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Luxury Homes Could Be Built At Site Of Former Oceanport Borough Hall

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OCEANPORT: The old borough hall that was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy will soon be demolished to make way for luxury homes.

Kendra Lelie of Clarke Caton Hintz, a firm hired by the borough to create a redevelopment plan for the former borough hall site on the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Monmouth Boulevard, explained the process moving forward for the property.

The borough hall site is currently zoned R-3 which permits single-family detached homes, parks and playgrounds, municipal buildings, libraries and public schools.

Lelie said the redevelopment plan will include the creation of a residential overlay zone. The R-3 zone allows for 12,000-square-foot lots and 3.7 units per acre.

"All the requirements from the R-3 zone apply to this residential overlay zone, however the caveat is that there is a preference that the density should not exceed 8 to 12 units on that parcel altogether," Lelie explained.

Mayor Jay Coffey said that designating the property as an area in need of rehabilitation will give the council more control of what will ultimately end up being built there.

Coffey has said that if the property is just put up for sale, it would just go to the highest responsible bidder. If it is named an area in need of rehabilitation, a request for offers to purchase (RFOTP) can be issued for the property which allows the borough to "dictate terms or have a much more broad scope available as to what can be built there."

"I think the intention is to have upscale homes," Coffey said

The council, with the exception of Councilwoman Patty Cooper, agreed with the proposed redevelopment plan and the planning board will now review it and give council any recommendations its members may have. Cooper said she was not sure if she agrees with the zoning plan.

"I didn't get a chance to read the entire report with the changes that have been made since it was just handed to me today," Cooper said. "I'm not sure I 100 percent agree with the zoning."

At the next council meeting, the borough will vote on a resolution to hire legal counsel to work on the framework for an RFOTP for the site.

The council also unanimously approved a resolution to award a contract to Frank Lurch Demolition Company, of Avon, for $377,000 for asbestos abatement and demolition of the former borough hall building and another building at Fort Monmouth where the new municipal complex will be located.

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