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Montgomery Township Planning Board to Hold Public Hearing on Carrier Clinic Plans

The Montgomery News | February 6, 2024


Montgomery Township Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Monday, February 12 at 7 pm on an application submitted by HMH Carrier Clinic. The meeting will take place at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building, 100 Community Drive, in Skillman. All interested persons will be given an opportunity to be heard.


Carrier Clinic, located on East Mountain Road and Belle Mead-Blawenburg Road (County Route 601), seeks the following: Preliminary and final major site plan approval for the expansion and renovation of the existing Behavioral Health Facility on the subject premises.


The proposal is to reconfigure the existing facility to provide separate units for adolescent patients and adult patients and relocate administrative offices within the main hospital building, the current administrative office being demolished. The complex currently has 297 licensed beds including the 52 beds to be included in the proposed adolescent treatment unit. The 52 beds are being repurposed.


carrier clinic

Carrier Clinic in Montgomery Township.


The development includes a 45,000-square-foot more or less building addition, comprising the adolescent treatment unit, a 795-square-foot building addition containing offices and conference space and the repurposing of existing treatment rooms to administrative offices.


Carrier Clinic

Architect's rendering of the proposed adolescent unit.


Additional improvements include a masonry sign wall with roof canopy in the rear of the existing main hospital building, a greenhouse, 42 parking spaces, reconfiguration of driveways and parking areas, fences, waste enclosures, stormwater management facilities, pervious pavement, sidewalks, curbs, planting areas, façade signs and lighting.


The plan will also include the removal of existing trees, fences, 63 parking spaces, driveways, walkways, recreation areas, a 9,534-square-foot executive building, a trailer, and internal renovations to consolidate services.


Check the Montgomery Township website before attending as meeting dates are subject to change.


The application also seeks bulk variances and design waivers.


The design waivers, which are in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-51 and “c” bulk variances, which are in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70(c) are as follows:  


a. A variance for relief from Section 16-6.5.j.4(e) of the Land Development Ordinance of Montgomery Township (hereinafter “LDO”) which permits fences up to 10 feet high. The proposal is for a 14-foot-high anti-climb fence attached to the sides and rear of the adolescent unit building addition.


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b. A variance for relief from Section 16-6.5.j.6(a) of the LDO which requires a minimum distance of an addition to a building to a public street where the requirement is for the distance to be 100 feet and the proposal for the building addition is 78 feet. The public street in question is East Mountain Road.


c. A variance for relief from Section 16-6.5.j.6(b) of the LDO where a parking lot to a public street being East Mountain Road, is required to be 60 feet and the proposal is 49.7 feet and parking to the tract boundary is required to be 25 feet and the proposal is under that distance.


d. A variance for relief from Section 16-6.5.j.4(e) of the LDO requires that no fences or walls may be located within 60 feet of any public street or 25 feet from the tract boundary line. The proposal is for a chain link fence 14 feet more or less from and to the tract boundary line.


e. A variance for relief from Section 16-6.5.j.4(e) of the LDO which requires no fences or walls may be located within 60 feet of a public street or 25 feet from any tract boundary line. The proposal is for the split rail fence distance to East Mountain Road to be approximately 55 feet.


f. A variance for relief from Section 16-6.5.j.4(e) of the LDO which requires no fences or walls may be located within 60 feet of a public street or 25 feet from any tract boundary line. Distance of a fence with columns that is to be relocated is approximately 27 feet for this proposal. The fence is relocated along East Mountain Road.


g. A variance for relief from Section 16-6.5.j.6(d) of the LDO, which requires a buffer screening of 50 feet wide inside between developed portions of the site and any public street. The proposal proposes a landscape buffer area of 34.6 feet wide consisting of evergreen trees planted in a staggered row with clustered shrubs, perennials and lawn along East Mountain Road.


