Asbury Park Planning Board Approves Major Townhouse Development, Emphasizing Environmental Stewardship and Community Impact

In a recent meeting of the Asbury Park Planning Board, the members approved a 28-unit townhouse development by national home builder PY Group, operating under the name PHM Sunset Square Urban Renewal. The project, targeting affluent couples and empty nesters, will be located on Kingsley Street and could start construction in 2024. The Board’s decision came after discussions on various project aspects, including street improvements, environmental impact, design waivers, and compliance with local ordinances.

The development proposal’s presentation was comprehensive, involving a civil engineer, a landscaping and architectural expert, and an attorney. PY Group’s representatives detailed the project’s design, including two buildings hosting two- and three-bedroom units. They highlighted the project’s environmental consciousness, with an impervious cover of 87%—below the permitted 90%—and a commitment to maintaining 133% of the site for landscaping.

Board Vice Chair Rick Lambert and others raised concerns about the construction timeline, initially estimated at two years. However, the PY Group representative clarified that this timeframe would be market-dependent. The Board also discussed the need for street improvements along Kingsley Street and the future of existing fences and tree pits.

The project’s environmental impact was a significant focus. The development’s stormwater management measures, including small-scale green infrastructure basins, sidewalk infiltration basins, and porous pavement basins, were received positively. The project has already undergone review by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection for CFRA compliance. Moreover, the board was assured that all above-ground utilities, including poles, would be removed from the block.

Addressing the Board’s questions, the civil engineer for the master developer confirmed that the maintenance of sidewalks, lighting, and trees would be handled by the master developer. There was also an agreement to remove the wooden fence on the property and replace trees in tree pits. The Board further discussed the location of mechanical equipment, gas and electric meters, and garbage and recycling pickup.

The project’s aesthetics were also part of the discussion. Board members applauded the generous open floor plans, well-appointed finishes, and use of fiber cement siding and brick accents. The decision to use balconets on rear balconies for private use and not street-facing activities like dining was well-received too. However, a request for several design waivers, including fixed windows and the number and type of materials allowed, prompted further discussions.

The PY Group team committed to energy-efficient practices and achieving LEED Silver certification. The developers acknowledged that finalizing the HVAC system’s energy efficiency measures would require further engineering. The Board requested a checklist to understand better the project’s goals and priorities.

In terms of lighting, the developers assured the Board that all fixtures would be dark sky compliant and directed downward. The board also discussed the site’s construction plan, with emphasis on minimizing sidewalk closures during the busy summer months. The engineering team agreed to address these concerns.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

John B. Moor
Planning Board Officials:
Marie Rodrigues (Board Secretary), Michele Alonso (Director of Planning and Redevelopment) Barbara Krzak (Chair), Rick Lambert (Vice Chair), Yvonne Clayton (Councilmember), James Bonanno (Transportation Director), Eric Galipo, Michael Goonan, Jim Henry, Daniel Sciannameo, Jennifer Souder, Alexis Taylor

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