K. Hov Townhome Pitch Ditched

Application to build 200 homes on Route 34 nixed for Wednesday's meeting

An application to build nearly 200 homes on Route 34 at Allaire Road has been scuttled at the last minute, according to the planning office.

A division of K. Hovnanian Builders was scheduled to begin its pitch to the Board of Adjustment at Wednesday night's meeting, but the application was scrubbed from the agenda, the planning office said early afternoon Wednesday.

The application has been re-scheduled for Feb. 20. No reason was given for the delay.

Red Bank-based K. Hovnanian wants to build 199 townhouses on a 37-acre vacant plot at the state highway and Allaire Road. Twenty percent, or about 40 homes, would be reserved as affordable housing units, according to the proposal.

The property is not zoned for residential development, so K. Hov Shore Acquisitions – the company set up to make the pitch – is asking the Board of Adjustment for a variance in order to build the homes in what is now zoned for commercial purposes.

That could prove sticky. In order to grant the variance, K. Hov has to prove that their development is “particularly suitable’’ for the location and promotes the general welfare of the community. It also must prove that the proposal does not cause a “substantial detriment,’’ to the community, according to the first planning review of the site, prepared by Cheryl Bergailo of Taylor Design Group.

Bergailo’s report is not favorable. The report says that the request for the variance is so large that it would be, in effect, a re-zoning of the site. It recommends that the board consult its attorney for advice on whether it would be exceeding its authority in granting it.

“The Board should seek counsel from the Board Attorney regarding whether it has the authority to grant a variance so expansive in nature and impact that it infringes upon the governing body's exclusive power to zone,” it says.

It says the targeted plot has historically been designated for office or research use, dating back to 1999. It says the proposal is inconsistent with the township’s state-mandated Affordble Housing plan, which calls for development in other areas of town where exclusively affordable units would be built, not inclusionary developments such as the one proposed.

Wall Resident January 17, 2013 at 11:20 PM
I agree with Diane....STOP THE BUILDING!!!! If we wanted to live in an area that has nothing but houses or companies, we would have been there already. The open space in Wall is beautiful. Can we not preserve any of it?? Our schools are full and each year our roads get more congested.
Mark Richert January 18, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Meeting rescheduled? I do smell a rat. Perhaps clustered housing, which normally is good, being used here as a fig leaf to develop a non-residential area. Then you can call the remainder a "benefit" for Wall as a micro-park!
Mickey Brewster January 18, 2013 at 03:54 AM
Wasn't this proposed a couple of years ago but using Wall Stadium property? The memory of the lack of planning and infrastructure from the Collingswood Mews development was still fresh in residents minds. Just like the smaller developments where we were told "oh these houses will be so high end, the owners will send their kids to private schools" it was all BS. Central Schools population rose from 500 students to 700. No preparations had been made for the huge influx. It was a nightmare. Luckily people remembered. Now that a few years have passed we don't need to hear an attempt by The K Hov to make this development all "sunshine & lollipops". Substantial Detriment is putting it mildly.
jerseyswamps January 18, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Doesn't the owner have a right to do something with the property? You expect them to just sit on it and pay taxes for nothing? A shopping center would be better? Come up with something that does not involve taxpayers paying for it.
W E Lang January 18, 2013 at 10:21 PM
This plan is something that defies sound logic. K Hov is saying that they wish to build 200 homes which means a minimum of 400 vehicles wh owill be seeking egress and ingress on two roads that are major commuter highways at high speed and they think this is not a public safety issue. Doubtless the presentation will be full of data saying that this is to be no problem. But data does not translate into sound logic at 55 plus speeds. Also is K Hov going to pay forthe infrastructure upgrades necessary. This is a prime commercial tract not meant for housing.


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