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h. A variance for relief from Section 16-6.5.j.10(d) and Section 16-6.5.j.10(e) of the LDO where the applicant proposes to produce non-glare lighting and there is a requirement for circuit timers for such lighting. The applicant proposes perhaps as determined by the Board at the hearing slight deviations from same and thus a variance may be needed.


i. A design waiver for relief from Section 16-5.6.d.3 of the LDO which requires 14 trees per acre on a non-residential development which would then require 1,213 trees. The proposal is to provide a net total trees of 75 which would be approximately the area of disturbance in accordance with Section 16-5.6.d.3(a) of the LDO.


j. Relief may be sought pursuant to Section 16-6.5.j.7(f) of the LDO which requires portions of the lot not covered by buildings or structures shall be suitably landscaped with grass, shrubs, trees. Relief may be asked for from this provision of the LDO.


k. Relief from Section 16-5.8.e of the LDO where the requirement is no perpendicular or angled parking may be incorporated into through access isles to parking areas. The proposal proposes a row of 11 parking spaces on the existing driveway in the side yard and a row of 9 parking spaces along the same driveway to the rear of the building and thus relief is required from that section of the LDO.


l. Possible relief from Section 16-5.8.f.3 of the LDO which states that parking spaces shall be dimensioned according to their definition in Section 16-2.1 of the LDO which states that parking spaces must be at least 9 feet by 20 feet except that the length may be reduced to 18 feet subject to approval of the board in instances where a 2-foot overhang exists beyond a curb and where such overhang does not interfere with any proposed and/or required landscaping. The proposal is for 9 by 18 foot parking spaces with a vehicle overhang area above proposed sidewalk. This design exception will not be necessary if the board approves the slighter parking space dimensions.


m. Possible relief from Section 16-5.8.f.3 of the LDO, ADA parking spaces shall be dimensioned according to their definition in Section 16-2.1 of the LDO which states that the ADA parking spaces shall be at least 12 by 20 feet except that the length may be reduced to 18 feet subject to the approval of the board. The proposal proposes 12 foot by 18 foot ADA parking spaces with a vehicle overhang area above proposed sidewalk. A design exception may be required from the above section of the LDO if the board does not approve the reduced parking dimensions.


n. Relief from Section 16-6.5.j.13(c) of the LDO which provides that each building shall be permitted a sign attached flat against the building at the main building entrance. The plan proposes 3 façade signs on several portions of the brick hospital building – i.e. adolescent unit addition and rear sign wall, and 2 façade signs on the ancillary service building (FRTC addition) for a total of 5 façade signs. Relief is therefore required from the above section of the LDO; however pursuant to Section 16-6.5.j.13(e) of the LDO, additional signage may be permitted by the Planning Board for good cause shown by the applicant, provided that such additional signage must be specially approved by the Board.


o. Relief from Section 16-6.5.j.13(c) of the LDO which requires each façade sign shall not exceed one-half square foot of sign area for one linear foot of the façade to which a sign is to be attached but in no case shall the sides of the sign exceed 50 square feet in area. The proposal proposes a façade sign of 118.8 feet at the main entrance to the proposed adolescent unit building addition.


p. Section 16-6.5.j.13(d) of the LDO requires a comprehensive plan of signs. But applicant seeks relief for this comprehensive sign plan showing existing signs and other features.


q. A variance for relief from Section 16-6.5.j.6(d)(3) of the LDO which requires no driveway shall be permitted in landscape buffers. The proposal is for a driveway aisle that is 34.6 feet from East Mountain Road and within the required 50 foot planting buffer.  


Additionally, Applicant seeks any variances and any waivers from the LDO that the Board may deem necessary at the time.  


The proposal of the Applicant is in accordance with the Optional Development Alternative as a Planned Behavioral Health Complex contained in the LDO in portions of the MR Mountain Residential District which replaces the standards of the MR Zone.  


The application, together with accompanying plans as well as other data and reports are on file with the Secretary of the Planning Board at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building, 100 Community Drive, Skillman, NJ 08558, and are available at such office for public inspection during regular business hours.  


Information from SCHATZMAN BAKER, attorneys for the applicant. By: Richard Schatzman Dated: January 26, 2024.

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