Downtown Toms River Developer Wants to Build Higher

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TOMS RIVER, NJ – A developer, 27 Washington Street Associates wants to rebuild higher after a fire destroyed the former building located at the corner of Washington Street and Robbins Parkway. In 2013, the building was gutted by fire and subsequently demolished. Today, a temporary open park space sits on the lot.

Three years ago, 27 Washington Street Associates was granted approval to rebuild on the site. A plan was submitted and approved for a six-story, 66-foot tall building with a roof deck. Now the owners want to build higher. They want to add an additional level to include a ground floor retail level and six additional floors above, increasing the height by 7 additional feet.

This come after Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill and the township council approved a 10-story twin tower apartment building on Water Street.

Under the township code, buildings are restricted to a height of 55 feet.

The township is now pushing for taller high density buildings in the downtown village area in hopes that it will increase foot traffic and visitors to the Downtown Toms River section of town. A hearing has been scheduled for June 9th at 6:30 pm at town hall.

You can read the official public notice below.

TOWNSHIP OF TOMS RIVER ZONING BOARD PUBLIC NOTICE Please take notice that on June 9, 2022 in the L. Manuel Hirshblond Meeting Room in the Township of Toms River Municipal Building at 33 Washington Street, Toms River, New Jersey, the Township of Toms River Zoning Board will hold a hearing on the application of the undersigned at which time and place all interested parties will be given an opportunity to be heard.

Said meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. The premises in question are located in the Village Business Development Zone, at Block 662, Lot 5, on the Toms River Township Tax Map and are more commonly known as 27 Washington Street, Toms River, New Jersey.

The applicant received preliminary and final site plan approval, together with a (d)6 height variance by resolution of the Toms River Zoning Board of Adjustment on June 13, 2019, to construct a mixed-use retail and residential building, with a rooftop deck.

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As part of that approval, the Board required that: “The applicant shall provide for an elevator to the roof area, and the Applicant shall provide for a public restroom on the roof which shall be open at all times that the roof is open to any members of the public and the Applicant shall provide revised plans evidencing these conditions;” The Board further provided by resolution that: “Any changes to the plans resulting in a height as measured by Ordinance requirements greater than 66 ft. shall require the Applicant to return to the Board for amended approval.”

Applicant seeks amended preliminary and final site plan approval of the plan revisions requested by the Zoning Board which includes the rooftop bathrooms and elevator shaft that protrude above the rooftop deck. These requested changes require a variance for maximum height of 73 feet with 6 stories above the ground floor retail use, where 66 feet with 6 stories above the ground floor retain use was previously granted by variance, and 55 feet with 5 stories above the ground floor retail use is permitted in Village Business Development Zone. The applicant further requests two one-year statutory extensions of the prior final site plan approval.

Applicant will also seek any and all other variances and/or design waivers which may be requested or required by law. A copy of said application and supporting documents are on file with the Secretary of the Toms River Zoning Board at 33 Washington Street, Toms River, New Jersey, and may be inspected during normal business hours in the Office of the Zoning Board by all interested parties prior to said meeting. GREGORY J. HOCK, ESQ. D’Arcy, Johnson, Day, PC Attorney for Applicant(s), 27 Washington Street Associates, LLC