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Applicant withdraws proposal for warehouse on Upper Freehold Township farm

UPPER FREEHOLD – An application that proposed the construction of a warehouse-style building on Route 524 in Upper Freehold Township has been withdrawn.

NP Freehold Industrial, LLC (NorthPoint Development), filed an application with the Upper Freehold Township Zoning Board of Adjustment to seek approval for a 566,840-square-foot building at the site of Westhaven Farm, Route 524.

The applicant’s representatives appeared before the zoning board for a public hearing on March 15. Hundreds of area residents viewed the meeting which was conducted in a virtual manner during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The public hearing regarding the application was scheduled to continue on April 19.

However, attorney Marc Policastro, who represents the applicant, announced in an April 16 letter that NorthPoint Development was requesting to have the application immediately withdrawn.

Policastro did not elaborate on why the application was being withdrawn.

NorthPoint Development was seeking a use variance to construct a 566,840-square-foot building on a 117-acre lot. Warehouses are not a permitted use in the Research, Office and Manufacturing (ROM) zone in which the project was being proposed.

The applicant was also seeking variances from local municipal standards that would permit the building to be 50 feet tall (the maximum permitted height in the ROM zone is 35 feet) and to provide 337 parking spaces (667 parking spaces were required).

During the initial public hearing, members of the zoning board voiced concern that the application did not specify a user for the building.

NorthPoint Development’s representatives explained that the company investigates areas in which to build warehouses on speculation and said the Westhaven Farm property was identified as a possible site for a warehouse because of its proximity to populated areas in northern New Jersey.

During the time when the application was before the zoning board, residents of Upper Freehold Township, Allentown and Millstone Township expressed concern about the building’s potential impact on their way of life.

The residents spoke about the possible truck traffic that could be generated by a building of that size and said the area is ill-suited for a large volume of vehicles.

Some of the objecting residents hired attorney Michele Donato to present a case against the application. The public hearing never reached the stage at which Donato would have presented her case.

NorthPoint Development’s attorney requested that the application be withdrawn without prejudice, which means the company would be permitted to refile the application in the future.

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