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Settlement Reached, Non-Age-Restricted Housing Approved

Lacey Town Village will be built at the intersection of Laurel Boulevard and Route 9 with 67 market rate units and 17 affordable units

After months of litigation, the Lacey Township Planning Board approved the application for Lacey Town Village, a non-age-restricted housing development proposed at Laurel Boulevard and Route 9.

The due to various unanswered questions and the made to improve the plans, resulting in a court order.

Lacey Town Village was originally approved as age-restricted housing in 2005. The applicant re-approached the Planning Board with modified plans because legislation (S2577 1R) passed by Gov. Jon Corzine in July 2009 allowed developers to challenge towns over the age-restricted status of pending developments.

With 84 units (67 market rate units and 17 affordable units), some with the potential for three bedrooms, the development had 44 parking spaces planned. No on-street parking would have been allowed, because the development’s network of streets is 24 feet wide. The development would have had a 1,503-square-foot community center with a capacity of 139 people and 10 parking spaces.

The first hearing, held in July, laid out the legal issues. in an attempt to speed up the trial because they believe the board did not act in accordance with the Conversion Act, Planning Board Attorney Joseph Coronato previously said.

after the court ruled that they were entitled to have the conversion, Coronato said.

In an attempt to reach a settlement, Lacey Town Village made changes to the application.

The size of the units has decreased from approximately 2,200 square feet to 1,580 square feet. Each unit will now have a single car garage. The applicant eliminated the clubhouse and replaced it with the tot lot. There will be 81 parking spaces available. Additional walkways have been added and the network of streets is now 30 feet wide. The applicant also changed the storm water basin to an infiltration retention basin.

The applicant may now purchase “Road D,” a portion of Railroad Avenue, which was not originally included in the applicant’s CAFRA approval, for $37,000. The township committee will have to vote on the transaction. If approved, the applicant will then apply for an amended CAFRA approval.

The Planning Board "sold out the taxpayers once again," said Donna Bahrle, a resident and founder of the Lacey Rail-Trail Environmental Committee.

“Besides forcing the developer to pay for their approval for the Lacey Town Village Project which is unconscionable, now the taxpayers will have to maintain another road that is being built for a private property owner and at the same time push more children into the school district," Bahrle said. "We the Lacey taxpayers cannot afford anymore of this irresponsible and self-serving behavior.”

Lacey Town Village will have a homeowner’s association to maintain the property, which resident Regina Discenza questioned.

 “I’ve seen homeowner associations go out of business,” she said. “I’m really worried that in these economic times a lot of people have a tendency not to pay their dues…A lot of it’s going to fall back on the township.”

Coronato said that that issue existed even when the project was approved project as age-restricted.

“This is a conversion. The difficulty of this is, is that this board did not approve the legislation,” Coronato said. “There is a right here…there is only one way the board could go.”

The board approved Lacey Town Village by a vote of 7 to 1 with member Dan Cortese opposing. Cortese had no comment.

de plane de plane December 16, 2011 at 12:44 PM
Timmy gotta ask you have been pushing for the master plan do you or will you seek the surveying work from the town? and let me add this if you want a town center in a town that is "nearly built out" may I suggest you take the advice of past township fore fathers and move cause it aint gonna happen here ! remember republicons are against big govt and should be against eminent domain no cherry picking the laws you like so sorry
Tim O'Connor December 16, 2011 at 04:18 PM
I was told the old right of way was going to be a road back in the '70s. I used to drive it till the barriers went up. The part you don't understand is Donna BUILT her house on a proposed road. Now she wants every one in the Township to be inconvenienced?
Tim O'Connor December 16, 2011 at 11:47 PM
Delete Tim O'Connor 11:09 pm on Thursday, December 15, 2011 Mr. Hughes, my point is the person who founded the not in my back yard rail trail group built her house 35 feet from what was known on the master plan of the township as an alternate route 9. Now she wants the rest of the township to suffer. My point is what is her true motives?
Tim O'Connor December 17, 2011 at 03:28 AM
This is way off topic from the above article, but; The township only wanted to build a portion of the bypass road APPROVED by a ballot question in the November 2007 election.  A law suit was waged against the township forcing the entire road to be built in support of Donna's rail trail group.  Then over a year ago, the rail trail group tried to scam to generate sympathy for there cause by having a media blitz about taking the house on Route 9 across from the end of Bay Way through emenent domain.  The road design moved the traffic light from South Street and Route 9 to Bay Way.  This would turn Bay Way into a four way intersection and would be the end ob the Bypass Road. It would mean there is a house in the way and would need to be purchased.  The Rail Trail Group had a rally in addition to media blitz about throwing a 70 year old woman out of here home.  I pointed out the this house has been vacant most of the year and is only a summer home. Not the full time residence of this elderly woman. That's what is behind Mr. Hughes rant in the above posts. He is the only one who keeps brining up that this house is vacant. 
hypocrite much December 17, 2011 at 04:15 AM
wow Timmy nice story but untrue at best ya forgot one thing there never was a permit to build any section of this road which the voters voted down but I see your in favor of the town shaking down a developer for 37 k for a road that will NEVER GET BUILT then this is a beauty use the money for next yrs budget which with the accounting on Lacey rd who know if the books are fixed yet Timmy your a republicons repuke who is supposed to be agianst big govt but in true hypocrite fashion are in favor of eminent domain

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