JACKSON – Members of the Jackson Zoning Board of Adjustment have granted preliminary and final major site plan approval to an application that proposed the construction of 202 townhouses on Harmony Road.
The Zoning Board approved a use waiver for the applicant, Hyson Estates LLC / Grand Harmony, in February 2020.
The applicant returned this year to seek approval of the site plan. Testimony was provided on August 18, and the request was presented at the October 20 board meeting, when the testimony ended and site plan approval was granted.
Following the conclusion of the testimony, a motion was made to grant preliminary and final approval of the major site plan and council members James Hurley, Toniann Comello, Michelle Russell, Lynne Bradley and Steve Costanzo voted “yes On the motion.
The 202 units will be spread over 10 buildings with 10 townhouses; six buildings with eight row houses; and nine buildings with six row houses. Evidence provided by representatives of the Applicant indicates that there will be 92 two-bedroom townhouses and 110 three-bedroom townhouses. They said 40 units will be designated as affordable housing.
Affordable housing is defined as housing that is sold or rented at below market rates to individuals and families whose income meets certain guidelines. New Jersey municipalities are under court order to provide affordable housing development opportunities within their borders.
Lawyer Adam Pfeffer and Engineer Bill Stevens represented the plaintiff at the October 20 meeting.
Stevens said the parking plan has been revised to ensure there will be sufficient parking in the development. He noted that there had been a discussion on this issue in August.
Initially, the driveway offered for each unit at the market rate was 18 feet wide, and each townhouse had a two-car garage and a two-car driveway.
Each driveway has been widened to 20 feet, so each market rate unit now offers 3.5 off-street parking spaces where 2.5 spaces are needed, Stevens said.
With respect to on-street parking, the applicant proposed 32-foot-wide roads in the development.
“This is done on purpose to allow open space and allow parking on either side of the street where it is available. However, according to the site map… the possibilities for on-street parking are certainly limited. However, we would like to continue to be allowed to have on-street parking where it is available, but it is not included in our parking tables, ”Stevens said.
The project requires 494 parking spaces. The applicant provides 711 parking spaces.
Affordable housing will be at the center of the 10-unit buildings.
“These units each have a parking space in front of the unit itself. The (residents) would then use off-street parking elsewhere on the site for any (other vehicles) they might have.
“The board was concerned with the location of some of the off-street parking that we provided. So we went in and revised the plan to add additional off-street parking near the 10-unit buildings to address that particular concern, ”Stevens said.
There will be a club house in the development with 44 parking spaces.
“The parking provided exceeds what is required for the clubhouse, but frankly it is our hope and our design for this project to be designed to be a walkable project.
“We think this is a special project and we hope that people will use the walking trails that we have added to this project and that the parking lot at the clubhouse will only be used in unusual circumstances,” said Stevens said.
As part of the request, improvements will be made to Harmony Road with regard to sidewalks and curbs, according to the testimony provided.