A developer that was limited to building homes with no more than four bedrooms received permission from the Toms River Township planning board last week to offer homes with five bedrooms or more in the development, which is currently under construction.
Stonehill at Toms River, being constructed on a 6.81 acre parcel situated between Lakehurst Road and Route 37, received approval in Sept. 2019. The project was proposed to consist of 16 lots which would be developed with residential homes. Another two plots would be utilized for a commercial office and a stormwater basin. As a condition of approval, the developer agreed that each single-family home may not contain more than four bedrooms.
The developer, R. Stone & Company, returned to the planning board last week seeking permission to offer an unrestricted number of bedrooms on 10 of the 16 lots. The deed restriction limiting homes to four bedrooms will continue on the remaining six lots. Professionals hired by the developer said the company offers pre-designed homes from a catalog that includes models with five bedrooms. Custom homes are also available.
Toms River’s zoning ordinances do not limit the number of bedrooms that can be offered in a newly-constructed home. Size limitations are based on the overall square footage of the structure as well as the certificate of occupancy issued by authorities, plus the number of parking spaces a particular building can support. In the case of Stonehill, the limitation on bedrooms was a deed restriction imposed as a condition of approval.
“I’m not familiar with any other restrictions in terms of bedrooms,” said Township Planner Dave Roberts, explaining that Stonehill offered to add 10-feet to the driveway of the homes in question, which would support additional off-street parking.
“With the additional 10-feet, with a 40-foot driveway … they would have enough for four parking spaces as long as the driveway was 18-feet wide,” Roberts said, assuming each home has a two-car garage.
One resident opposed lifting the restriction.
“The area does not have five bedroom homes,” said Maria Matarazzo. “I live in the area and I don’t want all these houses with five bedrooms. It’s going to lead to more traffic, and where it is – it’s right on Smith Road – when you try to come out, it’s a nightmare.”
The board ultimately disagreed, allowing the limitation to be lifted on the 10 lots, in a 6-1 vote.