HOWELL – Members of the Howell Zoning Board of Adjustment have granted preliminary and final major subdivision approval to an applicant who proposed the construction of a 368,000-square-foot warehouse on Fairfield Road.
Fairfield Road runs between Route 524 (Elton-Adelphia Road) and Route 33 in Howell.
The applicant and owner listed on the application was Rock Solid Realty, LLC. The warehouse will include 9,600 square feet of office space. The applicant is leasing 36 acres on the 102-acre parcel.
According to testimony presented to the board, site improvements will include a parking lot, storm water infrastructure, new utility connections, lighting and landscaping. The warehouse will have 72 loading bays.
Attorney Kenneth Pape represented the applicant during the zoning board’s July 13 meeting.
The Fairfield Road property has a history that goes back a decade. In 2011, the owner/applicant came before the zoning board and requested a use variance to construct a solar energy project at the location. Pape said a 17-megawatt solar energy facility was approved.
In November 2020, the zoning board granted a use variance and preliminary major site plan approval to the applicant.
“This is not an application seeking any new development rights. This is an application in which the applicant is returning after being in front of this board last November with a second presentation for a warehouse building that was approved,” Pape said.
“At the time of the presentation, the applicant made a commitment to return to the board with a subdivision line to create separate ownership of the front parcel, which was addressed by this board last November, and the rear parcel, which was addressed by the board some nine years ago and has been a solar farm for the past eight years,” the attorney said.
“We ask the board to allow us to create two lots, one is slightly over 36 acres and the second is slightly over 65 acres.
“The 36-acre parcel has frontage on Fairfield Road and is the portion of the property that was reviewed as a warehouse.
“There is no change to that; that plan remains exactly as it was, this is the land that was associated with it when it was presented to the board,” Pape said.
He said the applicant wants to separate the solar energy portion of the property from the warehouse portion of the property.
“It is for a very simple technical reason, it is for financing purposes, not in any way to change the development approvals,” Pape said.
The applicant indicated the subdivision is to create two opportunities for the two uses, and to give greater flexibility to the owner of the property.
Board Chairman Wendell Nanson and board members Matt Hughes, Richard Mertens, James Moretti, Matthew Gonzalez, Glenn Cantor and William Stahnten voted “yes” on a motion to approve the subdivision.