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Manalapan planners approve medical office building on Woodward Road

MANALAPAN – The members of the Manalapan Planning Board have granted preliminary and final major site plan approval to an applicant that proposed constructing a medical office building on Woodward Road.

During a meeting on July 28, board members heard testimony from professionals representing the Stavola Asphalt Company. The company was represented by attorney Peter Wolfson.

Engineer Christopher Szalay provided details about the medical office building during his testimony before the board.

Szalay said the 20,250-square-foot, one-story, multi-tenant medical office building is proposed to be constructed on a 5.8-acre parcel on Woodward Road, about 900 feet north of Route 33.

The property has 570 feet of frontage on Woodward Road and will have two full-movement driveways (left turns and right turns in, and left turns and right turns out at both driveways).

A medical office building is a permitted use in the Special Economic Development-Affordable Housing zone in which the property is located.

Szalay testified that the building will be served by public water and sewer systems and he said the storm water management system that will be constructed at the site meets New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection requirements.

A sidewalk will be constructed on Woodward Road and within the site.

Traffic engineer Justin Taylor offered testimony about the two driveways, which will be about 200 feet apart on Woodward Road.

In response to a question from the board, Taylor said it is not atypical for a building of this size to have two driveways.

He said the southernmost driveway will be opposite the Sportika indoor sports facility. There will not be a designated left turn lane for drivers coming from Route 33 who want to turn left into the medical office building property.

Architect Charles Dietz described the building and said three entrances would face Woodward Road while a fourth entrance would be on the south side of the building (i.e., facing Route 33).

Dietz said the building would be separated into three pods which will not be interconnected. Each pod may have two or three tenant spaces, with approximately nine total tenants in the building.

A tenant’s space could range in size from about 1,100 square feet to about 3,300 square feet, he said. Dietz said it is unlikely the building would only house one or two users.

The applicant’s representatives testified that a surgical center would not be a tenant of the building.

The board’s professionals, engineer Brian Boccanfuso and planner Christine Bell, and the board members did not raise significant issues regarding the information and development specifications the applicant’s professionals provided.

No one from the public commented on the application when given the opportunity to do so. A motion was made to grant preliminary and final major site plan approval with certain design waiver relief.

On a roll call vote, board members Kathryn Kwaak, Barry Fisher, Todd Brown, John Castronovo, Daria D’Agostino, Township Committeeman Jack McNaboe, Township Committeeman Barry Jacobson, Steven Kastell and Brian Shorr voted “yes.”

The Stavola Asphalt Company also has a plan to develop retail and restaurant space at the intersection of Route 33 west and Woodward Road. The board is scheduled to hear the plan for that project at its meeting on Aug. 11 in the municipal building.

Information previously provided by the applicant states that the Stavola Asphalt Company is proposing to construct three buildings at the intersection. According to the application:

• The easternmost building will be approximately 7,260 square feet and will consist of two interior retail spaces, a fast-food restaurant on the eastern end and a fast-food restaurant with a drive-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 the lot will be a 3,000-square-foot fast-food restaurant with a drive-up window, and 57 parking spaces. During a previous meeting, the applicant’s representatives said a Burger King restaurant would occupy this building.

Two access driveways are proposed on Route 33 and one access driveway is proposed on Woodward Road.

Previously, board members approved the residential component of the Stavola Asphalt Company’s development plan on a 41-acre lot on Route 33 near Woodward Road.

Manalapan Landing will be constructed by K. Hovnanian Homes and will include for sale market rate housing and for sale affordable housing.

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

During hearings on the residential application, David Fisher, a vice president with K. Hovnanian Homes, Edison, said 105 two-story townhomes would be sold at market rates.

The townhomes will range in size from 2,200 square feet to 2,500 square feet and have a one-car garage or a two-car garage. Fisher said each townhome would have a basement.

Manalapan Landing will include 45 condominiums which will be designated as low income units and moderate income units.

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

The condominiums will be marketed by K. Hovnanian to qualified individuals and families with low income and moderate income, he testified.

Fisher said a trail is planned to connect Manalapan Landing to the retail uses the Stavola Asphalt Company is proposing at the corner of Route 33 and Woodward Road.

Access to the homes in Manalapan Landing will be from a right in, right out driveway on Route 33, a short distance west of the state highway’s intersection with Woodward Road.

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