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Updated 50 minutes ago
Hampton Place, an upcoming, 39-single family conservation subdivision, will be able to start building homes once it addresses stormwater and retention pond issues per a recent Hampton Township Council meeting.
The new residential site, located off of West Hardies Road, just west of Lakewood Drive, is required to fulfill development requirements before building permits can be issued, similar to other developments, according to township manager Christopher Lochner.
John Berarducci, representing the Hampton Place developer Zokaites Properties, approached Hampton Township Council at its Feb. 15 meeting requesting to waive finishing some of those requirements in order to get started building, with the idea they would still try to fix any problems in the meantime.
However, council denied their request, saying they must fulfill these requirements prior to getting building permits.
The plan for the development initially was approved by council on Jan. 27, 2016.
Specifically, the developer needs to address problems with stormwater management and a retention pond. They also need to put some fencing and access road around the latter, which was yet to be completed as of early last week, according to Lochner.
The township has two contracted engineers, PVE Sheffler and Gateway Engineers which both reviewed the development and felt the storm water and retention pond wasn't working properly and may be leaking, according to discussion at the Feb. 15 council meeting.
“We just didn't think we should issue permits until those changes were addressed,” Lochner said.
Some residents voiced concern at the recent meeting, with several claiming the retention pond at the site was causing runoff onto their properties.
Township staff did visit these properties to investigate the concerns.
Berarducci indicated they were aware of the problems with the pond and were working to fix them, but were seeking to move forward with building while working on them.
He said there was a problem with the infiltration rate, it was moving quicker than they expected, and are trying to identify the problem. He acknowledged that the “pond is not functioning as it should,” but thinks it can be amended. He also said that the infiltration rate was also higher than anticipated.
“I am confident that we can certainly control the rate of infiltration,” Berarducci said. “We want to comply and have the pond functioning the way it's intended but it will need some tweaking.”
He also said that it was impractical to put in place the fencing and access road around the pond at this time.
Township council member Cary Montgomery said multiple factors could be affecting the situation as well, such as the excessive rain earlier in the month, as well as the change of seasons. But the pond needs to be fixed adequately regardless.
“I'm looking for longevity instead of what works right now,” Montgomery said.
Council President Victor Son said the developer just has to work on these before anything else can be done.
“If you satisfy to the engineers and staff then we can issue permits,” Son said.
Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.
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