Prior to a major hearing on downtown redevelopment on the mainland in Toms River, the township’s planning board approved two applications for properties in Ortley Beach, including a subdivision.
One property is located in the northern reaches of the neighborhood, with the subdivision being located along Route 35 in the southernmost portion. Both were approved by the board.
First, the board approved a conditional use variance to allow the construction of a two-family home on an empty parcel on Diane Lane, a small side street that runs parallel to Dover Avenue (known as First Avenue west of Route 35) near the oceanfront. The home will be built at 1 Diane Lane on a 7,120 square foot lot.
The subdivision along Route 35 north concerns an 8,724 square foot property located at 38 Beach Drive, which is set at the corner of the state highway and the Vision Beach community. Beach Drive begins east of Route 35, and its public iteration between the highway and the bay is known as Eisenhower Avenue.
The application called for subdividing the property into two lots. It did not include any proposals for actual construction, however the newly-created parcels will be located within the GB-MF (General Business-Multifamily) zone. There are restrictions on the lot imposed by the Vision Beach homeowners’ association, however, which go above and beyond the jurisdiction of the planning board.
A neighbor did object, indicating that she was concerned with the elevation of the lot, as “truckloads” of fill have been brought in, causing water to flow toward her property. The objectors asked for the homes that are expected to be eventually proposed for the property to face the highway instead of the residential street.
Harvey York, the attorney for the applicant, Surf Partners LLC, argued this was unreasonable since there is simply not enough room along the highway to comply with the township’s zoning ordinance, nor is it fair to force homeowners to front a highway when there is more room on a quieter side street.
“We are going to meet the requirements of the ordinance in terms of the number of parking spaces,” he said. “The variances – I don’t care if you put a one-family or two-family – these variances are going to be required. No matter how you set it up, you’re not going to have enough frontage on the street.”
Both applications were approved by the board.