Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union held a groundbreaking ceremony last Thursday, Oct. 18, just eight months after talks officially began with Galloway Township for development of the site at 326 Jimmie Leeds Road.
The process moved quickly because of the township’s use of a Development Review Committee (DNC), Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola said during the council meeting on Tuesday night, Oct. 23.
For a fee of $350, developers can meet with Township Manager Tiffany Cuviello, Township Engineer Kevin Dixon, an attorney and select members of the Planning Board. This committee works with the developer in helping alter their designs where needed to fit the township’s requirements.
According to Cuviello, the DNC has been in existence since “at least 1990.”
“Previously, we just imposed our codebook on developers and it was up to them,” Coppola said. “This makes the process a lot easier and it goes by a lot quicker. The credit union spoke with the DRC in February and in less than a year, it went from the DRC to putting a shovel in the ground.”
The project is expected to be complete by next October.
“Economic development doesn’t happen over night,” Mayor Don Purdy said. “For the review committee to meet with the developer and be able to work it out and have it done before the planning board meeting, that saves the developer a lot of money.
“I’ve never seen a project move this quickly.”
Coppola estimated the savings for developers could be “in the tens of thousands of dollars.”
“If they don’t meet with the planner, they could spend as much as $30,000 on engineering fees and site work,” Coppola said. “This way, they can maintain full compliance with the codes, regulations and waivers.”
According to Cuviello, the DNC meets twice a month, prior to scheduled Planning Board meetings. It meets at the request of an applicant, and the frequency of meetings was doubled last year to be more accessible to applicants. Prior to last year, it met once a month.
Applicants wishing to meet with the DNC must submit a request to do so at least one week prior to a Planning Board meeting.
Applications can be filed through Planning Board Secretary Pamela Alleyne’s office. She can be reached at 609-652-3700, ext. 218.