Old Bridge Township Approves Amended Subdivision Plan with Five-Year Vesting

In a recent Old Bridge Township Planning Board meeting, the board granted an amended preliminary major subdivision approval for Wood Haven Village Estates 2, which included a five-year extension to the original vesting period. This decision emerged as the meeting’s most significant outcome, after debates over the proposed reduction of single-family lots and the management of impervious coverage. The application, represented by Ron Shimanowitz, sought to modify and extend the vesting of the initial approval from 120 to 117 lots while addressing the township’s planning and engineering review comments.

The meeting’s focal point centered around the applicant’s request for an extended vesting period under section 49d of the land use law. The applicant advocated for a 12-year extension, pointing to the challenges in securing approvals from outside agencies and the slow expected absorption rate of the larger homes within the development. The board members debated the implications of such an extension, considering the number of permissible dwelling units, current economic conditions, and the project’s comprehensive scope. Concerns were raised about the long-term impact of a 12-year extension on the community and the evolving nature of the town’s landscape.

After deliberation, the board concluded that a 12-year vesting period was excessive. A five-year extension was deemed more suitable, acknowledging the possibility of changes within the township over an extended period. The board suggested that the applicant could request a further extension at a later date if necessary. The applicant accepted the five-year vesting period, and the board finalized the approval process for the amended preliminary subdivision, incorporating this revised vesting term.

The proposed amendment to the subdivision at Wood Haven Village Estates 2 also included a reduction in the number of single-family lots. The applicant presented the rationale for this change, mentioning adjustments made in response to a review letter from township professionals. The modifications were primarily in the northerly section of the property, introducing cul-de-sacs to avoid wetland buffers and reconfiguring roads to accommodate lots on the opposite side of the buffer area. The site engineer, Mr. Scott Turner, provided testimony, explaining these changes and presenting exhibits A1 and A2 that detailed the subdivision plan modifications. The exhibits showed that the open space and stormwater management lots remained unchanged from the previously approved locations.

Another topic of discussion was the management of impervious coverage, which is critical to ensure proper groundwater recharge and prevent flooding. The board and applicant debated whether the allotted 15% impervious coverage would be adequate for homeowners wishing to construct decks and patios, especially for larger lots. The consensus suggested postponing this discussion to the final stages of the subdivision’s approval process.

Furthermore, the ownership and management of the wooded areas within the development were clarified. The applicant confirmed that these would remain under the homeowners association’s (HOA) purview, while the roads would be publicly dedicated to the township. The board evaluated the benefits of the HOA overseeing stormwater basins and open spaces.

The public comment portion of the meeting did not elicit any questions or concerns from attendees.

The board’s discussions were technical, delving into the specifics of the proposed development. They examined the necessity of waivers for critical areas and the provision of recreational amenities within the subdivision. Despite several concerns raised, board members expressed overall satisfaction with the applicant’s explanations and plans for the Estates 2 project.

To finalize the meeting’s affairs, the board entered an executive session to discuss unrelated litigation matters before adjourning.

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.
Debbie Walker
Planning Board Officials:
Dean Marucci, Barbara Cannon, Kasey Lenning, Owen Henry, Stephen Mamakas, Erik DePalma, Edward Lauer, Daniel Joseph Renna, Joseph Pedi, Tina Masella, Keith McIsaac, James Brennan, Daniel Holihan, Attorney Joseph Sordillo (Esquire)

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