Five House Subdivision Eyed For Forested Parcel

Engineer’s rendering of the proposed five-home subdivision off Franklin Boulevard.

More than two acres of trees would be cleared under an application for five houses making its way to the township Planning Board.

The property is located at 360 Franklin Boulevard, an undeveloped and heavily forested lot directly behind Mt. Carmel Church.

The parcel is bordered by Belmar Street and Irvington and Viking avenues.

The property used to be part of a 5.88-acre site owned by Mt. Carmel, but was subdivided in 2007, according to a memo from Mark Healey, the township’s principal planner.

Healey wrote that at the time, Mt. Carmel officials told the township that the second lot could be developed in the future by extending Rogers Avenue across Belmar Street, ending in a cul-de-sac on the property.

That’s exactly what is being proposed by the project’s developer, Mohamed Gouda of Piscataway. Gouda proposes to divide the 2.78-acre lot into six subdivisions, five of which would contain single-family homes, with the sixth containing a stormwater basin that would be turned over to the township.

The new Rogers Avenue extension would cross Belmar Road and enter the property on a township right-of-way between 24 and 30 Belmar Street, according to the plans submitted to the Planning Board.

The road would run through the center of the lot, ending in a cul-de-sac.

Healey noted that each of the proposed subdivided lots comply with township lot and bulk requirements, and no variances are needed for the project.

Gouda plans to clear the site of all trees, Healey’s memo noted.

“(T)he applicant should explore plan changes that would result in the preservation of at least some of the existing trees on site,” Healey wrote.

Gouda will also pay an affordable housing development fee equal to 1.5 percent of the project’s equalized assessed value.

The application was supposed to have been heard at the Planning Board’s December 1 meeting, but it has been postponed to a date yet to be determined.

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