There was loud chatter in the vestibule of the last night that interrupted the White Castle hearing before the Planning Board.
It emanated from people gathering to weigh in on the next scheduled hearing of the hotly contested 324-unit residential development proposed for the 62-acre former on Middletown-Lincroft Road.
That hearing never happened. Due to the Planning Board’s desire to “wrap up” the White Castle hearing, it was carried to May 2, said Rick Brodsky, attorney for the site’s developer, Four Ponds Center Associates.
About half way through what ended up being a more than four-hour White Castle hearing, Planning Board officials decided to take a break and tell the residents waiting for the to go home and come back in May.
There was some grumbling as the residents disbursed.
The objectors have demonstrated many times before that they are in no hurry for the hearings to wrap up to a potential approval of the plan that they have maintained will ruin their quality of life with clogged traffic arteries, contrasting character, property value loss and a strain on the school system.
Officials have said it will be scrutinized as heavily as possible, in light of residents’ concerns, and will take a long time to get approved — maybe even years.
The plan is in conformance with all current township zoning. No variances are being sought. It also calls for roughly 68 affordable housing units, in compliance with the state’s Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) mandates.
Do you think pushing the hearing delay is good or bad news for the objectors? Do you think fighting conforming development is worth residents’ and the township’s potential legal costs? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.