Residents debate new access road

  • HOWELL — A proposed road in the Ramtown section of the township brought an almost equal number of residents for and against the project to a recent meeting of the Township Council.
  • At issue is the council’s unanimous approval for the construction of a road that would provide access to an adult community planned for construction in neighboring Wall Township. The adult development, now being marketed as Pine View Estates, will only be accessible from several residential roads in Howell and one street in Brick Township.

    Howell will provide the initial emergency services response to residents of Pine View Estates. The council wants to annex the property in Wall and make it part of Howell in an effort to recoup some of the money that will be spent providing emergency services.

    Meanwhile, the new street, Memorial Drive, would be built at a cost to Howell of $750,000. Officials have said this will take the Pine View Estates traffic away from the front of homes on Pine Needle Street, Red Bud Lane and Cherry Lane and reroute it behind a 100-foot buffer zone that runs along the back of Jacob Drive and Deborah Lane to a T-intersection with Newtons Corner Road.

    The council named an ad hoc committee of residents from both sides of the issue in order for them to work together in an attempt to educate all the area residents as to why the street intersecting with Newtons Corner Road is the best option.

    Following that committee’s meeting, two members of the opposition formed a faction dubbed Residents Opposing Access Road (ROAR) and with donations from other Deborah Lane and Jacob Drive residents, hired legal counsel to represent their side.

    Believing the council was going to be discussing the issue on Sept. 21, residents on both sides were in attendance.

    Attorney Lawrence C. Kroll spoke on behalf of ROAR. He told the council his clients’ concerns include their opposition to the removal of trees to make room for Memorial Drive. Kroll said ROAR is not looking to “cause a problem” and only wanted “to be involved in the process.”

    Diana Preziosi of Deborah Lane said although she opposes the construction of Memorial Drive, she could resign herself to its construction as long as the other three streets remain available as an access to Pine View Estates. She said she thought that to be a fair concession.

    Jim Burgess of Pine Needle Street said that since the matter is a case of rerouting cars behind rear yards with a 100-foot wide buffer and away from 30-foot wide streets in front of homes, “You don’t need much study to know which way to go.”

    “I’ll take kids over trees,” Burgess said in response to ROAR’s concern over the potential loss of trees.

    Council members listened to more comments from residents on both sides of the issue, but took no action. Officials said the road will be discussed at a future meeting of the governing body.


    Staff Writer