HOLMDEL, NJ - According to the Township, the May 4 Planning Board meeting for Tuesday has been canceled due to a 'lack of an agenda'. There are impactful applications pending.

An affordable housing project, Barclay Square, assailed by neighboring Hazlet and local residents concerned with flooding on Palmer Avenue, is planned for a vote in the near future.

The application has pit developers against local residents who expressed dismay to the Planning Board about local flooding and have spoken against the application. The developers seek 'completeness waivers' as well as preliminary and 'final major site plan approval'.

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The Holmdel Township Committee, led by Mayor Greg Buontempo, previously approved ordinances that made the application a 'conforming use' with no variances. In layperson parlance, the local rules approved by the Township Committee allows it as a legal use.

Barclay Square is located on nearly 7 acres on Palmer Avenue, it's a proposal to construct a 60-unit multi-family apartment building and site improvements; 6.74 acres in the Affordable Housing Multifamily Zone (AH-MF); 48 of the units proposed as market rate; 12 units are affordable units.

Consideration of approval of the project has been ongoing for a long time at the Planning Board. The challenge for any applicant with the Holmdel Planning Board is unique, the Planning Board cancels so many meetings.

A majority of meetings of the Planning Board in Holmdel, in fact, were canceled in 2020. The Planning Board, Chaired by New Jersey State Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, canceled 70% of their meetings in 2020. The last four meetings that span October, November and December were all canceled. Seven of the meetings were not listed on the schedule though they were included in the reorganization agenda. No reasons are given.

DiMaso is in a unique position as both an Assemblywoman and Chairwoman of the Holmdel Planning Board. 'DiMaso for Assembly' financial filings with the  New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission reports lists the New Jersey Apartment Association Political Action Committee in Monroe and the Operating Engineers Local 825 in Springfield as contributing $8,700 combined to her re-election. 

The Holmdel Planning Board was scheduled to meet 22 times in 2020.  Ultimately, the board met 7 times in 2020, canceled 9 meetings and, on the official  website for the agendas, omitted another 6 meetings entirely. 

The next meeting of the Holmdel Planning Board is May 18, 2021.