The property on which a laundromat has stood on Route 35 for years has been granted approval for a subdivision that will allow for residential development. It is the second parcel of land along the state highway that Toms River planning officials have allowed to be subdivided for such development in as many months, prompting concerns among some residents.
Last week, the township’s planning board voted to approve an application by Shore Investments LLC to subdivide the property at 3190 Route 35 North in the Ocean Beach section. The application calls for the division of the 5,217 square foot lot into two properties that will be available for residential development.
In February, the board approved a subdivision of a similar lot that once housed a bank at 1801 Route 35 North in the Ortley Beach section.
Both applications generated comments from residents who are concerned that the barrier island’s business community is being supplanted by residential development at a fast pace – at the same time that officials are developing initiatives to bulk up the “downtown” feel of the Route 35 North corridor as more residents move to the island. Skyrocketing real estate values, however, have led to investors scooping up properties – including commercial properties – in order to develop them with residential improvements.
The same fear has led to policies specifically curtailing residential development in some areas of resort towns such as Beach Haven, on Long Beach Island. Lavallette officials have also expressed concern over residential development, as well as the Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association.
The laundromat parcel required a total of 16 variances for approval, related to various lot sizes and setbacks normally required under the township’s zoning ordinances. The individual residential homes to be built on the property will need separate approval from the township’s building department.
The laundromat property is currently for sale for $849,900.