BRICK — Residents gathered at the Township Municipal Building on Wednesday evening to hear development plans for Breton Woods, a 31.6-acre woodlot owned by the nearby Church of the Visitation, before City Council officials schedule does not end the meeting.
The proposal before the Brick Planning Board – for developer DR Horton to buy the church land and build 59 single-family homes – has drawn ire from neighbors who want to see the woods preserved.
At Wednesday’s meeting, residents – some with signs or shirts protesting the project – filled the meeting room and hallway of the municipal building outside where Planning Board officials met with architects , lawyers and professionals of DR Horton. They took all the seats and stood along the walls in front of the board officials, noting that the room was full and people in the hallway could not enter due to fire code limitations, announced that the meeting would be postponed and moved to a larger room.
The new meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on March 21 at the Brick Civic Plaza, 270 Chambers Bridge Road.
The environmental organization Save Barnegat Bay also prepared to fight the development plan. The group hired a lawyer to represent its concerns and objected to any board member who might be affiliated with the church participating in the hearing.
Previously:The woods belonging to the church could turn into houses, and Brick’s neighbors don’t like it
The organization and Brick officials have expressed interest in having the property purchased through the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust, a program that purchases and preserves land of environmental value.
Visitation Church purchased the parcel in 1983 from Brick Township for $10,500, according to Ocean County property records. Former church leaders originally hoped the land would be used to build a new house of worship and school, but dwindling church membership has led to a different future for the property, a Reverend Edward Blanchett told Asbury Park Press earlier this month.
Amanda Oglesby is from Ocean County and covers the townships of Brick, Barnegat and Lacey as well as the environment. She has worked for the press for more than a decade. Reach her at @OglesbyAPP, [email protected] or 732-557-5701.