Do the Potters still own the Property which is the subject of the application before the Holmdel Board of Adjustment?
No. The Potters sold the Property to The Enclave at Holmdel Inc., free and clear of any conditions. The land totals over 18 acres,15 acres of which had been what the Potters called a hobby farm, with grazing animals. The remainder of the property was used for commercial purposes, including a retail equipment center and a retail landscaping center (under zoning, these are called pre-existing nonconforming, which grants rights for future similar uses). The Enclave at Holmdel Inc. is a not for profit, legal entity which is part of United Methodist Communities.
Who is United Methodist Communities?
United Methodist Communities (UMC) is a faith-based not-for-profit organization founded over 100 years ago in Monmouth County to provide housing and services for New Jersey’s seniors. Today, UMC operates 9 senior living communities and a home health agency. Although Methodist in name, we serve people of all faiths and backgrounds. Our comprehensive care facilities provide skilled nursing, assisted living, memory support and independent living. UMC employs just over 1,000 people and serves 1,800 seniors across the State.
What will the Project look like?
The Enclave will be a tranquil residential village for dementia residents. There will be 11 single story single-family-size houses with an unobtrusive, residential-style secure perimeter linking them. Also, within the secure perimeter, next to the Parkway, and the furthest away from the adjacent residential neighborhood, there will be two 2-story residences, each containing two, stacked, single-family-size houses. There will also be a one-story town center building with gathering spaces for residents, potential residents, and visitors. The Enclave will have landscaped meadows and buffers. The homes are designed to have a farm house aesthetic, reminiscent of the rural nature of the original Potter’s Farm in the early 20th century, before the great majority of the farm was built on for the Garden State Parkway and the adjacent residential development.
What is The Enclave at Holmdel Inc. seeking from the Holmdel Board of Adjustment?
The Enclave at Holmdel Inc. is seeking a variance to build an assisted living village to serve dementia residents. While the present zoning does not specifically permit The Enclave to be built, The Enclave is an inherently beneficial use development which is favored under the applicable law.
The N.J. Municipal Land Use Law defines an “inherently beneficial use” as, “a use which is universally considered of value to the community because it fundamentally serves the public good and promotes the general welfare.” Such recognized uses include hospitals, dementia centers, assisted living, schools, childcare centers, and group homes.
As you drive along Red Hill Road, what kind of landscaping will you see?
At the Board’s request, a landscaping buffer along Red Hill Road has been extended, made denser, and will have evergreen trees along with flowering deciduous trees.
What will happen to the animals which are presently on the farm section of the Property?
The plan is to have some stay at the Enclave for the residents to engage with. The rest will be moved to the Potters’ new farm in Cream Ridge, NJ. The animals will not be “slaughtered,” as ill-advised people are falsely alleging.
Will the Enclave bistro and grocery store in the town center building be open to the general public?
The bistro cafe and grocery store are not retail operations and are for the exclusive use of the residents and their guests, as happens on any senior living campus. These will provide a sheltered setting reminiscent of normal, daily life and activities.
What will be the traffic impact from the operation of The Enclave?
The traffic impact will be negligible. There is a lot of traffic on Red Hill during peak hours. However, the traffic which will be generated from the Enclave, will largely take place during off-peak hours. The total volume of traffic from the Enclave in relation to other Red Hill traffic is minimal. These conclusions are based on multiple studies completed by UMC and The Enclave at Holmdel Inc’s traffic expert. The existing/prior commercial uses on the Property have generated significant large truck traffic for the existing wholesale landscaping and equipment operations. UMC’s construction of The Enclave will eliminate that heavy truck traffic from the site and from impacts on the surrounding streets.
Will Country View Road be extended into The Enclave?
No, The Enclave at Holmdel Inc. has stipulated that the Country View Road will not be extended into the Enclave. The stub of Country View Rd. at the property line would otherwise permit any other developer to build it out as a through street.
Will there be a sewer pumping station along Van Schoick Road?
No, the only pumping station will be subterranean and on the Enclave Property.
Will construction of the sewer line for the Enclave preclude Country View Estates from ever having sewers?
No, this doesn’t preclude Country View Estates from having sewer. However, this is a matter between the residents of Country View Estates and the Township of Holmdel.
Should neighbors feel safe that they will not be impacted by residents leaving the village and wandering into the neighborhood?
Yes, they have every reason to feel safe. The Enclave village has a secure perimeter, which allows the residents to enjoy the outdoors while remaining safe inside the confines of the village. The main entrance of the town center building is the only way in and out of the perimeter other than secure emergency entrances. The Enclave will utilize the best advances in technology to also ensure that the residents will be safe within the village.
What is COAH affordable housing and how does that relate to the Project?
Under N.J. law, every municipality is required to provide for its “fair share” of low -to -moderate income housing. Municipalities must reform their zoning ordinances, either to construct or to allow developers to build certain numbers of housing units that will be kept “affordable” according to a formula established by law, in order to compensate for zoning that otherwise, mostly due to requirements for large lot sizes, open space, etc., precludes people of modest means. Under this legal requirement, The Property had been proposed, by a prior contract purchaser, for “inclusionary” development, by a private entity, of 90 townhouses, which would have created four market-rate houses for each “affordable” dwelling. By contrast, The Enclave, as a State-approved assisted living facility, will provide Holmdel with a significant number of COAH credits, without requiring the associated market-rate housing, permitting a far less dense development.
If the Enclave isn't developed, what else could be developed there?
Under the present zoning, very large luxury homes, private or public schools, or municipal buildings could be built. Three acres of the Property are pre-existing commercial uses which could be extended for similar uses. Also under a COAH approval, the 18 acres could yield a high-density housing project.
Will the Property be preserved as a farm or open space?
The Enclave at Holmdel Inc. purchased the property to build and operate its care community which UMC expects to be a beacon of hope for those living with dementia. UMC has no plans to enter into an arrangement to give up this laudable goal. While some members of the public have advocated that the Property be preserved as a farm, farming has not, for many decades, been a financially viable use for this Property. Further, in any sale or “preservation”, the Property would be valued–according to both the underlying zoning and proposed inherently beneficial uses—in the millions of dollars. The Property, as proposed, will yield COAH credits, which precludes its forced sale for open space. Nor would the property come under Green Acres criteria: a voluntary program, which cannot be imposed on an unwilling seller by force. Even if voluntarily offered, any land parcel must be at least 20 acres to qualify. It also needs to be contiguous to other farms, which is not the situation with the Property.