Solar Village expected to get more parking

Project would increase spaces to 18 for 21 residences


ROOSEVELT — Residents at the borough’s 21-unit senior and affordable housing complex may soon have more than five parking spaces allotted to them.

At the Dec. 15 Borough Council meeting, Bob Clark, the executive director of the Roosevelt Senior Citizens Housing Corporation, which runs Solar Village, gave a presentation about what the borough needs to take advantage of the $123,000 in grant money that they it was awarded for the project. The money is a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from Monmouth County.

Clark said the grant is for parking and walkway work at the Solar Village. The original plan was to put more parking on the circular drive around the Solar Village, but that has changed due to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations, he said.

The DEP regulations would require a 150-foot freshwater wetlands buffer regarding the wood turtle, a threatened species in New Jersey that was seen in the area 10 years ago, according to Clark.

While the DEP allowed wetlands mitigation, Clark said the new plan is to take the DEP regulations out of the equation and move the village parking to the Farm Lane extension. He said the Notterman tract, which exists at the end of the Farm Lane extension, has been put into preservation, and there is no longer a use for the Farm Lane extension except to serve Solar Village.

While the Farm Lane extension currently offers parallel parking, Clark would like to see it have head-in parking. He noted that the 2- acre Solar Village development has nine buildings, but only a few designated parking spaces were provided for it when constructed in 1982.

The plan to offer more parking on the Farm Lane extension

would provide a total of 18 designated spaces for the village. Clark said the solution is still not very generous, considering there are 21 residences in the village.

The borough is currently revising its parking ordinances. Mayor Beth Battel said that the Planning and Zoning Board “pretty much threw up their hands” when discussing parking on cul-de-sacs and said that the Solar Village is on a cul-de-sac.

Council members expressed concerns about hunters who use the nearby Assun- pink Wildlife Management Area using the proposed Solar Village parking. Clark noted that hunters could already park on the Farm Lane extension if they wanted to.

The council asked Clark to consult with Zoning Officer Ralph Kirkland, who would determine if a site plan review is needed for the project.

Clark said he hoped the borough could break ground on the parking project in the spring.

“Due to the DEP delay, we lost this building season,” he said. “We don’t want to lose another and we don’t want to lose the grant.”

Clark added that CDBG administrators thought the parking project would be finished by now.