Category Archives: Bamm Hollow Country Club

Before Moving Forward With Avaya Redevelopment, New Traffic Study Needed

Once again on tonight’s agenda for the Middletown Planning Board is a continuation of the public hearing concerning the controversial Four Ponds (Avaya) Redevelopment plan. Tonight’s meeting will be the 5th such hearing on the redevelopment plan that, if allowed to move forward, will approve the building of 342 high density housing units (270 townhouses and 72 apartments) in Lincroft.

Since the first Planning Board hearing on this issue took place back on May 4th , these meeting have been extremely well attended and have filled the Middletown Court Room (where the meetings are held) with area residents expressing their disapproval of this planned high density, residential redevelopment of the former Avaya industrial site. The main concern of these residents isn’t so much about the number of homes being built as it is about the traffic and safety concerns that need to be properly addressed on the local roads as a result of these homes being built.

The roads over in the Lincroft area are already congested and often impassable during the rush hour or when Brookdale Community College is in session; the intersection that comprises Newman Springs Rd/520, Middletown Lincroft Rd and Swimming River Rd is a nightmare and getting into and out of the shopping centers that surround this intersection is nearly impossible at times. West Front St won’t be easy to navigate around either once residential cars from the redevelopment start to pour out of the back entrance of the site and onto the road.

Safety concerns for area residents are valid especially when you factor in “cut-through” streets like Turnberry, Whispering Pines, Jumping Brook, Hillside; cars looking to avoid the congestion of the main roads will no doubt filter through the side streets looking for short-cuts around the traffic. Pedestrians and other vehicles parked on these residential streets will be placed at a higher risk for harm which does not exist now.

That’s why when at the last Planning Board meeting held on August 3rd, Traffic Engineer John Rea presented to the board the results of a traffic study that was completed during March last year, residents were right to question its’ validity.

According to the Brookdale College 2010 academic calendar spring break was held during this time and campus activities were limited, so a representative study wasn’t possible. Rea went on to state that there was a follow up traffic study completed during the week of May 16th 2011 to show that traffic didn’t change much.

Coincidentally however, the Brookdale Community College spring semester ended the week before and Christian Bother’s Academy had a shortened academic week and held graduation during this time period. So again, the validity of this follow up traffic study was in question.

Based on this information, I would think that another, more representative study should be completed by a third party before further discussions on the redevelopment of the Avaya site proceeds.

A new study needs to be completed that includes the areas from the intersections of 520/Half Mile Rd, 520/Middletown Lincroft Rd and future developments west of Garden State Parkway. Surrounding areas and planned developments (Bamm Hollow) need to be included and thought out to show the real impact on the community. The study should be done at the peak of traffic season, possible during the 2nd week of October, when the fall session is in full swing at Brookdale for example, to ensure that a true representative sample of traffic conditions are taken. In addition another study should be done during a weekend when residents are home and out shopping to show what the difference in traffic conditions would be. These studies should be done to provide data for a worse-case scenario and provide plans to mitigate traffic increases during peak times.

Before moving forward with this redevelopment of the Avaya site, the Planning Board needs to make sure that a true, accurate and representative traffic study is performed that will take into consideration the concerns of Lincroft and other area residents. This new study should be done by a firm mutually agreed to by Four Ponds Developers, Middletown and the residents that are fighting the planned redevelopment of Avaya, with the costs of the new traffic study being split between the three.

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Filed under Avaya, Bamm Hollow Country Club, Four Ponds Housing Development, Lincroft, Middletown Planning Board, Redevelopment, traffic study

Perfect Timing As Latest Robo-Call Counters RedBankGreen Fluff Piece On Bamm Hollow Development

Earlier today I was surfing my favorite website and found a fluff piece on RedBankGreen.com concerning some old news about the redevelopment of the Bamm Hollow Country Club in Lincroft. I was going to post about it but I got dragged away until now, which as circumstances will have it was a good thing, because an hour or so later after reading how Township “OFFICIALS TOUT BAMM HOLLOW OPEN SPACE“, the telephone rang.

On the other end of the phone was another robo-call issued by the group calling themselves “Concerned Citizens of Middletown”. It stated how the addition of 500 homes in and around Lincroft is will be eroding the quality of life of residents in Middletown.

I copied the message off of my answering machine and have it posted below, along with a transcript for anyone interested in hearing it.

It must have been a slow news day for Dustin Racioppi and the RedBankGreen, as I said the story is old and is reporting on what was said in May when the court case was settled.

