Drainage an issue in proposal for 18-home site in Marlboro

Staff Writer

MARLBORO — A public hearing is expected to continue before the Marlboro Planning Board on July 1 on an applicant’s plan to construct 18 single-family homes in a new cul-de-sac off Texas Road.

A May 20 hearing on the Monarch Pointe, LLC, application was halted when board members expressed significant concerns about drainage on the property and the potential impact of drainage on neighboring residences on Rachel Drive.

The applicant is proposing to construct 18 homes on lots ranging in size from about a half-acre to 1 acre along a new street that would be created on Texas Road in the Morganville section of Marlboro.

Attorney Sal Alfieri represents the applicant. Testimony was previously heard in March.

The Monarch Pointe property is higher than surrounding properties, and that topographical feature was the focus of testimony by professionals representing the applicant and by board members.

Professional engineer Tim Lurie described an 18-inch-tall retaining wall that would be constructed behind existing homes on Rachel Drive. He explained that the landscape feature consisting of interlocking blocks would direct the flow of water from homes in the new development to a detention basin.

The description of the retaining wall did not sit well with board Vice Chairman Gerald Bergh, who said, “The retaining wall needs to be permanent. Interlocking blocks are not permanent. That wall needs to stand the test of time. It needs to be concrete and reinforced with steel rods.”

Bergh went on to say, “I am not happy with what has been presented so far (regarding land grading and the elevation of the property). We have to protect the future homeowners who are going to move in here. I am not satisfied with how this has been presented. Two-thirds of these lots in my view have a problem.”

Board Chairman Larry Josephs expressed concern about the proposed development’s impact on neighboring properties, drainage, ground water runoff, rain water runoff, property elevations, grading and the possibility of soil erosion.

“I don’t think we are quite where we need to be yet. Ten or 15 years down the road we will have an ‘oops’ on our hands. The homeowners (in Monarch Pointe and on Rachel Drive) will be having problems and the developer will be gone,” Josephs said.

“I apologize to Mr. Lurie, but we have had so many issues” with drainage in Morganville. “We wake up and there is a mess. The residents are not happy with us. These are things we constantly have to be aware of.”

After listening to the comments and questions from Josephs and Bergh, Afieri said that in order “to avoid a slow, uncomfortable death,” his client would carry the application to a date “when our engineer can present something acceptable.”

The Monarch Pointe application was carried to the board’s July 1 meeting.