JACKSON – During a recent meeting of the Planning Board, an attorney representing Jackson residents who are objecting to a proposed residential development cross-examined professionals who represent the applicant which has proposed the homes.
The Feb. 8 meeting was conducted in a virtual manner due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The applicant, EL at Jackson, LLC, is proposing to construct Jackson Parke South – 549 residences on 129 acres off West Veterans Highway in the Cassville section of Jackson. The project proposes 61 single-family homes, 144 apartments and 344 townhomes.
According to the application, 100 of the 144 apartments would be designated as affordable housing units. Affordable housing is defined as housing that is sold or rented at below market rates to individuals and/or families whose income meets certain guidelines.
EL at Jackson, LLC, is also proposing to construct a 6,100-square-foot clubhouse with recreational amenities that would include a pool and a tot lot.
Attorney Ron Gasiorowski represented Citizens United to Protect Our Neighborhoods – Jackson and Manchester (CUPON) during the board’s Feb. 8 meeting.
CUPON has said its mission is “to ensure the local elected governing body and their land use boards safeguard the health and safety of all our citizens and first responders; to protect the character of our neighborhoods; to ensure the laws as set forth by local, county, state and federal governments are followed; and to oppose land use variances and approvals that adversely affect our very diverse community.”
Gasiorowski crossed examined the applicant’s professionals – Mitchell Newman,, the director of land acquisition and entitlements for the owner and applicant; architect Creigh Rahenkamp; and engineer Daphne Galvin – about various aspects of the application.
Attorney Jason Tuvel, who represents the applicant, asked Sean Gertner, the board’s attorney, for a list of the people Gasiorowski represents.
“I know he indicated, or someone from his office indicated, that he represents (Jackson resident) Elenor Hannum. Is there anyone else that is part of that group? Just so we know right now,” Tuvel said.
Gasiorowski said he represents the “LLC or the corporate entity.” Hannum is the president of CUPON.
“I intended to call an officer, Mrs. Hannum, to testify. There are a number of other individuals, whether they are members of CUPON or not, I don’t know. But I would like to clarify, just so there is no misconception about CUPON, that this is a local organization,” Gasiorowski said.
He said the Jackson-Manchester CUPON organization is not involved with, related to, or funded by any CUPON entity in northern New Jersey.
Gasiorowski asked Newman if a planned connector road would be built before construction starts on the Jackson Parke South site if the project gains Planning Board approval.
Jackson Parke also has a north residential section that was previously approved by the Planning Board.
The General Development Plan (GDP) for Jackson Parke calls for the construction of a connector road the applicant’s representatives have said will prevent truck traffic and construction traffic on Perrineville Road and Cassville Road (Route 571).
Tuvel responded by saying that question came from a letter dealing solely with the Jackson Parke North application.
“(Jackson Parke North) is not the application that is before this board, at all, so I object to any questions about the north (application). The Jackson Parke South application stands on its own, and the south application actually has no soil import that we talked about, so the north application is a separate application, as you know Mr. Gasiorowski,” Tuvel said.
Gasiorowski argued that the north and south plans were part of a GDP and that there is a degree of inter-relation. He did not have the opportunity to call Hannum to testify on Feb. 8 and no other member of CUPON testified that evening.
As the Feb. 8 meeting concluded, the Jackson Parke South public hearing was carried to the Planning Board’s March 15 meeting.