on Route 79 between Buck Lane and Stevenson Drive. Plans called for a 13.7-acre property to be subdivided into four lots:

β€’ A 10.7-acre lot with 18 three-story buildings consisting of 85 townhouses to be sold at market rates;

β€’ A 1-acre lot with a three-story building consisting of 20 affordable housing apartments to be rented at below market rates to individuals and families whose income meets certain guidelines;

β€’ A 1.1-acre lot with an 8,110-square-foot, one-story, multi-tenant commercial building;

β€’ A 1-acre lot with a 4,000-square-foot commercial building.

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.

Previous testimony indicated the 85 townhouses would have three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a two-car garage; and that there would be four one-bedroom apartments, four two-bedroom apartments and 12 three-bedroom apartments (total of 20 apartments).

During testimony on Aug. 19, traffic engineer Karl Pehnke said right turns out of the site onto Stevenson Drive would be restricted during certain peak hours to minimize the number of the vehicles driving through the Marlboro Manse development.

He said the Buck Lane access would only be used by emergency vehicles.

Board member Rohit Gupta asked the applicant to consider opening road access from the residential development to the commercial area of the property to alleviate traffic on site in case of a backup on Stevenson Drive.

Pehnke said the single point of access from Stevenson Drive would be enough for the residential component of the development.

Mayor Jonathan Hornik, who sits on the board, previously asked for a traffic signal to be constructed at the intersection of Route 79 and Stevenson Drive. He asked the applicant to pay for the installation of the traffic signal.

On Aug. 19, Hornik said the applicant had agreed to install and pay for the traffic signal.

Route 79 is a state highway that is under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Department of Transportation

During the public hearing, one resident asked why the affordable housing apartments would be segregated from the market rate townhouses.

Sarto explained that because the apartment building is expected to be owned and managed separately, there was no real reason to integrate the building into the townhouse community. The two housing components will be constructed on separate lots.

A motion was made to grant approval to the Marlboro Development Group application andΒ  Chairman Mark Barenburg, Vice Chairman Andrew Pargament, Township Councilwoman Carol Mazzola, Lynn Franco and Hornik voted “yes.” Gupta voted “no.” The motion was carried in the 5-1 vote.