Category Archives: Four Ponds Housing Development

Middletown Planning Board And AVAYA, What’s Going On?

On the agenda for tonight’s Middletown Planning Board meeting will be the ongoing discussion, with the possible approval, of the Four Pond redevelopment plan for the Avaya complex. Looking at the agenda, it would seem that the only business to be discussed tonight will be the Four Ponds application, all other planning board business has been pushed back to the new year.
Back in October during his reelection campaign, Tony Fiore was telling every Lincroft area resident which he met, that there was a commercial entity interested in occupying the former Avaya industrial site. He also told them not to worry because the township’s planning board would not approve of the proposed Four Ponds housing redevelopment plan that would be comprised of 342 units with various road and infrastructure upgrades for area. He said that the township favored the commercial alternative for the redevelopment of the site over the housing and that the town would do what it could to ensure that the housing project would not be built.
Now that the election is over and Fiore’s seat on the Township Committee has been secured for another 3 years, it seems that the plan has once again changed.
The commercial entity believed to have been interested in the Avaya site was Commvault, a spin off of Lucent Technologies that specializes in data management and recovery. Their current corporate headquarters is located nearby in Oceanport NJ. Commvault it seems, is no longer interested in moving it’s headquarters to Lincroft and prefers instead to move it’s offices over to the now empty, Fort Monmouth in Eatontown.
Why would they choose Eatontown over Lincroft? More than likely it was some sort of tax abatement issue. I had heard previously, before the name of Commvault was known, that the interested commercial entity was looking for a large multi-million dollar, multi-year property tax break in order to move into Middletown. Supposedly the Township reached out to State Senator Joe Kyrillos for help in securing such a deal with the State, but Kyrillos had reservations and nothing was done. This in turn left the door open for Commvault, who more than likely got the deal they were looking from the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority to moving itself over to the now empty Fort Monmouth.
So where does that leave the Four Ponds development? Rumors are circulating that Four Ponds developers have decided to back out of the housing project altogether and will announce their decision to do so tonight at the Planning Board meeting, leaving no one at present to build the 342 unit housing development, if the Planning Board’s decision was to approve Four Ponds’ application.
Four Pond’s rumored decision to drop its application could put the town in a major bind. The Avaya project is part of the Township’s COAH plan. If Four Ponds or some other builder, doesn’t build some kind of affordable housing there, the town will not be compliant with it’s State COAH plan and will have to find another location to build the affordable units. This would then open the door to builders that could seek “builder remedy” law suits against Middletown that would allow them to build just about anything, anywhere in town.
And for those that say that couldn’t happen because Governor Christie abolished COAH earlier this year, you are wrong. Christie abolished the governing body that presided over COAH not the rulings or decisions that had been already established by it. Middletown is just as bound today to their plans for building affordable housing as they were a year ago, nothing has changed.
Tonight’s meeting should be interesting.
So what’s the next step here? As one person so apply stated “Middletown should keep that COAH attorney on retainer.”

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Filed under Avaya, COAH, Commvault, Fort Monmouth, Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority, Four Ponds Housing Development, Gov. Chris Christie, Joe Kyrillos, Middletown Planning Board

Monmouth Girls Academy Launching Feasibility Study September

I’m posting this press release from the Monmouth Girls Academy because this all girl academy was rumored to be interested in obtaining the Avaya site in Lincroft and using it as their campus.

This rumor had been floated by members of the Middletown governing body when questions started being asked by members of the Lincroft Village Greens Association(LVGA) and SONIC about the Four Ponds Redevelopment housing project set to be built at the Avaya site. The intention of the rumor was to deflect criticism away from the rezoning of the property from industrial usage to high density residential.

I have been told that mayor Tony Fiore, has recently been making the rounds telling residents in the Lincroft area that the Four Ponds development won’t be built and that there is a potential commercial buyer in the background that would save the area from this housing project. I think however Fiore’s assurances are nothing more than political electioneering on his park to sure up the voter base in Lincroft.

Of course however, if you are interested in finding out more about the Monmouth Girls Academy and participating in it’s feasibility study, by all means go to their website and do so. I think the Academy is a worthy institution to support.

Local Families and Interested Individuals Invited to Participate in Feasibility Study – available at http://www.monmouthgirlsacademy.org

Rumson, NJ – (September 2011) – What do these prominent women have in common: Condoleeza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir and Carley Fiorina? Each attended an all-girls school. A number of national studies indicate a pattern of strong, successful careers for girls who attend single-sex schools, which has lead a group of local parents and educators to investigate the feasibility of opening an all-girls high school in Monmouth County.

