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Jackson Township's Planning Board tonight approved an application for 3 high schools on Farmingdale Road at the corner of Pfister Road.

The application was submitted by WB Ocean 26, LLC, and represented by Attorney Donna Jennings Esq.

Each building which will have 2-stories plus a basement. Per the architectural plans submitted, the schools are anticipated to have a capacity of 522 students.

A total of 232 off-street parking spaces will be provided across the 3 separate driveways. This exceeds the 174 spaces required under Jackson's zoning ordinances which require 1 space per 3 high school students. A portion of the parking spaces are to be "land banked" and will only be paved in the future if the schools actually have a need to pave them. Ms. Jennings told the Board that the schools will review their parking situation on a yearly basis to determine whether they need to pave the land banked spaces.

Each school driveway will have its own circular bus lane and loading/unloading area in front of each building.

It appears that sidewalk is proposed along the roadway frontage and around each of the school buildings.

Ms. Jennings noted that the application originally had some variances, however the plans were since revised to eliminate all variances.

Public records obtained by FAA News indicate that WB Ocean 26, LLC purchased the property in a 2017 foreclosure sale for $283,000.

The Board first heard initial testimony on the application on March 27. After several hours of testimony, the Board adjourned the application until July 17 to give time for the applicant to address some technical concerns the Board expressed.

Turns out that the Board was able to clear up their schedule sooner so the continued hearing was moved up to tonight.

At the March public hearing, numerous neighbors spoke up in opposition to the school application, citing concerns over traffic congestion, pedestrian safety, and regarding the proposed septic system.

Though the neighbors did receive new notice of the tonight's rescheduled hearing, no members of the public spoke up tonight.

The Township's Environmental Commission, which is an advisory board, has issued a letter of concern regarding the applications proposed septic system.

The septic tank system will require NJDEP Treatment Works approval.

Traffic Engineer John Rea testified that school buses will be restricted from making a left turn on to Pfister Road.

Board Member Dr. Stephen Campbell stated that the current unaligned intersection of Pfister Road with New Prospect Road is very unsafe. Mr. Rea responded that to his knowledge, there is an additional land use application underway for a property on the other side of the road, and he anticipates that when that application is presented to the Ocean County Planning Board, they will require that developer to realign Pfister Road with New Prospect Road.

Mr. Rea added that the current application also still requires Ocean County Planning Board approval.

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