Ocean Township residents gathered in the Auditorium of the Ocean Township High School on Monday, January 29th for the Paramount Realty presentation of the proposed Ocean Town Center. Click http://www.oceantowncenter.com/site_plan.html to view the revised plan. Although the presentation featured a modified version of the development project, many residents are still opposing the project for reasons concerning traffic, increased crime, pollution and other negative environmental effects. Residents received informational brochures explaining the tree canopy decrease in the township and the negative impact including residential flooding and other environmental complications. The majority of the evening consisted of a question and answer session after the brief presentation, which included a video of the proposed plan. Representatives from Paramount Realty promoted the development by stating construction of the new jug handle will create an improved traffic pattern. However, residents questioned the validity of the new traffic pattern by pointing out the flow of traffic traveling Westbound on Deal Road crossing over Highway 35 would experience the same if not worse bottle-necking delays as traffic lanes merge. Another resident mentioned a driver using the jug-handle to turn left onto Highway 35 South could find it difficult to do so with the proposed traffic pattern. The Logan Road/Deal Road intersection was also a point of concern. Paramount Realty’s panel included several individuals involved in various aspects of the development project one being a traffic expert, who responded to questions pertaining to traffic related concerns. Other panel members responded to questions pertaining to environmental issues.
Regarding the Wawa/convenience store which is part of the proposed plan, Paramount Realty failed to provide a definitive response when they were questioned if a gas station needs assessment had been conducted for the area. Currently, Ocean Township has an abundance of gas station options including large and moderate size service stations. There is also no shortage of convenience stores. The question still remains: if Wawa opens in this proposed site, will this put some of the other service stations out of business? If so, this could have a negative impact on the area. The location of the proposed development project which includes the Wawa/convenience store is positioned near wetlands, Popular Brook, which flows into the Atlantic. Despite the safety guidelines, there is the groundwater hazard concern of petroleum products leaking into the ground in close vicinity to Popular Brook. Residents opposing the project can sign a petition by clicking https://www.change.org/p/residents-of-ocean-township-stop-the-development-of-ocean-towne-center-save-green-space-reuse-old-retail-space?recruiter=626756237&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=autopublish&utm_content=nafta_fb_canonical_share_3%3Acontrol.