The steering committee has engaged Wisconsin-based Meitler Consultants, a firm that specializes in school strategic planning, to study and analyze the feasibility of opening a centrally located all-girls Catholic college preparatory high school in Monmouth County, tentatively called The Monmouth Girls Academy (http://www.monmouthgirlsacademy.org).

The feasibility study will be conducted online from September 12 to 28, 2011. Families interested in participating in the study should visit: http://www.monmouthgirlsacademy.org

“The purpose of the study is to evaluate the feasibility of establishing an all-girls high school in Monmouth County and the potential impact on existing schools in the area as well as to establish open communication with all interested residents, educators and community leaders”, notes Victoria Gmelich, High School Study Steering Committee Co-Chair. “We encourage the community to participate in the study to help guide the decision-making process.”

Mairead Clifford, who also co-chairs the High School Study Steering Committee, says “from the beginning of the process, our group has sought to keep an open line of communication with the Diocese of Trenton as well as members of local Catholic, private and public school communities.”

What Does the Feasibility Study Ask?

The Monmouth Girls Academy Feasibility Study conducted by Meitler Consultants will include such questions as:

– number of girls in the family

– high school enrollment intentions

– factors/hurdles in selecting a high school

– factors/hurdles in selecting a parochial/Catholic school

– parental participation/support of an all-girls school

– open-ended questions such as why the study participant would enroll their daughter in an all-girls Catholic high school

– demographic information

Mission and Vision of the Monmouth Girls Academy

The Monmouth Girls Academy mission:

Objective is to establish a private, Catholic all-girls college preparatory high school in Monmouth County.
Academics will reflect our goal to inspire a lifelong thirst for knowledge through a rigorous, comprehensive and challenging approach to learning uniquely tailored to nurture the intellectual, spiritual, social and physical gifts of each individual.
A rigorous program which is developmentally appropriate for young women to achieve and reach their fullest potential.
To welcome students and families of different faiths and diverse backgrounds and value the uniqueness of each individual.

This all-girls high school, with an anticipated initial enrollment of 500-600 students, will serve a need currently unmet by existing parochial, private and public high schools in Monmouth County. The school would be accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, offer academics that exceed state standards, and welcome students of all faiths. The anticipated annual tuition is $13,000, with the support of financial aid for families with demonstrated need along with some academic scholarships. The site for the school will be centrally located in Monmouth County but will be based the feasibility study results.

Statistics about All Girls Schools

– Girls who attend single-sex schools outscore their co-ed counterparts on the SAT by an average of 28 to 43 points

– Three times as many alumnae of single-sex schools plan to become engineers

– Girls’ school students spend more hours per week doing homework, attending study groups, tutoring others and working with their teachers than co-ed students

– Nearly 100% of girls’ school grads go on to college.

To learn more about the Monmouth Girls Academy and to register for the study, please go to: http://www.monmouthgirlsacademy.org.

Like and share us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monmouth-Girls-Academy/232994200076529?sk=wall&filter=2

Christine Burke or Judy Musa, Full Circle Communications
Judy@fullcirclecommunications.net or 732-688-8079, 732-687-1556

Communications, Public Relations and Event Planning
Full Circle Communications

Phone: 732.688.8079
Fax: 732-747-5292

cburkeassociates@verizon.net
16 William Street
Red Bank NJ 07701

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Filed under Avaya, Feasibility study, Four Ponds Housing Development, Lincroft NJ, LVGA, Middletown NJ, Monmouth Girls Academy, Sonic

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

Subject of Latest Robo-Call From Concerned Citizens Deals With AVAYA and COAH

Earlier today I received yet another robo-call from the group calling themselves Concerned Citizens of Middletown.

The content of this robo- call that was left on my answering machine ~1:30 pm, seems to be geared towards what is going on in Lincroft concerning the redevelopment of the AVAYA sight that will consist of 342 units of high density housing if built.

The timing of this latest robo-call seems to have been planned to correspond with the next Middletown Planning Board meeting scheduled for tomorrow night, where according to the agenda for the meeting, approval of the project may be finalized.

I’m sure that this call (the 5th) will be just as controversial as the others that have gone out in the past by the group Concerned Citizens of Middletown.
Tony Fiore and others associated with the Middletown GOP swear that Concerned Citizens of Middletown is nothing more than the a front name used by the Middletown Democrats to stir up trouble and controversy, which as far as I know, is not the case.
I am sure that one day soon the mystery of who is behind the group will be answered, but until then I’m going to sit back and enjoy the speculation. It’s fun to see Fiore and the others squirm a bit and point fingers while trying to explain that the messages being left on answering machines all around town have no merit and shouldn’t be paid attention to.

