EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - About two dozen residents attended the East Brunswick Zoning Board meeting last week to listen to and address the proposed development of 36 townhouses on Cranbury Road at the former location of Ferris Farms. Originally designed for 50 town homes, the revised development will feature 36 three-level attached homes with three bedrooms each, a garage for two cars, and a finished basement area.
There are no proposed residences that would comply with the COAH (Council on Affordable Housing) requirements placed on East Brunswick. Instead, the developer will pay a fee to the East Brunswick Housing Fund that will address that requirement. Berjaoui estimated that the "market price" for this housing would be around $450,000 per townshouse unit.
In an interview with TAPinto East Brunswick, Zoning Board member Wesam Berjaoui described the concerns of residents attending the meeting as being centered on the environment; traffic, school impact, and animal displacement in the area. The area proposed for development includes five acres of land, in a zone originally requiring one acre per structure. However, the proposed design of 36 residences "maximizes revenue for the owner and developer," said a representaitve of the developer.
The most serious concern was brought by Perry Giancola, whose residence on Cranbury Road, is adjacent to the property under review. According to Berjaoui, Giancola was worried that flooding, which already occurs at this location, wourld be exacerbated by the construction and building that would take place. He asserted that the one catch basin that the developer had included was insufficient and that a second one would be necessary.
Residents also pointed out that there would be no amenities - parks, playgrounds, etc -though the family-size homes would each have three bedrooms. There would be little yard space around each. 251 trees would be removed and replaced by shrubbery, which local residents present at the meeting insisted would provide both an insufficient buffer and less water retention.
The next meeting of the Zoning Board will be held on August 1 at the Municipal Building. Bejaoui encourages concerned residents to attend and let their voices be heard if they have strong thoughts and feelings for or against the proposed units and their impact on local life.
This devlopment is one of several on Cranbury Road, as a new hotel is currently under construction nearby.