JACKSON – A controversial residential development known as Jackson Parke has received final site plan approval by Ocean County Superior Court Judge.
Judge Mark A. Troncone ordered a reversal in April of the application’s unanimous denial last November by the Township Planning Board.
On July 7, the judge sided with Fair Share Housing and the developers of the project granting a final approval of the north section and assigned a monitor to oversee the South’s approval.
The proposed project is located on Perrineville Road in the Cassville section of the township. The applicant is Jackson Parke, by EL at Jackson LLC.
The plan calls for 551 residences to be built on a 226-acre tract. It would also include 120 affordable housing units. Jackson Parke is a two-part project, (North and South) which plans for 1,100 units total.
EL at Jackson LLC filed litigation against Jackson after its application was denied. The application involves the township’s affordable housing settlement.
Every town in New Jersey is required to provide a portion of new homes as “affordable.”
Board members granted Jackson Park north preliminary site plan approval on April 20. The judge’s order granting final site plan approval to Jackson Park north was due to the applicant’s appearance before the judge.
Residents in the area of the proposed project are not pleased by the turn of events and as a result, hired attorney Ron Gasiorowski to represent them in challenging Judge Troncone’s ruling.
Among those opposing Troncone’s ruling is Eleanor Hannum who appeared before the Jackson council during its July 14 meeting. She is the president of Citizens United to Protect Our Neighborhoods Jackson and Manchester also known as CUPON.
Hannum said in a letter to The Jackson Times, that her group raised funds and retained legal counsel “paid for by countless concerned Jackson residents to uphold our rights for a fair process and our quality of life. It’s time to return land use decisions to local governments and keep politics and financial influence out of local government decisions.”
According to Hannum CUPON.JMOC was created to ensure that a locally elected governing body and their land use boards protect the health and safety of its citizens and first responders; to maintain the character of neighborhoods and to ensure all laws as set forth by the municipality, county, state and federal governments were followed.
She said its purpose also included opposing land use variances and approvals that adversely affect a diverse community.
Hannum claims the Jackson Parke application violates the Fair Share Housing statute. “How is it possible that the interests of New Jersey developers can supersede vital provisions in the Fair Share Housing Act, and when do the FSH attorneys choose to turn their heads to such provisions as a means to help developers cash in at the expense of resident’s concerns?”
The resident noted that the application site is located in historic areas of Cassville and Rova Farms. The project by Lennar and EL at Jackson, owned by Jack Morris, will transport 100 truckloads of fill every day for the next two years using the township road of Reed and Perrineville.
She said one truck will drive through the residential neighborhoods every five minutes for eight hours each day. Hannum added concern that commuters using Route 571 will have their commute disrupted for years and “taxpayers footing the bill to repair township roads from the deterioration of truck traffic.”
Opponents of the plan as well as officials have expressed potential environmental impacts on waterways, endangered species, historical sites, and the blocking of public transportation access.
Hannum brought up “a storm-water management plan that will exhaust into the Rova Farms Lake tributary potentially flooding residents downstream. Most, if not all of these provisions are cited in the Fair Share Housing Statutes A-500.”
She maintains that Jackson Parke’s developer, FSH attorney Adam Gordon and Judge Troncone “blatantly decided to ignore” the FSH statute.
“Gordon made baseless allegations of anti-Semitism against our organization and cited two other lawsuits, another questionable development we asked questions on and another with the Department of Justice, both without evidence of their allegations,” Hannum said.
She accused Judge Troncone of ignoring residents’ concerns about potentially contaminated fill adding that he “sided with attorney Gordon’s biased attacks and lies contained in letters to the Judge stating that “the residents never brought up the fill” ignoring Planning Board minutes of resident’s and CUPON.JMOC testimony.”