Below is the message that I recorded again off of my answering machine followed by a transcript of the call:

http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf

Have you heard? Because The Middletown Township Committee failed to fulfill it’s COAH obligations, the Township had to solicit bids to develop housing projects throughout Middletown?

As a result the AVAYA site in Lincroft will become a multi-family housing project that will impact the residents of Lincroft and the Township.

The influx of new residents will have an adverse affect; roads will need to be widened, sewer and water lines will need to be installed and over crowding of local schools will take place, all at a cost to our quality of life.

Paid for by
Concerned Citizens of Middletown.

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Filed under Avaya, COAH, Concerned Citizens of Middletown, Four Ponds Housing Development, Lincroft NJ, Middletown GOP, Middletown Planning Board, Middletown Township Committee, Robo-calls, Tony Fiore

>SONIC Issues Statement Apposing Avaya Re-development

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The following was issued via email from the Lincroft citizens group ” Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity & Character” aka SONIC
Thursday evening April 28th, over 100 concerned Lincroft residents packed the Sunrise Assisted Living Facility to discuss the proposed plans for the Re-development of the site formerly occupied by AVAYA. They are vehemently opposed to the proposed plan, which calls for 342 units in total, which represents a 16 % increase in the total number of homes in Lincroft.

The group was comprised of members of “Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity & Character”, otherwise known as SONIC, who originally were organized to oppose the WFS Sports Complex, as well as members of the Lincroft Village Green Association (LVGA) and other concerned residents. They agreed to use all their available resources to actively oppose these proposed plans. The group has and will be soliciting funds from the Community, to retain an attorney and other professionals, as deemed necessary, in mounting opposition to this proposed plan.

SONIC will be informing the greater Lincroft Community about this proposed plan and will urge all concerned residents from the Lincroft area and surrounding Communities to attend the upcoming Middletown Township Planning Board meeting on Wed. May 4th, at 6:30 pm at Town Hall.

For further information as to this proposed plan, please visit the following WebSite: LincroftVillageGreen.org


To see site plan of the proposed Avaya re-development click Here

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Filed under Avaya, Four Ponds Housing Development, lincroft village green association, LVGA, Middletown Planning Board, Sonic, Town Hall

>LVGA Issues Statement Concerning Planned Four Ponds Housing Development

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On it’s website, the Lincroft Village Green Association has published the following statement regarding the planned Four Ponds project that is to be located at the Avaya complex on Middletown-Lincroft Road. The proposed site plan is also located on the website so that resident and those that are interested can see the size and scope of the project that will impact the area and the quality of life for those that live in it’s proximity:

Re: Four Ponds Redevelopment Plan


The Lincroft Village Green Association and many of the residents of Lincroft Village are strongly opposed to the Four Ponds Redevelopment plan as is currently proposed. We have serious concerns this large scale housing development will bring negative change to our neighborhoods and adversely affect residents’ safety and quality of life.

Our specific concerns for opposing this development are as follows:

Density and Type of Housing:
The plan proposes to build 270 townhouse and 72 flats, with 68 of the flats being COAH affordable housing rental units. This represents an approximate 16% increase in the number of households in Lincroft Village. This is far too many households for the infrastructure of Lincroft to absorb.

Good planning requires that new construction should be similar in size and character to existing, neighboring homes. The style of homes being built, three story townhouses in clusters of 4, 6 and 8 units, and four 18 unit apartment buildings, is not in keeping with the style of the majority of the homes in Lincroft, which are single family homes on large lots, of 0.5 – 5.0 acres in size. The density and configuration of the proposed Four Ponds Development are more reminiscent of inner city row houses than existing construction in Lincroft. Therefore, this development would have a very negative impact on property values in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Traffic:
The current traffic conditions along CR520 and CR50 make any additional traffic-generating projects in Lincroft completely unacceptable.

• The intersection of CR50 & CR520 is already considered failed because of too much traffic (County Route 520 Corridor Study, 2002).
• Middletown-Lincroft Road is a major route to the following Lincroft establishments: Brookdale Community College (enrollment over 13,000-all commuters), Christian Brothers Academy (enrollment over 900), St. Leo the Great Church and School, Oak Hill Academy, Lincroft Elementary School, Multiple preschools, Lincroft Library, Lincroft business center and professional buildings, Two senior citizen complexes, Four churches, in addition to St. Leo the Great, One county and five township parks, Lincroft Fire and First Aid stations.
• CR50 is a major North-South route for many trash, recycling and construction trucks, and services all of Middletown and towns north.
• Both CR520 and CR50 are major E-W and N-S traffic routes and are used by many to access the GSP (Exit 109) and Red Bank to the east, Holmdel corporate center and residential areas to the west, Monmouth Mall to the south and the remainder of Middletown and other points north.


