Camp seeks

zoners’ OK

for upgrades

By dave benjamin

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — A plan to expand the Rolling Hills Day Camp, owned by Timberglade Inc., on Dittmar Road, off Old Mill Road, from 14 acres to 24 acres by adding two building lots has been presented to the zoning board.

The application for the camp expansion is proposed in an R-60 zone where day camps are not a permitted use. Improvements also include a softball field, a soccer field, a "dirt" bike track, a basketball court and two 5,000-square-foot activity pavilions.

The plan also calls for the removal of two existing wood platforms and the construction of a 30-by-100-foot activity building in the northeast corner of the annexed area. The proposed plan calls for a 25-foot buffer zone, and a sewer pump station and force main to service the camp.

A memorandum from Guy Leighton, assistant township planner, indicated that the attorney for Timberglade Inc., William Mehr, of Freehold, said there will not be an increase in the number of campers at the facility.

"(A) 1997 resolution limits the average number of campers on site per day to 400 and the maximum number of campers on site per day is 700," the letter said.

Additionally the letter indicated there was no emergency access from Roberts-ville Road.

One variance and several waivers have been requested in the latest proposal, which include a use variance for the day camp, a waiver for providing a right-of-way width of existing streets, and waivers providing floor plans, off-site drainage plans, soil pit size, topographical features and boundaries, nature and extent of wooded area swamps, bogs and ponds within 200 feet of the site.

Reviewing the history of the proposal, Leighton said in 1997 the Planning Board passed a resolution granting approval for several site improvements including an addition to the office building, construction of three buildings for indoor camper activities and storage, and for the replacement of a roller rink.

According to the memo, there was testimony from neighbors regarding noise, lack of screening, ongoing tree removal and traffic concerns. The board’s resolution included nine conditions to address the concerns. At that time concerns were raised regarding clearing and expansion of the camp. An application was then filed with the zoning board which has remained incomplete until this year.

The proposal will be continued at 7:30 p.m. March 9 in front of the zoning board. If time permits, public comment will be heard regarding the camp’s proposal.