Testimony On Two Howell Development Projects Postponed

The application self-storage facility for Route 9 near Casino Drive was postponed again, to the February zoning board meeting. (Photo by Catherine Galioto)

HOWELL – Two development projects have been formally proposed, but the public will have to wait longer than expected to have their say on the matter.

The proposals, both pending before the Zoning Board of Adjustment, include a two-story office building and a large self-storage center.

Ford Road Equities, LLC, has proposed the office building for Ford Road, off Route 9. According to township documents, the developer, based in Millstone Township, is seeking permission to construct a two-story, 16,000 square foot office building in the space formerly owned by Diabetics Direct, a Lakewood company that lost the plot to foreclosure. The project will include the construction of parking, lighting, landscaping and stormwater management facilities.

In previous board testimony, representatives for Ford Road Equities have said they plan on demolishing all of the structures that remain on the site because they are considered “dilapidated.” The size of the plot of land on which the building would be constructed is 6.97 acres.

The project must receive zoning board approval because the plot is located in the Highway Development Zone, where office buildings are not normally permitted. The board must grant the developer a use variance on the project before construction can begin. A hearing scheduled January 9 was postponed due to scheduling issues. A new date for the hearing has not yet been set.

The self-storage center, the hearing of which was also postponed from the January 9 meeting, is being proposed by Amerco Real Estate Company, a Phoenix, Az.-based real estate development firm. According to township documents, the self-storage facility would carry the U-Haul brand and would also include a truck rental facility on the same property, which is located on a 4.84 acre plot on Route 9 between Casino Drive and West Farms Road.

The storage facility will consist of two buildings totaling 105,000 square feet, plus a third single-story building that will measure 3,900 square feet. In addition to the truck rentals, the project includes a space for vehicle trailer hitch installations, plus 13 parking spaces for display vehicles. The application requires board approval because a previous, 118,000 square foot project that was approved for the site never materialized, forcing the new owner to go back to the drawing board on township approvals.

The application was scheduled to be heard at the January 9 meeting but, for reasons that were not disclosed, was postponed to the February 27 meeting.