OCEAN COUNTY, NJ - Barnegat’s governing body passed ordinances last month pertaining to conditional use permits on both sides of the township.  It’s now up to the Pinelands Commission to give the final seal of approval on a portion of the new changes.

The updated ordinances add rules that would allow applicants to apply for conditional use permits for construction of hotels/motels, assisted living facilities, and reception and banquet halls.

Developers seeking to build any of these complexes will need to make sure their property can be accessed by a county road and within 1,000 feet of the Garden State Parkway.

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Pinelands Development credits are included in the portion of the ordinance changes dealing with property west of the Parkway.  Barnegat Ordinance 2021-4 establishes a base density of 8 units per acre, a bonus density of 12 units per acre through the use of Pinelands Development Credits, and a maximum bonus density of 20 units per acre.

Susan Grogan, Director of Planning for the Pinelands Commission conducted a remote hearing yesterday regarding the proposed changes. Two individuals called in to provide comment during the scheduled public hearing.

At least one other Barnegat resident indicated he attempted to become part of the live event. His call never made it through to the remote hearing.

Stafford Township Administrator/Director of Water & Sewer Matthew von der Hayden expressed his concerns about the impact of development on the stormwater systems and flooding issues.

“I wanted to discuss the issue that’s being developed here,” said von der Hayden. “We’ve had a lot of stormwater issues from Barnegat that go into Ocean Acres.”

Von der Hayden described the area of concern as by Compass Road and Swordfish Road in Stafford, going towards Fawcett Boulevard in Barnegat. The issues appear related to new manufactured homes construction project recently started by developer Chris Vernon.

“We are seeing a substantial amount of more stormwater and increases to our one big basin,” von der Hayden shared. “It’s at the end of Neptune where all of it flows through, which has taken on more sediment and more water.”

Barnegat resident Charles Cunliffe told Grogan he was concerned about the open space of Cloverdale Park and natural trust lands directly adjacent to the proposed project.

“As far as stormwater runoff, you’ve got Barnegat 67 Phase One and Phase Two, as well as 148 condos and 777 mobile homes, where they’ve already cleared land in the area,” said Cunliffe.

Cunliffe wondered about the effect on the natural preserved land and the water runoff in that area with all of the impervious surface by existing projects under construction and the proposed one.

According to Barnegat Township officials, no one has applied to the governing body or the planning board for a project that would include any of the new conditional use permits.

Cardinale Enterprises owns property behind the Wawa on Lighthouse Drive that meets the requisite proximity to the Garden State Parkway. The developer’s website contains conceptual plans dating back to 2016 that include an option for a hotel, banquet facility, and assisted living, nursing, and independent living facility.

The Pinelands Commission will still accept oral testimony as long as it submitted by March 8, 2021 at planning@pinelands.nj.gov.  According to the Pinelands Commission website, written testimony may be submitted by email (preferred) through the Commission’s web site at https://www.state.nj.us/pinelands/home/contact/public.shtml  or via facsimile at (609) 894-7330 or sent directly to the Pinelands Commission office, P.O. Box 359, New Lisbon, New Jersey 08064 no later than March 8, 2021.

A report prepared by the Commission will contain comments shared and will be submitted to the Pinelands Commission for discussion in April.

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