More development is in the works for Route 70 and New Hampshire Avenue, a busy intersection near the Lakewood/ Toms River Township border.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has just granted a Freshwater Wetlands Letter of Interpretation to the 9.37 acres property at the southwest corner of New Hampshire Avenue and Route 70.

The parcel is currently owned by the Krupnick family. It is under contract to be sold to Aaron Mueller.

A Letter of Interpretation (LOI) from the DEP indicates the boundaries of freshwater, where no development of any sort will be permitted.

A LOI does not grant approval to conduct any regulated activities. However, it is the first step to making any future development project a reality.

No specific Site Plan application has yet been presented to the Township's land use boards so it is not yet known exactly how the property will be developed.

This property is located across from where construction is currently ongoing for 130 duplex homes, an office building, a retail building, and a community shul, and where yet another retail shopping center was recently approved.

Back on December 15, 2015, the Planning Board granted Site Plan approval to Somerset New Hampshire LLC (then owned by Ralph Zucker) for 37 duplex structures, (74 homes) with only a single right in / right out access road off Route 70. Each unit will have 4 parking spaces.

The application also included, along Route 70, a 2-story, 83,560 sq foot office / retail building and a 1-story, 33,316 sq foot retail building, with a total of 134 parking spaces to serve these buildings, as well as a 2-story 8,788 sq foot community building (2,275 sq feet main synagogue) with 15 off-street and 19 on-street parking spaces (which will be privately owned by the HOA of the development.

At the bend in the far back corner, the development will have its own privately owned 18,900 sq foot park. They will also have an additional tot lot / park with a walking path at the other end of the road, as well as open space near the community building.

The internal roads will have 5 feet wide sidewalks instead of the typical 4 feet wide, however, the Planning Board did grant a waiver from installing sidewalk along both New Hampshire Avenue and Route 70.

At some point, New Hampshire 54 LLC (owned by Yehuda Dachs) acquired this project.

Initial site clearing began in March 2021. The Township Engineering Department granted final construction approval on May 3, 2022 and construction has been underway since.

Subsequently, on November 18, 2019, the Zoning Board granted Use Variance approval to Somerset NH LLC (owned by Ralph Zucker) for up to 30 duplex structures (60 homes) on a new cul-de-sac off New Hampshire Avenue.

Use Variance relief was required as this parcel is located in the B-5 Highway Development Zone where duplexes are not a permitted use.

The Board stipulated that as a condition of approval for their future Site Plan, they needed to pave a room connecting this development to the previously approved development off Route 70, so as to allow those residents to drive towards central Lakewood without needing to first go out the way east on Route 70.

On November 9, 2020 the Board granted Final Site Plan approval to a modified plan for 28 duplex structures (56 homes), a shul and a playground.

The road that runs through the development, Budleman Way, will have two, eighteen feet wide, one-way lanes separated by a curb island. New curb and sidewalk are proposed along the tract’s road frontages.⁣

In accordance with RSIS requirements that a secondary access road is required on cul-de-sacs with more than 24 units, the board conditioned this approval that no more than 25 Certificate of Occupancies may be obtained until the secondary access road has been constructed.

The Board further conditioned their approval that the developer will utilize good faith in discussing certain traffic improvements with the County, including an egress lane along New Hampshire Avenue. The Township Department has not yet granted construction approval for this development as they are still waiting for compliance with this condition.

As previously reported here on FAA News, the Planning Board recently also approved a single story building with nearly 24,000 sq feet across 14 retail stores.

The parking lot will contain 128 parking spaces including 10 EV spaces and 6 ADA-compliant spaces of which 2 will be van accessible.

The driveways will only be accessible from New Hampshire Avenue.

As previously reported here on FAA News, developers have also recently received a Freshwater Wetlands LOI for a new residential housing development on the north side of Route 70 near the Garden State Parkway exit ramp.

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