MANALAPAN – Representatives of K. Hovnanian at Manalapan V, LLC, are expected to return before the Manalapan Planning Board on March 25 to continue a public hearing regarding the proposed Pinebrook Crossing residential development.
K. Hovanian is proposing to build Pinebrook Crossing, a mix of market rate and affordable housing for individuals of all ages, at Wilson Avenue and Sobechko Road in Manalapan.
Testimony regarding the proposed development had been presented by representatives of K. Hovnanian on Jan. 28 and Feb. 25. The board’s meetings are being held in a virtual manner during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The applicant is represented by attorney Salvatore Alfieri, who has described Pinebrook Crossing as a 250-unit residential subdivision in a zone that was created as a result of Manalapan’s affordable housing settlement.
K. Hovnanian is seeking preliminary and final major subdivision approval and preliminary and final major site plan approval from the board.
One portion of the Pinebrook Crossing property borders a residential development that includes Dortmunder Drive. Another portion of the property borders a business zone on Pension Road near the corner of Sobechko Road. The site is across from the Englishtown Auction Sales at the corner of Wilson Avenue and Sobechko Road.
K. Hovnanian is proposing one access point to Pinebrook Crossing from Wilson Avenue and two access points from Sobechko Road.
Previous testimony has indicated there will be 175 townhomes to be sold at market rates. Each townhome would have three bedrooms, a two-car garage and a two-car driveway.
The developer is proposing 75 two-bedroom and three-bedroom condominiums in five buildings to be sold as affordable housing to individuals whose income meets certain guidelines. Most of those units would have a one-car garage and a one-car driveway.
Small parking areas spaced throughout the development are planned, but large parking lots that are typically seen in many townhome and/or condominium developments are not proposed, according to representatives of the developer.
The parking issue was a significant point of discussion during the Feb. 25 meeting. The developer’s representatives said enough parking spaces to meet Residential Site Improvements Standards (RSIS) guidelines are being provided.
Board member John Castronovo commented on the parking issue and said, “It’s a disaster waiting to happen. Given human nature, I don’t think there is sufficient parking in the development.
“Yes, it meets RSIS guidelines for the number of spaces, but not realistically. What happens when you lose parking spaces to snow?
“And, residents may use (the non-driveway parking spaces, i.e., visitor spaces) in order to keep their driveway clear and to provide constant access for the cars in their garage without having to move cars off their driveway.
“You might say (the plan) is compliant for parking, but realistically, I don’t see it. The parking plan may work for the residents, but not for their guests,” Castronovo said.
Board member Barry Fisher conceded that the parking plan will meet the requirements of Manalapan’s ordinance, but said, “it’s going to be a problem.”
Board member Steven Kastell said, “The plan simply has not been designed well.”
The meeting also included testimony from traffic engineer John Rea, who described how the development’s three access points would function at various times, including when the Englishtown auction is operating on weekends.
Rea said he has visited the location, including at times when the auction is open.
He said the three access points at Pinebrook Crossing “are sufficient and spread traffic out. The levels of service will be acceptable, including when the auction is operating.”
Rea said vehicles leaving and going to Pinebrook Crossing can avoid the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Sobechko Road at peak times, i.e., when the auction is open, by using Pension Road to reach the two Pinebrook Crossing entrances on Sobechko Road.
Answering questions posed by the Planning Board’s engineer, Brian Boccanfuso, Rea acknowledged there would be some delay – likely less than one minute per vehicle – at the Wilson Avenue access point to and from Pinebrook Crossing, and at the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Sobechko Road – when the auction is open.
There is no traffic signal at the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Sobechko Road and a traffic signal is not planned at that location; neither is a traffic signal planned at the Wilson Avenue access point to Pinebrook Crossing, which is a short distance from Sobechko Road.
The Pinebrook Crossing application was carried to the board’s March 25 meeting.
Information that describes how to view the virtual meeting is posted on Manalapan’s municipal website.