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Zoning Board’s Conclusions on Relocating 12 Bellmawr Park Mutual Housing Units

The Borough of Bellmawr has uploaded the Zoning Board’s Resolution of Findings and Conclusions regarding the replacement and relocation of 12 units within the Bellmawr Park residential community.

The proposed relocation was necessitated by the State of New Jersey’s acquisition of a portion of the Bellmawr Park Property for the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) Direct Connection project.

Included in the Resolution of Findings and Conclusions are detailed excerpts from Steven Bach’s testimony. Bach is a professional engineer and planner and he testified before the Zoning Board on October 18.

Construction & Occupation

  • Construction is required to be completed by year end 2017, with occupancy in early 2018.

Background Information:

  • The development of the Property is for the relocation of five buildings, representing 12 residential units, within Bellmawr Park, and related site improvements, resulting from the acquisition of 1.29 acres of the Property for right-of-way purposes in connection with the Direct Connect project of NJDOT.
  • As part of the acquisition process with NJDOT, it was a requirement that suitable land within the remaining 75.4 acres of Bellmawr Park Property be found to relocate the five buildings.
  • Bellmawr Park consists of 500 residential units constructed by the Federal government between the years 1941 through 1945 and is just one of eight residential developments of this type in the country.
  • The property was purchased from the Federal government in 1954.
  • Because of the historical nature of the site, the NJDOT is funding the replacement and relocation of the 12 residential units. The United States Department of Interior requires that the five new buildings be identical in shape and size as the buildings being demolished.
  • After analyzing the Bellmawr Park Property and incorporating the requirements of NJDOT and the Department of Interior, one area off Essex Avenue and one area at the end of Peach Road, were deemed suitable for the relocation of the 12 residential units.

Essex Avenue

  • The Essex Avenue portion will consist of three buildings for six of the 12 units being relocated with 20 parking spaces being provided (19 parking spaces and one handicapped space).
  • Storm water management will include a basin designed in accordance with the Borough of Bellmawr Ordinances and the NJDEP Best Management requirements.
  • The closest residents to the Essex Avenue basin are other Bellmawr Park residents.
  • The Essex Avenue basin will be enclosed by a four foot high chain link coated fence.
  • Three street lights will be provided for the Essex Avenue portion, each 15 feet in height with 0.25 foot candles.
Essex Avenue Bellmawr
(Photo by SJO) Essex Avenue location is across from Bellmawr Baseball.

Peach Road

  • The Peach Road portion will consist of two buildings for the remaining six of the 12 units being relocated and will include four units with driveways that accommodate two off-street parking spaces each and a parking court that will accommodate 12 additional parking spaces and one handicapped space.
  • Peach Road is an existing street that will be extended for the relocation of the six units.
  • Barriers will separate public Peach Road from the private Peach Road to prevent use as a traffic cut through.
  • A storm water basin will be located behind the Forest Drive residential properties to handle the storm water drainage of the Peach Road portion of the project.
  • The Peach Road basin is approximately 75 feet from the rear property lines of the Forest Drive properties and located on an area of the Bellmawr Park property that is cleared and is at a lower elevation than the Forest Drive properties.
  • Two street lights will be provided for the Peach Road parking court and will have the same 15 foot height and 0.25 foot candles as the Essex Avenue portion.
  • The Peach Road parking court will accommodate turn around needs for large vehicles and will serve as the lay down area when the project is being constructed.

    Dead End Bellmawr
    Photo by SJO. Peach Avenue location is in the dead end.

Storm Water Basins

  • A maintenance manual will be provided for the storm water basins and the required storm water management declaration will be recorded.
  • The storm water basins cannot infiltrate and will not hold water. The basins will drain to the creek via a series of inlets and collection lines.
  • The storm water management system for Essex Avenue and Peach Road has been designed to reduce the amount of water going into the Borough’s system, to reduce the amount of water flowing off of the property, and to improve an existing drainage issue in the area impacting both Borough residents and Bellmawr Park residents.

Trash Collection, New Water & Sewer Lines

  • Trash collection for the 12 relocated units will be the same as it currently exists with trash cans for each unit and not by a common area dumpster.
  • The new water and sewer lines will be dedicated to the Borough.
  • The streets in Bellmawr Park were never dedicated to the Borough, but there is an agreement in place for the Borough to maintain the streets within Bellmawr Park.

No Environmental Concerns

  • An NJDEP LOI [Letter of Interpretation] is in place and the development of the property will not encroach into wetlands or wetlands buffer areas.
  • Environmental tests have been performed on the Essex Avenue and Peach Road portions of the property and no environmental concerns were found.

Residents’ Concerns

During the public portion of the October 18, 2016 hearing, residents, Joseph Roshinko, Angela Boucher, and Annette Lauer asked questions and expressed concerns.

  • Roshinko of Devenney Drive was concerned with the utilities servicing the two areas of the property being developed.
  • Bach responded that the Peach Road portion was closest to Devenney Drive and that all utilities servicing this portion would be entirely within the Peach Road extension.
  • Boucher of Booth Drive was concerned with storm water as the Booth Drive area has had water issues.
  • Bach responded that the development of the property as proposed does not result in an increase in storm water draining to Booth Drive and reduces the amount of storm water flowing off-site and into the Borough’s storm water system.
  • Lauer of Booth Drive was concerned with the basin that will be located behind her house.
  • Bach responded that this basin is located 75 feet from her property line and is at a lower elevation than her property.

The full Resolution that contains all of the Zoning Board’s findings and conclusions can be viewed below:

 

Bellmawr Park Mutual Housing Relocation

 

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