There is already dangerous cut-through traffic and speeding in surrounding neighborhoods, especially on Turnberry Drive and Leedsville Drive, which will only be worsened by the additional traffic generated by the housing complex, affecting the safety of the residents who walk, bike, and jog and drive on those streets.

Schools:
The Four Ponds development will bring many additional children to our local schools. Two and three bedroom townhouses will be more likely to have families with school-age children.
The Lincroft Elementary School is already filled to capacity. The building is over 50 years old and every classroom and available space inside is being utilized. Families are drawn to Lincroft for the quality of our public school system. By adding children and overburdening our classrooms and teachers, this will have a negative impact on the excellence of our schools.

Safety – Fire, First Aid, Police:
Lincroft and the surrounding neighborhoods are served by our all volunteer Fire Department and First Aid Station. Adding 342 new homes to Lincroft Village, a 16% increase in households, will overburden these services, including the Middletown Police force and Public Works and seriously impact the safety of the entire area.

In closing, as you can undoubtedly see from the above noted points, the Lincroft Village Green Association is extremely concerned, as are the residents who have already contacted us in large numbers, that a development of this size, in this location, would be seriously considered for approval at this time. The impact on the quality of life of current Lincroft residents, the strain on our schools and already diluted resources, and the associated safety concerns, should trump any desire to vote to permit this development.

Consequently, we respectfully request this proposed plan be tabled at the present time, and the current owner be instructed to work with key stakeholders in our community to determine the most appropriate alternative uses of this space. This has simply not taken place to date.
In fact, when this property was rezoned in 2010 to accommodate COAH obligations, the then sitting Township Committee went on record to say they would rezone the site back to either commercial or residential single family homes at the earliest opportunity. We implore you to consider rezoning this property now, and come up with a more thoughtful, rational plan, with more potential for positive impact for Lincroft Village and its residents.

Board of Directors
Lincroft Village Green Association

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Filed under Avaya, COAH, Four Ponds Housing Development, lincroft village green association, Middletown Planning Board, Middletown Township, quality of life, schools, traffic

>342 Unit Avaya Development Moving Forward In Lincroft; 68 COAH Units Planned

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If you didn’t have a keen eye, you would have missed the public notice in yesterday’s Asbury Park Press that announces the upcoming Middletown Planning Board’s public hearing for the Four Ponds (a.k.a Avaya) housing project in Lincroft.

This is the development that everyone on the Township Committee approved of in 2009 and was suppose to not happen.

Gerry Scharfenberger, Tony Fiore, Pam Brightbill and Steve Massell (who wasn’t on the Township Committee in 2009, but as a member of the Planning Board approved of and presented the plans to the Township Committee) have repeatedly vowed that they are against the project but have done nothing to try and prevent it.

I’m sure that they will be blaming Democrats in Trenton for not heeding Governor Christie’s wish to reform the affordable housing law, COAH, even though the governor vetoed a reform of it earlier this year:

TOWNSHIP OF MIDDLETOWN
PLANNING BOARD
NOTICE OF HEARING
Case #2010-202

To: All Property Owners Within 200 Feet

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT Four Ponds Center Associates has applied to the Planning Board of the Township of Middletown for preliminary and final site plan approval, with no variances, so as to permit the applicant to develop and construct 342 residential dwelling units, and one community clubhouse, with associated roadways, parking, walkways, stormwater management, utilities, lighting and landscaping improvements. The proposed dwelling units shall consist of 270 townhouses and 72 flats, with 68 of the flats being restricted as affordable housing. This project is part of the Township Housing Element and Fair Share Plan for affordable housing.

The existing commercial building located on the subject property shall be demolished. The property is zoned RMF-2 (Residential Multi-Family Overlay Zone), The application conforms to the standards of the RMF-2 Zone; however, the Applicant will seek any and all variances and/or waivers necessary to accommodate the application as filed or as revised by the Planning Board on premises located at 307 Middletown-Lincroft Road, also known as Block 1063, Lot 10 on the Tax Map.

A copy of the application has been filed in the Office of the Planning Board and may be inspected during regular business hours.

A public hearing will be held on Wednesday evening, the 4th day of May, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall, 1 Kings Highway, Middletown, New Jersey at which time you may appear either in person or by agent or attorney and present any objections which you may have to granting this application.

ANSELL GRIMM & AARON
Attorneys for Applicant
By:/s/ RICK BRODSKY, ESQ,
Dated: April 18, 2011

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Filed under Avaya, COAH, Four Ponds Housing Development, Gov. Chris Christie, Lincroft NJ, Middletown Planning Board, Veto