Two ordinances have been introduced in Neptune that will help regulate density on large residential development projects and better define what is considered an impervious surface.
“I urge you to pass these ordinances,” resident Chris Schuetz said at this week’s Township Committee meeting.
Schuetz, who has been spearheading a fight against overdevelopment particularly in the Jumping Brook Road area, said that the revised ordinances will better protect the township’s natural resources and provide construction that is more compatible with surrounding neighborhoods.
“We are too densely packed,” she said.
Other residents said they do not want to see apartment or townhouse projects constructed next to neighborhoods with single-family homes.
“We want the fabric of Neptune preserved,” resident Helen Stocum said.
Planning Board member Robert Lane said he also urges the governing body to adopt the two ordinances.
“So we don’t jam-pack (residential units) on properties. It will help residents of the community and also help us deny some projects,” he said.
The first ordinance amends sections of the Land Development ordinance to establish a definition of net residential densities and establish a formula for calculating these densities.
It will “provide developers and land owners with a clear basis on which to estimate the maximum permissible residential development of a property encumbered by environmental, legal and man-made constraints,” according to the ordinance.
It provides that the density of a project shall have 10 units per acre or the maximum number of residential units permitted in the zone divided by the proportion of property encumbered by environmental, legal or man-made constraints; or whichever is less.
Township Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said larger residential developments have been an issue in Neptune and that the revised ordinance will exclude areas like wetlands, buffers, easements, or steep slopes from being included in the formula to determine the density for a development project.
“It should help cut back on density by providing a set formula for the density of a project,” he said.
A second ordinance better defines the term “impervious cover.”
“It redefines what is considered a pervious or impervious surface and how structures, such as decks, or other building materials, like crushed stone or landscape material, are classified. It clarifies what is an impervious or pervious material or structure,” Gadaleta said.
A public hearing on both ordinances is scheduled for the March 9 Township Committee meeting. Neither ordinance will have any affect on development applications already filed with the township’s Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Residents have been particularly upset over a proposal to build 312 residential rental units near Jumping Brook Road and Route 66. A hearing on a revised plan is scheduled for an upcoming meeting of the Planning Board.
Another 272-unit residential development, called Signature Place, has already been approved by the board. The project is being built on about 25 acres off Jumping Brook Road, behind the AIG building at the intersection with Route 66.
The development will also have 8,000 square feet of commercial space. A use variance for the project was granted in Dec., 2012 and site plan approval was granted in March, 2013 to the developer, Neptune Partners, based in Livingston.