New Housing Development Approved

This gravel road will be called Avery Lane. This shot is looking toward Hooper Avenue from the Drum Point Sports Complex. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – An application to build six large homes on a parcel of land between Hooper Avenue and the Drum Point Sports Complex was approved by the Planning Board during their virtual meeting on February 24.

  Hooper Avenue Associates LLC presented their preliminary and final subdivision for six fully-conforming single family residential lots on a cul-de-sac, which is a permitted condition in the RR-2 zone, or rural residential zone, intended for rural areas adjacent to developed land.

  Engineer and Planner Jeffrey Carr provided a description of the site and the project, located on a mostly-wooded 4.22-acre parcel on Hooper Avenue, just north of Lighthouse Court.

  The site, which contains some areas of wetlands, is irregularly-shaped with a pond at the northern end. There is an existing dwelling near the center of the site, with its driveway located on Hooper Avenue.

This wooded area is where the new development will be. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  There is an unnamed gravel road on the south side of the property, which extends from Hooper Avenue to the Drum Point Sports Complex.

  “Our proposal is fairly straightforward,” Carr said. “We are proposing to improve this unnamed street, which we’ve named Avery Lane.”

  The engineer said Avery Lane would be paved and widened to 25 feet, and it would have curbs and sidewalks to where it intersects with the new cul-de-sac, Finley Court.

  Avery Lane would have curbs and sidewalks on the north side, and curbs and a row of trees on the south side, which runs along the rear of the residential properties on Lighthouse Court.

  All six driveways would be on the Finley Court cul-de-sac, which would also have sidewalks and curbs, he said.

  Carr said that there are no plans for storm/sewer pipes, and that runoff water would be evacuated through curb cuts and flow into an onsite drainage easement, composed of vegetative shallow depressions.

This map shows what the development will look like. (Screenshot by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  Avery Lane, Finley Court, the dwellings and driveways would be above the 7-foot FEMA flood elevation and would never be inundated in a 100-year storm. However the fringe area, the wetlands, and the pond would be inundated by the 100-year storm, Carr said.

  The homes would meet Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements, and be built with crawl spaces, not basements because of the shallow water table there, and would not be elevated or built on pilings, he said.

  Most of the lots are oversized, and the homes would have a minimum of five bedrooms, and at least three parking spaces.

  Many of the concerns expressed by several residents during the public comment period were about additional flooding that could result from the new development.

  Ian Westervelt lives on Hooper Avenue, just west of the proposed development, and he said he was concerned that if the drainage easement overflows, the water would funnel onto his property and flood his house.

This unnamed gravel road will eventually be called Avery Lane. This is the view from Hooper Avenue facing west toward the Drum Point Sports Complex. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  He asked why the developer isn’t putting in a retention basin or installing a sewer system that would run into the county sewer system to avert flooding in the area.

  Carr said the water table there is only about three feet down, so a retention basin is not feasible because of the shallow water table. It’s a moot point since retention basins are prohibited in flood zones, he added.

  Due to the flat terrain, there is no way to connect sewage drainage there, Carr said.

  Planning Board Attorney Harold Hensel added that it is not the obligation or responsibility of the property owner to undertake resolving water drainage issues offsite. Their obligation is to resolve issues onsite, and whether the design creates an additional problem or not.

  The Brick Township Zoning Ordinance has defined the area as developable, as it was being presented, said the applicant’s attorney Ben Montenegro.

  The Planning Board unanimously approved the application.