12 Bellmawr Park Mutual Housing Units to be Replaced, Relocated 

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The Bellmawr Zoning Board approved a Resolution at its October 18 meeting granting preliminary and final major site plan approval for the replacement and relocation of 12 Bellmawr Park Mutual Housing units.

The 12 impacted units are located on Hickory Place, Willow Place, and Victory Drive.

Six of the units will be relocated to Essex Avenue across from the baseball fields. The other six units will be relocated to the dead-end area on Peach Road.

Essex Avenue Bellmawr

(Photos by SJO). Above photo is of the Essex Avenue site and below photo is of the Peach Road site.

Bellmawr Park Dead End

The 12 units/five buildings are being relocated due to the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) I-295/I-76/Route 42 Interchange project.

Steve Bach, of Bach Associates, P.C., testified before the Bellmawr Zoning Board. He said that the new units are to be the “functional equivalent” of the units they are replacing. Also, the layout for the replacement units must mimic what currently exists throughout Bellmawr Park.

Design considerations also had to be followed in order to meet DOT criteria. “These units, and the entire [Bellmawr] Park, are considered historic in nature. We had to follow the Department of Interior’s guidelines for historic preservation.  As for the different footprints of the buildings, if someone had an addition…we had to mimic the functional square footage…of the interior spaces,” Bach said.

*Construction is required to be completed by year end 2017, with occupancy in early 2018.

Additional excerpts from Bach’s testimony included highlights about Essex Avenue and Peach Road.

Essex Avenue

Bach said that the area will be cleared and graded to accommodate the development. There will also be a parking court.

Peach Road

The Peach Road site had challenges because of known water issues. A roadway extension at the end of Peach Road was proposed in addition to a storm water management basin. Peach Road will have a private drive and a parking court. It will remain a dead-end, just longer.

Questions From Residents

A resident from Booth Drive asked about flooding and the water issue.

Bach said that storm water will be accommodated in full accordance with the Borough’s regulations and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Best Management Practices.

The resident also asked also asked if her property would be affected during construction. Bach said there will be no disturbance, no impact to any adjacent properties, and that there won’t be any increased storm water to the residential properties on Booth Drive. The storm water basin will accommodate the flow, he said.

Bach also provided clarification to a Devenney Drive resident by explaining that the resident will only see the rear of the new units and that all water, sewer, cable, Fios, and electric service will be serviced off the extension of Peach Road.

Historical Background of Bellmawr Park Mutual Housing Corp.

The property was one of eight experimental housing developments constructed during World War II to house shipyard workers. In 1941 and 1942, 500 multi-family units were constructed in structures containing either two our four units. Subsequently in 1953, residents of the development formed the Bellmawr Park Mutual Housing Corporation and purchased the property from the Federal Government. The development continues to operate in the same way since that time.

Photographs

Below are some of the photographs of the drawings that Steve Bach referred to during his testimony to the Zoning Board.

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Above photo is the Site Plan for Essex Avenue.

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Above photo is the Landscape and Lighting Plan for Essex Avenue.

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Above photo is Landscape and Lighting Plan for Peach Road.

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Above photo is the Overall Site Plan.

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Above photo is the Grading Plan – Basin

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Above photo is the Grading Plan for Peach Road.

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Above photo is the Utility Plan Plan for Essex Avenue.

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Above photo is the Grading Plan for Essex Avenue.

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Above photo is the Demolition Plan for Peach Road.

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Above photo is the Site Plan for Peach Road.

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Above photo is the Demolition Plan for Essex Avenue.

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Above photo is the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for Essex Avenue.

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Photo Above is Site Plan – Basin.

*Article updated on November 28, 2016 at 11:55 a.m. to correct the date of occupancy as early, 2018.

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