New Jersey Housing and Neighborhood Development, Inc. (NJ HAND) retained VNHA to provide full-service surveying, engineering and permitting services for a 52-Acre, 480-unit affordable housing development in Lakewood Township, Ocean County.
Regulatory compliance required obtaining a Coastal Area Facilities Review Act (CAFRA) Individual Permit from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Ocean County Soil Conversation District Certification, and Ocean County Planning Board Site Plan/Subdivision approval, and Lakewood Township Site Plan/Subdivision approval. The project site was forested and identified by the NJDEP as containing critical wildlife habitat. For submission of the CAFRA application, VNHA prepared a detailed environmental inventory of the site’s natural resources and a project justification/alternatives analysis that successfully demonstrated the need for affordable housing for Lakewood Township outweighing environmental concerns for site. As a result, the project received a CAFRA approval from the NJDEP. To mitigate the loss of critical wildlife habitat, VNHA worked with NJ HAND and Lakewood Township to identify forested preservation areas to be deed restricted from future development, which will compensate for the loss of habitat caused by construction of the project.
Successful NJDEP approval of this project demonstrates VNHA’s ability to present sound justification for a project that minimizes impacts to environmentally sensitive areas to the extent practicable, while considering State and local environmental and economic interests.