HOLMDEL — A developer is looking to build a neighborhood directly across Newman Springs Road from the Vonage corporate campus where farmland currently exists.
The developer, Victory Estate Management LLC, went before the planning board Tuesday night to introduce its plans for its project, dubbed Heavenly Estates.
Board members expressed concerns with its proximity to the main road and requested access for historic evaluation of the main barn on the site.
In a presentation to the board, Brian Murphy, engineer for the developer, said Victory Estate Management is asking the board to allow it to divide the 92.4 acres of farmland into 22 separate lots. Seventeen of the lots are proposed to be single-family residential homes sitting on about 1.5 acres of land each. Three smaller lots connected with the proposed neighborhood are proposed to be open space areas as well as the single 58-acre lot that is proposed to surround the neighborhood.
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Murphy said the open-space lots are proposed to be maintained by the future homeowners association. A separate lot of about 2.6 acres will be set aside for the house currently on the property to the north of the proposed neighborhood.
“That house will most likely stay,” Murphy said. “We’re having trouble with the renters to get access to evaluate the conditions of the house.”
But he said “The barn is going to be removed in the back. It can’t be saved. It’s too far gone. And any other structures that are unsafe would be removed.”
In a document titled Fiscal Impact Worksheet, the estimated market value for each of the 17 new homes is $1 million.
Salvatore Alfieri, attorney for the developer, said, “We do not have architectural plans yet. There’s no design on what these homes are going to look like. … They’re going to be custom homes most likely and we’re not sure who the buyer or builder will be. The applicant indicated that they’d like to build it themselves, but I’m not sure what will happen in the end.”
Murphy said the houses will have individual septic systems and walk out basements.
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The proposed site is located in the R-4R Rural Conservation Zone. It is also part of something unique called “form-based zoning,” according to board planner Kate Keller.
She described it as an additional requirement for sites that have been understood to be “likely to be developed, but in a way that they could be developed in a manner was least impactful to the environment and to the overall fabric.”
She said there isn’t a specific distance that neighborhoods have to be built away from the main road, but said it is about 500 feet. The intention is to propose a rural, farm feel to the area as much as possible.
The current proposed setback from the road to the neighborhood is 80 feet, according to Murphy.
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Board member William Kastning proposed that four houses be removed to accommodate a 500-foot setback.
Keller said, “There’s some flexibility,” but board member Ron Emma said there’s a big difference between 80 and 500 feet.
Murphy said the developer intends to only preserve the house currently on site and remove all other structures.
Kastning noted that the barn on the property may be of historic value. He said, “The style isn’t unique, but the size is unique. And I think it ought to be assessed by the historical folks in the county.”
Alfieri agreed to coordinate a site visit with the developer and experts from Holmdel Township. He also said he will contact the developer with the board’s feedback and the developer will return with revised site plans.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, June 21, at 7 pm in the township building.
Olivia Liu is a reporter covering transportation, Red Bank and western Monmouth County. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.