A 32-acre parcel of land considered for construction of 59 single family homes on Laurel Avenue in the Breton Woods section of Brick Township now will likely be preserved as open space under the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund program.
“We are very pleased that this parcel of land in Brick Township could now remain as open space,” said Ocean County Commissioner Virginia E. Haines, liaison to the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund. “This property meets the requirements of the County’s open space program and will be a benefit to the residents of Brick Township and Ocean County.”
The proposed purchase received the approval of the Ocean County Natural Lands
Trust Fund Advisory Committee, which voted on preserving the parcel during its Jan. 25
“There has been extensive discussion and review of this land by the committee,” Haines said. “The next step is for the Ocean County Board of Commissioners to schedule a public hearing on the purchase before final approval can be given to preserve the land.”
The Ocean County Board of Commissioners is expected to hold the public hearing during the Board’s March 1 meeting at 4 p.m. at the Ocean County Administration Building.
“The site consists of over 30 acres of mature, upland, oak and pine forest,” Haines noted. “The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has identified the site as an area of special concern for the Eastern Box Turtle and it also serves as a important migratory bird habitat.
“Existing trails on this site have been enjoyed by surrounding residents and in partnership with Brick Township, the site will be permanently preserved for the enjoyment of the public,” she said.
Preservation of this tract also protects a groundwater recharge area and prevents further development and stormwater runoff which would impact the environmentally sensitive Metedeconk River and Barnegat Bay.
The property owner, DR Horton of Mount Laurel, has accepted a negotiated offer
Brick Township will partner with Ocean County on the purchase providing $1,710,000 from the Township and $6,840,000 from Ocean County. Both the Township and County will seek grant funding from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres program.
A development application for the property which was being heard by the Brick Township Planning Board could have resulted in the construction of 59 single family homes.
Brick Township anticipates developing a six acre parcel of the site adjacent to the Osbornville Elementary School into a playground. The Township has also committed to maintaining the entire site through a maintenance agreement with the County.
“Ocean County appreciates Brick Township’s interest in partnering with us on this acquisition,” said Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners Joseph H.
Vicari. “We are pleased that we can purchase the property and keep it as open space
forever. I appreciate the efforts of Brick Township to develop six acres to benefit the
local school children.
“Certainly, this purchase answers the concerns of the many residents that encouraged the preservation of the land,” Vicari said.