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Pinebrook Crossing receives final approval from Manalapan planning board

MANALAPAN – A proposed residential development that will contain a mix of market rate housing and affordable housing has received final major site plan approval from the Manalapan Planning Board.

Earlier in the year, K. Hovnanian at Manalapan V, LLC, received preliminary and final major subdivision approval and preliminary major site plan approval for its proposed Pinebrook Crossing development at Wilson Avenue and Sobechko Road in Manalapan.

Pinebrook Crossing will be a 250-unit residential subdivision constructed in a zone that was created as a result of Manalapan’s affordable housing settlement with the state Superior Court.

David Fisher, a representative of K. Hovnanian Homes, Edison, returned before the board on Sept. 23 to discuss several unresolved items regarding the development and to seek final major site plan approval.

Attorney Catherine Kim, of the firm, Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri, Jacobs, of Matawan, represented the applicant that evening.

During his testimony, Fisher said no substantive changes had been made to the Pinebrook Crossing plan since it received preliminary approval. He said minor adjustments were made in the proposed water and sewer lines that will serve the homes.

Fisher said construction of the development could be expected to take between two-and-a-half and three years.

One portion of the Pinebrook Crossing property borders a residential development that includes Dortmunder Drive.

During the public comment portion of the Sept. 23 meeting, several residents of Dortmunder Drive asked if Pinebrook Crossing would cause flooding issues on their properties.

Fisher said drainage infrastructure has been added to the Pinebrook Crossing plan to deal with that issue and said the Dortmunder Drive homes would not be impacted by drainage from the new development.

One outstanding issue was resolved when Fisher said the developer would move a garbage area away from a location near a tot lot to the other side of the building the garbage area will serve.

A second outstanding issue was resolved regarding the enclosure around the development’s garbage bins. The discussion centered on whether the enclosure should be masonry or if it could be a non-masonry plank wall with reinforcements.

After a discussion of the merits of each type of enclosure, the board members agreed with Fisher that a non-masonry plank wall with reinforcements would be more attractive than a masonry enclosure and agreed to permit the plank wall.

One portion of the Pinebrook Crossing property borders a business zone on Pension Road near the corner of Sobechko Road. The property to be developed with homes is across from the Englishtown Auction Sales at the corner of Wilson Avenue and Sobechko Road.

The final outstanding issue was resolved with the board members stating that curbs and sidewalks would be required on a portion of Sobechko Road.

The board’s attorney, Ron Cucchiaro, said there are more than 40 conditions K. Hovnanian Home still has to comply with as it constructs Pinebrook Crossing.

Pinebrook Crossing will have 175 townhomes to be sold at market rates. Each townhome will have three bedrooms, a two-car garage and a two-car driveway.

Pinebrook Crossing will also have 75 two-bedroom and three-bedroom condominiums in five buildings to be sold as affordable housing at below market rates to individuals whose income meets certain guidelines. Most, but not all, of the condominiums will have a one-car garage and a one-car driveway.

Board member Barry Fisher made a motion to grant final major site plan approval and board member Rick Hogan seconded the motion.

Fisher, Hogan, board Chairwoman Kathryn Kwaak, Todd Brown, John Castronovo, Daria D’Agostino, Alan Ginsberg, Township Committeeman Barry Jacobson and Mayor Jack McNaboe voted “yes” on the motion.

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