Architect details features of controversial proposal

Hearings continue on plan for Quail Cove senior community


EAST BRUNSWICK – Arbor Ventures continued testimony last week in its effort to gain approval of a 90-unit age-restricted community at Ryders and Guernsey lanes.

Numerous residents, meanwhile, continue to show their displeasure with the plan, known as Quail Cove, sitting through lengthy hearings before the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Aug. 30 meeting marked the fourth hearing on the matter. The board has yet to vote on the application, which calls for the apartments to be built in three buildings, along with a swimming pool, tennis court and 198 parking spaces.

The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20.

Last week’s meeting featured testimony from the applicant’s architect, Ronald Larson, who clarified some points that were confusing residents. For instance, Larson testified that the highest point of the building would be 41 feet above ground level, while a chimney would go as high as 45 feet, and items on top of that chimney another three.

He said the township allows for a mean building height of 35 feet. Debra Rainwater of the township’s Planning and Engineering Department said if the plans were to go above 10 percent over the mean, a variance would be needed.

“The height of this building, based on township ordinance, conforms with the maximum height requirements,” Larson said.

Residents are concerned with the proposal for 90 units on 7.5 acres of land zoned to allow 15 single-family homes. Arbor Ventures is requesting a use variance to build the units, but residents say the proposal is too dense for the area. Many are also concerned about the traffic impact from the new residents.

Another issue Larson testified on was trash disposal, and he noted how residents would have areas to dispose of trash on their floors. Arbor Ventures’ attorney, Kenneth Pape, said the trash receptors inside the building would only be taken out the morning of trash pickups.

Larson said maintenance equipment needed for the facilities would be kept in all three buildings. He said no maintenance vehicles would be stored on site, nor would any gas or flammable materials.

The facility would also include a room to store pool equipment, as well as serving areas near the lobbies. Pape said each floor would have a gathering space.

Larson said the building and pool would use natural gas for heating.

Larson also testified about access to the site for emergency vehicles, which would enter at the main entrance, on Guernsey Lane, whose roadway would lead to the main lobby. This would also grant the responders easy access to the elevators.

“Emergency vehicles can pull right up to the door,” he said.

Quail Cove would have an additional exit point on Ryders Lane, but for right turns only.

Resident David Seiden wondered if the proposed parking space layout would be safe. Larson testified it would be safe due to the 15 mph speed limit in the lot, and the fact that the roads would not be heavily traveled.