A site plan hearing on a proposed 469-unit apartment complex, 130-room extended stay hotel, and a 20,000 square foot retail space on a 50-acre Route 206 lot continues during Thursday's Planning Board meeting—but faces concern over traffic to and from the site.
“I’ve been on this corner for 25 years, so I know how the traffic is on this intersection,” Mike Avolio, Owner, said. “I’ve seen I can’t count how many accidents.
“I’m not against the project, because I’m a small business owner,” he added. “But I’m worried about the safety issue. It’s (Route 206) not going to have enough room.”
The site plan suggests two site entrances, both of which open onto Route 206.
One of the entrances would allow drivers to make a right turn into the site, and exit it by making another right onto Route 206 North. A second entrance, which is located south of the first, would include a full-turn access that allows drivers access to northbound and southbound lanes.
It’s the combination of existing traffic, a nearby light on Valley Road and the potential increase in traffic that worries Avolio.
“I’ve had my customers get hit out there,” Avolio said. “If you take your eyes off the road for a minute, and you’re going 45 miles per hour, and the light changes, you’re hitting whoever’s coming.”
The applicant, Route 206 Enterprises, hopes to bring its traffic expert to Thursday's meeting, however, lawyer William B Savo acknowledged that a discussion with township and county traffic experts may not be complete by the meeting. In that case, the applicant’s architecture and clean-up experts will present.
Avolio said he would attend the meeting, and thought several area residents would also attend. He’s unsure what the presentation will involve, but said he looks forward to hearing the traffic expert.
The proposed plan includes 352 market-rate apartments and 117 affordable housing units, which would occupy about 24 two to three-story buildings. The buildings can be a maximum of 48 feet in height, according to the township’s Green Village ordinance.
In addition, the apartment site would have a swimming pool and recreation area at the property center.
Meanwhile, the extended-stay hotel, which does not have a vendor attached to it, would occupy eight buildings in a 120,000 square-foot area. Retail buildings would occupy about 10,000 square feet.
But the increase in people from the site—and resulting increase in traffic as residents, hotel guests and those visiting the retail space—remains the top concern for Avolio.
“I don’t want to see someone get killed,” Avolio said. “That’s my main concern. I’m a businessman. I want to see the tax rate go down but it’s not worth the cost of someone’s life.”