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Company proposes housing, retail and medical space on Route 33 in Manalapan

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MANALAPAN – A public hearing is scheduled to continue on Sept. 9 in front of the Planning Board on Stavola Asphalt Company’s request for subdivision and site plan approval for a residential and commercial project at Route 33 and Woodward Road in Manalapan.

The company’s application had its initial hearing before the board on Aug. 26. Testimony that evening focused on the proposed residential development, which will include a 30% set-aside for affordable housing.

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Affordable housing is defined as housing that is sold or rented at below market rates to individuals and families whose income meets certain guidelines.

According to a legal notice that was published prior to the Aug. 26 meeting by the law firm Day Pitney, which represents the applicant, the property at Route 33 west and Woodward Road is in Manalapan’s SED/AH Special Economic/Affordable Housing Zone and Route 33 Overlay Zone.

Stavola Asphalt Company is seeking preliminary and final major subdivision approval to consolidate Lot 1.06 and a portion of Lot 2.04, and to subdivide the consolidated lot into four new lots:

• Lot 1.07, approximately 5.84 acres in the northeastern portion of the property, where the applicant is proposing to construct a 20,250-square-foot medical office building and 135 parking spaces;

• Lot 1.06, approximately 41.54 acres, including a portion of Lot 2.04, where the applicant is proposing to construct a development with 150 housing units, including 45 units that will be restricted for affordable housing. Access is proposed from a boulevard entrance off of Route 33;

• Lot 2.04, which is the remainder of Lot 2.04 that will not be consolidated or part of the new residential lot, and will remain encumbered by New Jersey Green Acres restrictions;

• Lot 1.08, approximately 4.63 acres and conveyed to Manalapan as compensation for the approved New Jersey Green Acres disposal application.

Attorney Peter Wolfson represented the applicant during the Aug. 26 meeting. He said all of the proposed uses are permitted under Manalapan’s ordinances.

Wolfson said plans for the project include road improvements at Route 33 and Woodward Road, which were not detailed during the initial hearing.

David Fisher, a vice president with K. Hovnanian Homes, testified on behalf of the company, which is the contract purchaser of the 41.5-acre lot where Manalapan Landing is proposed to be constructed.

Fisher said 105 two-story townhomes are proposed to be sold at market rates. The townhomes would range in size from 2,200 square feet to 2,500 square feet and have a one-car garage or a two-car garage. He said each townhome would have a basement.

Manalapan Landing includes 45 condominium units which are proposed to be designated as low income and moderate income units.

Fisher said those units, in three buildings, would consist of two bedrooms (30 units) and three bedrooms (15 units) and would range in size from about 700 square feet to about 1,250 square feet.

The affordable housing would be marketed by K. Hovnanian to qualified individuals and families with low income and moderate income, he testified.

There was discussion between the board’s planner, Jennifer Beahm, and Fisher as to whether the affordable housing would be for sale or for rent.

Beahm said the affordable housing must be rentals. Fisher said K. Hovnanian understood the affordable housing would be for sale units. The issue was not resolved that evening.

Fisher described the type of building materials that would be used on the townhomes and the affordable housing buildings and said a trail is planned to connect Manalapan Landing to the proposed retail uses at the corner of Route 33 and Woodward Road. All 150 units would be served by public water and sewer.

Justin Taylor, a principal at Dynamic Traffic, testified about vehicles associated with the residential development and offered the conclusion that Route 33 would be able to accommodate vehicles entering and exiting the site.

The only access to and from Manalapan Landing will be a right in, right out access at Route 33, west of Woodward Road.

Taylor said the Route 33 access would operate “safely and efficiently” and he testified the 150-home development would produce between 80 and 100 in and out movements during the morning and afternoon peak hours.

Board members and residents did not have an opportunity to question the applicant’s representatives during the Aug. 26 meeting. The Stavola Asphalt Company application was carried to the board’s Sept. 9 meeting.

In addition to the proposed homes and medical office building, the applicant is proposing to construct three buildings on Lot 1.04:

• The easternmost building fronting on Woodward Road will be approximately 7,260 square feet and will consist of two interior retail spaces, one fast-food restaurant on the eastern end and one fast-food restaurant with a drive-up pick-up window on the western end, and 62 parking spaces. The two restaurants will offer indoor and outdoor seating;

• The center building will be approximately 8,000 square feet and will consist of two interior retail spaces and two restaurants in the end spaces. The retail spaces may also be tenanted by medical/professional office uses. Each restaurant will offer indoor and outdoor seating. There will be 64 parking spaces allocated to the center building and its users;

• The building at the westernmost portion of Lot 1.04 will be an approximately 3,021-square-foot fast-food restaurant with a drive-up, and 57 parking spaces.

Each building on Lot 1.04 will have one devoted loading space, a devoted trash enclosure, parking and signs, according to the legal notice.

Two access drives are proposed on Route 33 and one access drive is proposed on Woodward Road, for a total of three access points into Lot 1.04.

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