Developer gets green light for 26 new homes

Matzel & Mumford will build once again off River Road

By Jennifer micale

SOUTH RIVER — A Hazlet firm has cleared another obstacle in its path, bringing a 26-home development closer to reality.

At last week’s meeting, the Planning Board gave final major subdivision approval to Matzel & Mumford for Heritage Woods, a proposed 26-home development off River Road. The wooded 13-acre parcel was previously owned by the borough, who then sold it to the developers for $955,000. The funds from the sale will be used to acquire land for open space and recreation, such as a two-acre tract on Causeway purchased from former Sayreville Mayor John McCormack for $56,171.92 last month.

Board members had few comments on the application. According to the applicant’s attorney, Glenn Geiger, the final approval entails reviewing the survey map of the project, making sure it is consistent with the preliminary approval. The applicant revised its plans in accordance with recommendations from CME Associates, the borough’s engineering firm.

Matzel & Mumford’s vice president of land development, David Fisher, said that the construction process should take a year and a half from beginning to end. The first phase, clearing the land, can only begin once the developer has paid its inspection fees and complied with the borough’s conditions of approval, he said. The company also needs permits for sewer and water service before construction can begin.

"It doesn’t happen in a day," Fisher said, noting that the developer needs to clear the parcel for grading purposes, as well as the installation of utilities, roadways and ultimately homes.

Located between Lark Drive and Addington Court, 26 homes will stand on 12,020-square-foot lots on both sides of a newly constructed roadway. A 75-foot wide easement for a transcontinental gas line runs to the south, with a 35-foot wide utility and drainage easement to the north. Borough officials have requested that future homeowners on the south side of the property be notified of the gas line via a disclosure statement on the deed.

Some residents have expressed concern over the fate of the trees on the wooded site, 83 percent of which are slated for removal. However, the developer plans to replace the 269 trees that are cut down with 341 others, including conifers, shade and ornamental trees, and shrubbery.

Via a developer’s agreement later on, Matzel & Mumford is also expected to construct a 330-foot by 195-foot soccer field at the end of its development, along with a 29-space parking lot. Located on borough land, the soccer field will come before the board as a separate application.