By Eric Kollinger
Eatontown — On Monday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m., the Eatontown Planning Board met to discuss issues both old and new.
The Resolutions memorialized at the meeting included a denial of Eatontown Ventures LLC Development of Old Orchard. The developers had wanted to turn the golf course and country club into retail and senior housing, but most local residents objected.
The resolution was quietly approved by the board, but the next item on the agenda – discussing the future use of the property – did not progress quite as smoothly.
The committee addressed the current status of the Old Orchard Parcel. Board member Dan Drury said that members voted to keep the zoning as is and that when different developments come up, the board will go from there.
However, Mayor Gerald Tarantolo said the discussion was about the master plan and not zoning.
While he agreed that some of the property should be used as open space preservation, Tarantolo questioned if other parts couldn’t be utilized differently to benefit Eatontown. He believed that the land near Route 36 could be used for more commercial purposes and some of the green area could be redefined for other uses. The mayor asked the planning board to reconsider their decision.
The majority of the planning board did not support the mayor’s idea. board member Mark Woloshin speculated that such use of the property would increase the amount of traffic in the area, and noted that not enough money was even raised yet to start land development.
Drury argued that the environmental advantages of preserved open space outweigh the need for more commercial establishments.
Mayor Tarantolo stood his ground and pleaded for the members to consider all of the different options and do what is best for Eatontown.
During the arguing over Old Orchard, a resident sitting in the audience was heard loudly saying “When will it end?”
Ultimately the board decided they will review the Master Plan again and discuss further at a later date.
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Next on the agenda was a request for the approval of a new site plan for Monmouth Cardiology, which will be located on 11 Meridian Road.
While the applicant had previously been given permission to build a three-story office building, the site plan was revised to accommodate a one-story building. The candidate also wanted to change the plan to include more parking stalls.
The board heard testimony from both a civic engineer and an architect. Tom Nycce, a resident living close to the proposed site, worried that the extended parking lot would affect his property and the trees surrounding the area. The representatives for the new building intend to document resident issues to the contractor so that other properties/trees aren’t affected.
The board approved the new site plan.
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The public comment portion at the end of the meeting included complaining about the high taxes and lack of public information, but also more on Old Orchard.
Residents expressed their belief that Old Orchard golf course was still viable and that the board’s decision was premature. This long debated topic will no doubt be discussed further at the Eatontown Planning Board meeting scheduled for October 14.