BRICK – For the third time in as many months, a developer is taking advantage of the new Village zone, which encourages mixed-use development by combining commercial and residential use on the same plot.
The Zone Village, created by ordinance in 2018, protects the township from high-density residential development while providing a way to improve businesses. Only Drum Point, Mantoloking and Herbertsville Roads are presently in the village area.
Plaintiff Phil Fortuna, a painting contractor who owns Oceanside Painting, appeared before the Township Planning Council on October 27 with his proposal to build a tradesman’s studio behind an existing two-story house at 360 Drum Point Road, which would remain as it is.
The plot is approximately 80 ‘facing Drum Point Road and is 686’ deep, totaling 1.26 acres. It is located between Osbornville Baptist Church and Emberly Road.
The new 24 ‘x 140’ store must be built perpendicular to the house, due to the shape of the long and narrow lot.
The 3,360 square foot building would have a metal roof and siding with four garage doors. Each of the four spaces also has a window, a main door and a window to the rear of the building. The plan provides for a poured concrete floor.
While four tenants could occupy the building, current plans call for two tenants to occupy double space. Each of the four spaces measures 35 ‘x 24’.
The app includes parking, fence, sidewalk, gravel driveway, landscaping and lighting upgrades. The height of the building is 18’7 “from top to level.
Although some deforestation is included on the heavily treed land to accommodate the project, some of the existing mature vegetation would remain to protect the proposed building from existing residential homes on neighboring properties.
Tree felling requires a permit from the township engineer, and if more than nine trees are removed from a plot, the Planning Council has jurisdiction to require tree replanting.
The plan includes two dry wells, designed to capture runoff from the roof.
Project engineer Robert Espasa said coverage for the lot of the property, including the existing house, would total 7.5%, where 30% is allowed.
A number of Emberly Road residents attended the planning council meeting to express concerns about the proposed workshop for artisans.
Perry Ciampolillo said residents were concerned about the value of their property.
“Who knows what’s going to happen over there?” We all live on Emberly Drive, and it hits all of our properties, ”he said. “There’s going to be lights going on and off, people coming and going, and you’re disturbing the wildlife.”
John Jackson, the owner’s attorney, said there would be no light shedding on neighboring properties, as the lights would only illuminate the areas they are intended to illuminate. There would be no light at the rear of the building, which faces the residential properties.
Resident Julie McBride asked if there are any restrictions on the types of businesses that can operate on the site. “What can they store? Will there be hazardous materials? If they rent to others in the future, that’s my concern.
City planner Tara Paxton said the Township Fire Bureau annually inspects every commercial property and not only checks their fire detectors, but also to make sure no one is storing hazardous materials.
During his summary, attorney Jackson said there had been a proliferation in the city of construction equipment stored outside.
“It will prevent that,” he said.
The members of the Town Planning Council unanimously approved the project.