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12/08/04

Planning Board turns down subdivision

By LOIS A. KAPLAN - Staff Writer
Published in the Ocean County Observer

JACKSON -- The township's Planning Board denied a pending application Monday night by Orleans Home Builders of Blue Bell, Pa. to construct a 400-home subdivision on the banks of the Toms River in Jackson. The proposed subdivision, called Grawtown Estates, was to consist of 408 homes on 303 acres.

After hearing testimony during two Planning Board meetings, of which this was the second, the board denied preliminary approval when the applicant refused to continue presenting testimony at a future board meeting. Owing to the scope of the application, the board determined that it could not approve it without adequate opportunity for members of the public, including Jackson Residents for Smart Growth, to hear all of the applicant's witnesses, cross-examine them, and present testimony from their own experts. According to Lawrence C. Kroll, attorney for Jackson Residents for Smart Growth, the Planning Board did "a great job of evaluating the interests of all parties and ensuring the rights of the citizens of Jackson Township were protected." Raymond F. Shea, attorney for the applicant, yesterday declined to comment.

Planning Board attorney Patrick Sheehan said yesterday that the board denied the application because the applicant would not agree to extend the time for a decision, despite the fact that several of the applicant's witnesses had yet to testify.

from the Ocean County Observer
Published on December 8, 2004