BRICK – A plan to develop 6.2 acres behind the Pioneer Hose Fire Company #1 on Drum Point Road passed a major hurdle when the Planning Board voted unanimously in favor of a preliminary subdivision with variance during their most recent meeting.
About a dozen volunteer firefighters from Pioneer Hose came to the meeting to express their support of the sale of the land, which would provide funds for large-scale improvements to the fire station.
Attorney for Arya Properties, John Paul Doyle, said the builder is seeking to create 15 homes on the property that conform with all township zoning regulations. Lot size would vary from 7,500 square feet to 16,500 square feet.
“This hearing is not what to do with this land – it conforms with the Master Plan,” Doyle said. “The only questions are about does the subdivision and drainage meet all ordinances?”
The 2,700-square-foot homes would be built in a style that is typical of the area with four bedrooms, two and a half baths and would sell for about $425,000, he said. The homes would have basements and two-car garages and all utilities would be underground.
“Zoning allows for three to five units an acre. We could have far more houses than we propose,” Doyle said.
The cul-de-sac, Law-Win Road, would be connected to the Pioneer Hose Fire Company with an access road in the rear, and is flanked by Firehouse Road to the north, and Church Road to the south.
There would be a 50-foot wooded buffer between the new homes and the row of houses on Church Road, Doyle said. The buffer totals about one-sixth of the property.
The proposal has been before the township’s architectural review board, who approved the development, he said.
Multiple meetings have been held between the fire company, engineers, the builder and others to discuss improvements to the project, such as drainage issues, the attorney said.
Doyle said the firehouse has been in its present location since the 1940s. Between 1958-1975, deeds were conveyed to the fire company with no restrictions, and into 1985 the property was consolidated into one parcel.
In 2005, there was a minor subdivision of the fire house and the surrounding property, he said.
“Legally, we believe we own the property and the title company believes it, and the records will sustain what I say,” Doyle said. “That is not the issue with this board.”
The engineer for Arya Properties, Mat Wilder of Morgan Engineering, testified that the property would have two stormwater basins and that “no water would be able to get from the basin into any basement.”
He said that more material would be excavated than they need, so they would “raise everything” and there would be no trucks bringing material onto the property or removing material from the property.
During public comment, Church Road resident Linda Dirienzo said she was concerned about one of the stormwater basins.
“It wraps around the back of my house. I don’t mean to demean [Wilder’s] expertise, but will there be standing water?” she asked.
The engineer cited completed soil borings and infiltration tests and said that the basin is legally required to drain within 72 hours, but due to the “beach sand” at the site, even when the basin is full, the water would drain out within 24 hours.
“There would be no horizontal migration because of the speed of the vertical migration,” Wilder said.
Another member of the audience, Glenn Tilton, said he came up from where he lives in Florida to attend the meeting.
“My grandmother gave this land to the fire company to be used for as a training ground for the fire department, not to sell off,” he said. Tilton asked if the application could be delayed until he could retain an attorney.
Planning Board Attorney Harold Hensel asked if Tilton owns any property in Brick.
“My attorney will answer that,” Tilton responded.
Hensel said that when the deed was conveyed in 1968 there was no condition about fire training.
“I’m just trying to uphold the will of my grandparents,” Tilton said.
Hensel said that Tilton could have had counsel at the meeting. “It wouldn’t be appropriate to wait for him to hire counsel, it doesn’t qualify as an objection,” he said. “This is a preliminary hearing…final approval will be required.”
Doyle said he hoped the builder would get final approvals for the development within a year.