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Four warehouses on Randolph Road remain under consideration in Howell

HOWELL — Testimony on an applicant’s plan to construct four warehouses on a 99-acre Randolph Road property in Howell is scheduled to resume during the Dec. 15 meeting of the Planning Board.

The meeting will be held in a remote manner. The Planning Board has not resumed holding in-person meetings following the coronavirus pandemic.

Instructions on how to view the meeting live on Dec. 15 will be available on the meeting agenda, which will be posted on the municipal website.

The Monmouth Commerce Center, LLC, application that is now before the board is a revised version of an application that was denied in 2018. The 2018 application proposed the construction of nine warehouses.

The current application proposes the construction of four warehouses and was most recently heard on Dec. 1.

Monmouth Commerce Center is represented by attorneys Meryl Gonchar and Adam Faiella, engineer Steven Cattani and architect Kyle Ferrier.

Cattani has testified that the property where the applicant is seeking to construct four warehouses has been unoccupied for 30 or 40 years.

He said the proposed warehouses – two large buildings and two smaller buildings – would be used for the short-term and long-term storage of building materials and various products.

The engineer said the latest version of the application proposes three driveways on Randolph Road; two driveways will only be for trucks and one driveway will only be for passenger vehicles.

Additional site improvements would consist of lighting, landscaping, above-ground infiltration basins to address storm water management and garbage enclosures, according to information provided by the Planning Board.

The applicant is proposing off-site improvements to extend public water and sanitary sewer mains to the warehouse development.

Cattani said the buildings would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and he said all four buildings combined would have between 175 and 200 employees. There may be multiple tenants in a building, and no tenants have been identified at this time.

Regarding vehicles coming to and leaving the property, he said the site has been designed to separate truck traffic from passenger vehicle traffic.

On Dec. 1, Cattani continued his testimony. Planning Board members had previously expressed concern regarding the design of a site buffer on Lakewood-Allenwood Road.

Cattani said the developer would remove overgrowth at a specific location and provide an additional evergreen buffer.

He noted that representatives of the developer had recently walked the site with Howell’s tree expert, Shari Spero, to review issues related to the buffer. Cattani said a four-season buffer would be provided.

Cattani said several hundred additional trees would be planted in the proposed buffer area, which will cover about 1,600 square feet of space.

The buffer on Lakewood-Allenwood Road is expected to match a berm and a buffer area that has been proposed on the property where the warehouses would be constructed.

Cattani said the applicant is still seeking waiver relief for the number of trees to be planted for the buffer areas and would make a payment in lieu of planting additional trees.

During his testimony, Ferrier discussed the proposed architectural features of the buildings and described how planned architectural elements — such as vertical accents on the buildings, light fixtures and canopies — would comply with Howell’s development standards.

During public comment, resident Steve Morlino addressed concerns relating to fire alarms, heating and cooling systems, and carbon monoxide detectors.

Ferrier said the buildings would comply with the appropriate state codes.

The Monmouth Commerce Center application was carried to the Planning Board’s Dec. 15 meeting.

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