Pitch Continues For 200-home Development
K. Hovnanian wants to build 199 homes on Route 34 tract; town opposes
A pitch to build nearly 200 townhouses on a Route 34 tract is scheduled to continue Wednesday before the Board of Adjustment.
K. Hovnanian, of Red Bank, wants to build 199 townhouses on a roughly 37-acre tract on the state highway and Allaire Road. The company began its pitch last month before the board, but ran out of its 50-minute time limit.
The property is zoned for office buildings and commercial development, with a small piece zoned for residential development. The developer is asking the board to combine the three zones into one residential zone, allowing for the development.
The Township of Wall objects, arguing that the development runs afoul of the town’s master plan, which does not allow for housing in the Route 34 corridor. The Township Committee has sent its affordable housing attorney, Jeffrey Surenian, to represent the township at the hearings.
But K. Hovnanian plans to argue that the project should be built because it provides needed affordable housing and therefore it is an “inherently beneficial use’’ – a designation normally associated with churches or schools.
The Feb. 20 hearing started with a good amount of legal jockeying between K. Hovnanian and the Township of Wall, which opposes the plan.
K. Hovnanian argued that the township had no standing to object to the development and should not be heard in that capacity.
Surenian, countered with an argument about technical issues with K. Hovnanian’s legally required public notice of the hearing, which, he said, should call for a postponement.
Both sides were told to stand down by the board’s attorney and the hearing continued.
K. Hovnanian’s sole witness was David Fisher, a company vice president, who said the proposed townhouses would be 2- and 3-bedroom units of up to 2,200-square feet, with a starting price in the “high $300,000 to mid $400,000’’ range.
The affordable housing units would be peppered throughout the development, but would be smaller – 1,000 to 1,200 square feet -- and would not be equipped with a garage as the market rate homes would, Fisher said.
Fisher said the development would include a clubhouse and pool area and would have one entrance/exit on Route 34 and two on Allaire Road. He said the development would cover only about 1/3 of the property and that the density would be about 6 units per acre.
“We don’t feel its an intense use of the property,’’ Fisher said.
Fisher told the board that K. Hovnanian had twice previously pitched ideas for residential development on the Route 34 tract. Township officials were not interested, he said.