Middletown, as Township Attorney Brian Nelson (how come Township Administrator Tony Mercantante or Assistant Administrator James Van Nest didn’t talk to RBG about this?) would like everyone to believe, did not win big.
Bam Hollow was originally zoned for 50 homes. The original proposal was to increase it to 200 homes. The Plannig Board said no and Bamm Hollow sued for 1,200. The Township setteld for 190. So who actually won big time here?
Brian Nelson and friends were not going to win the lawsuit, which is why they settled. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting it, so it is apparent who won big time. The lawyers hired by the Township to fight a losing battle. the open space would have been there
regardless.

(Concerned Citizens Robo-Call #6: Eroding the Quality Of Life)
http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf

Have you heard the quality of life in Middletown, according to Money Magazine, has dropped 39% during the past four years?

Poor planning and dense re-zoning by Middletown politicians led to approval for over 500 new homes in Lincroft and Bamm Hollow.

Increased density will further erode our declining quality of life, and compete with homeowner’s unable to sell their homes in this dismal economy.

It’s time to clean house and throw-out incumbent politicians.

(Paid for by Concerned Citizens of Middletown)

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Filed under Bamm Hollow Country Club, Brian Nelson, Concerned Citizens of Middletown, Dustin Racioppi, open space, RedBankGreen.com, Redevelopment Lincroft, Robo-calls, Tony Mercantante

>It’s Catch-Up Time

>If you’ve notice over the past two weeks the postings on the blog here have been a little thin. I’ve had a temporary change to my work schedule for the month that hasn’t allowed me to focus on thing the way that I would’ve liked to. This coming week my schedule is back to “normal” before being disrupted again for another two weeks, so it’s time to play caught-up.

Along with some local items of interest such as a discrimination charges filed against Middletown’s Chief of Police by a Middletown Police officer, news on the AVAYA and Bamm Hollow redevelopments and some funding being secured for dredging Shadow Lake. A number of readers have also sent me items of interest that others may be interested in knowing.

So over the course of the weekend I hope to get back up to speed on number of items so stay tuned.

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Filed under Avaya, Bamm Hollow Country Club, blogging, catch-up, ethic charges, items of interest, law suit, Middletown Mike, Middletown Police, Shadow Lake

Township Committee Opposed to Bamm Hollow Country Club Efforts to Force Community To Rezone Property

Just posted on the Middletown Township website is a letter to the public explaining how Bamm Hollow Country Club  is attempting to strong-arm  the township into an approval to rezone their grounds so that a residential housing development can be built on the site.

Bamm Hollow is questioning the township’s use of RCA’s to transfer some of it’s affordable housing obligations to Lakewood.  
Middletown entered into an agreement with Lakewood to transfer 98 housing units at a cost of $20,000 each.  These are units that Lakewood desperately needs and wants, however the problem is that since this agreement the cost per units have increased to $35,000 per unit.
Bamm Hollow wants to make sure that Middletown pays the higher costs in order to make their  proposed housing development more attractive to for the township to approve.
My thoughts on this are simple, I think that the township has every right to be outraged about this! This is a sneaky and underhanded attempt by Bamm Hollow Country Club to circumvent the zoning process. It is also going to cost Middletown taxpayers millions of dollars if Bamm Hollow is aloud to get away with it.
 However, this problem to some extent is Middletown’s fault. When the original agreement with Red Bank was in place (see letter), Middletown never transferred the funds to Red Bank, which caused Red Bank to then find another RCA source.    
click onto the headline to read the letter yourself.        

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Filed under Bamm Hollow Country Club, COAH, Middletown, RCA's

>Township Committee Opposed to Bamm Hollow Country Club Efforts to Force Community To Rezone Property

>Just posted on the Middletown Township website is a letter to the public explaining how Bamm Hollow Country Club  is attempting to strong-arm  the township into an approval to rezone their grounds so that a residential housing development can be built on the site.

Bamm Hollow is questioning the township’s use of RCA’s to transfer some of it’s affordable housing obligations to Lakewood.  
Middletown entered into an agreement with Lakewood to transfer 98 housing units at a cost of $20,000 each.  These are units that Lakewood desperately needs and wants, however the problem is that since this agreement the cost per units have increased to $35,000 per unit.
Bamm Hollow wants to make sure that Middletown pays the higher costs in order to make their  proposed housing development more attractive to for the township to approve.
My thoughts on this are simple, I think that the township has every right to be outraged about this! This is a sneaky and underhanded attempt by Bamm Hollow Country Club to circumvent the zoning process. It is also going to cost Middletown taxpayers millions of dollars if Bamm Hollow is aloud to get away with it.
 However, this problem to some extent is Middletown’s fault. When the original agreement with Red Bank was in place (see letter), Middletown never transferred the funds to Red Bank, which caused Red Bank to then find another RCA source.    
click onto the headline to read the letter yourself.        

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Filed under Bamm Hollow Country Club, COAH, Middletown, RCA's