RAID to present environmental study

By kathy baratta
Staff Writer

By kathy baratta
Staff Writer

At tonight’s special Howell Planning Board meeting for The Fountains residential development application, a privately commissioned environmental study will be submitted to the board.

The study was performed for Residents Against Irresponsible Development (RAID) by former Howell Mayor Charles Doyle, who holds a master’s degree in environmental science.

Doyle’s study concludes that the Maxim-Southard Road location selected for the apartment complex is too environmentally sensitive to support more than 300 apartments at that location.

MGD Holdings How, LLC, of Westfield, is seeking to develop The Fountains between Route 9 and Maxim-Southard Road.

Doyle prepared the study after walking the property last month during conditions he described as hazy, hot and humid, caused by a lack of rainfall about eight days prior to the study.

Even though there were drought conditions that made water restrictions necessary statewide, Doyle said he found standing water throughout the property as well as foliage and wildlife consistent with wetlands conditions.

Doyle also notes that Dicks Brook, which traverses the property, is a major tributary to the Metedeconk River, a Brick Town-ship water supply which Mayor Timothy J. Konopka has previously stated has already begun to show signs of salt water infiltration.

Doyle stated that an environmental impact study provided by MGD Holdings is lacking in its information because it was prepared in mid-winter and because the author "spent little if any time on the site."

Doyle concluded his study by stating that the Planning Board and Township Council would be "remiss" if they accepted the applicant’s environmental report.