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Jackson planners hear applicant’s proposal to build seven warehouses

JACKSON – Members of the Planning Board have heard initial testimony on an application that proposes to construct seven warehouses at 440 North County Line Road (Ocean County Route 526) in Jackson.

The application was before the board on June 7, when testimony was presented by representatives of the applicant, Ehrman Family Investment Co., LLC.

A decision was not reached that evening and the application was carried to Oct. 4

Ehrman Family Investment Co. is proposing to construct seven contractor warehouses and office space. The applicant is represented by attorney Salvatore Alfieri.

Engineer Brian Murphy described the location where the warehouses are proposed.

“To the north is vacant property that received a recent approval for a use variance … for a residential use … To the east are self-storage units and vacant land … To the west are commercial (uses) … and to the south is the border of County Line Road,” Murphy said.

The property where the applicant wants to construct the warehouses is vacant, with the exception of a dilapidated house and chicken coops that would all be demolished if the application is approved, Murphy said.

The proposed use is permitted in Jackson’s Highway Commercial zone. Murphy said the property is just under 12 acres. The seven buildings would comprise 115,800 square feet of warehouse space and 14,800 square feet of office space.

The proposed hours of operation would be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The applicant is proposing to provide 180 parking spaces (144 parking spaces are required).

Murphy said the applicant does not know who would rent the space. Typically, in contractor warehouses, business vehicles would go home with the contractors, he testified.

There will be no outdoor storage or hazardous materials at the site. Murphy said the applicant will provide solar power infrastructure on each roof. He said impervious coverage of 75% is permitted at the site and the application is proposing impervious coverage of 62%.

Some deliveries to the site would be made by tractor-trailers and some deliveries would be made by box trucks. The single proposed access to and from the site is on North County Line Road at a location that would not have a traffic signal.

The board’s chairman, Robert Hudak, took issue with the single access and said, “I get why you have one (location) to be used as the entrance and exit, because it takes up more land to put in another exit.

“I am looking at this plan and I am seeing a bottleneck with only the same entrance for entering and exiting tractor-trailers, and 180 parking spots,” he said.

Hudak asked the applicant to consider providing a second access to the commercial development.

Traffic expert Scott Kennel, representing the applicant, discussed the possibility of providing a second access at the intersection of Huntington Drive and North County Line Road. That intersection is controlled by a traffic signal and is about 300 feet from the development’s proposed access point.

“Based on my experience in Ocean County … it is not recommended to have an access opposite a dedicated left turn lane, because you have turning movements occurring and (vehicles lining up) in that left turn lane,” he said.

Kennel said the single access drive for all vehicles that the applicant is proposing would be the preferred location by Ocean County officials.

He said it is unlikely county officials would approve an access point to the proposed commercial development at Huntington Drive.

Hudak asked Kennel if the county’s denial of an access point at Huntington Drive would even apply to an exit only access and Kennel said he believed that to be the case.

Hudak asked Kennel if he believed that “having one entrance that is also functioning as an exit for this amount of traffic, tractor-trailers, box trucks and cars … is the best design?”

Kennel said the design of the access point is based on the projected traffic volume for the development. He clarified that tractor-trailers would not be the prominent delivery vehicles coming to and from the site.

“This type of development for contractors typically has deliveries with box trucks. We designed the site so it can accommodate tractor-trailers … but the predominant type of vehicle that is going to be delivering (and picking up) products is typically a box truck, a 30-foot truck,” he said.

Kennel said the project design is consistent with Ocean County standards.

The Ehrman Family Investment Co. application was carried to the board’s Oct. 4 meeting.

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