Board does not reach decision on Jackson commercial plan

Staff Writer

JACKSON — A hearing on the proposed construction of Pinewood Village, a commercial enterprise, has been carried to the Sept. 1 meeting of the Jackson Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Testimony regarding the application was presented at the June 16 meeting of the zoning board.

Pinewood Village is proposed to be constructed on Woodbury Drive, off Route 537, on the road that leads into The Preserve residential development.

Zoning officer Jeff Purpuro said five buildings are proposed at Pinewood Village.

Plans include a two-story building with 12,000 square feet of office space; three retail buildings of 11,700 square feet, 1,200 square feet and 800 square feet; and an 8,000-square-foot child care center. Each building will be on its own lot.

The primary variance the applicant is seeking is for a billboard, according to Purpuro.

Bill Santos, who chairs the zoning board, said testimony presented at the June 16 meeting focused on traffic, a detention basin and drainage from the site.

“The biggest concern right now is the drainage,” he said. “The residents [who live near the proposed construction site] said some of their basements have been flooded. They showed pictures of the wet basements and they were very concerned with the additional parking lots and buildings that could compound their issues.”

Santos said an additional detention basin is proposed to be put in the area, which would be expected to handle any runoff.

Residents have previously indicated that they object to the commercial project being constructed on the road leading into their neighborhood.

A similar application was before the Planning Board in 2005 and drew objection from residents of The Preserve at that time. The residents argued that the construction of several buildings, including a day care center for children, would have brought unwanted traffic to their neighborhood. The project was never built, but it has now come before the zoning board.

In other zoning board news, Santos said he has asked not to be reappointed to the panel.

“I have been going to night meetings for 25 years,” he said. “I’ve been on the planning board, the rent board and several others, and it would be nice not to have to go” to all of those meetings.

“Maybe if I take a year off and something opens up, I might be interested,” Santos said. “I enjoy it, but I was thrilled that June 16 was my last meeting.”

He said it takes a lot of time to read through the applications, to visit the sites to get different perspectives on each application and to see things as the neighbors of a particular property see them.

“It takes time to do it right,” Santos said.