Residents raise concerns about development along Centerton Road

Residents continue to raise concerns about the future of Centerton Road. At the most recent meeting of Moorestown Township Council, several residents questioned what the township will do to ensure the already highly-congested road does not become gridlocked once the new affordable housing sites are built. 

Construction along Centerton Road has been part of the township’s plan since 2018. The “Centerton Road property,” near the road’s intersection with Country Club Drive, will see 211 units for senior citizens in two buildings – one with 130 luxury housing units and one with 81 affordable rental units. The Nagle Tract will feature 152 total units with 30 percent set aside for affordable housing.

The road has seen a recent addition, however. When the Pennrose Site was in dispute, council was forced to open its affordable housing settlement with Fair Share Housing back up, and during that time, the Diocese of Trenton became an intervenor in the township’s affordable housing suit requesting its site be included in the township’s plan. The Diocese’s successful intervention meant that the township had to add the site to the overall plan. 

The township is moving forward with an inclusionary site at the Diocese of Trenton’s Centerton Road property. The site, located next to the Burlington County Agricultural Center (there is no street address assigned to the property), will be home to 83 townhouses – 17 of which would be set aside for affordable housing. The zoning for this site was open for public discussion at last Monday’s meeting.

Resident Joann Kaeser said she didn’t realize the full scope of construction until she met with the office of Community Development. She said together, the three sites will put a high concentration of cars on Centerton Road. 

“Is there anything, as homeowners, that we would be able to involve ourselves as far as the traffic patterns?” Kaeser asked.

Councilman Michael Locatell explained a few years back, Toll Brothers agreed to widen Centerton Road as a condition of developing in the area, but they later fought that condition in court. Given that Centerton is a county road, council would need the public’s help to go to the Burlington County Freeholders for any possible solution. He said in his opinion, they would need to widen the road and create four lanes from the Top Golf facility in Mount Laurel to Creek Road.

“I think that’s something both the community and the town could get behind as far as solving what would be the traffic issue out there,” Locatell said. 

Resident Robert McDermott said all of the current developments along Centerton Road have one way in and out. He said if the new developments going in will also only have one point of access, the people trying to exit onto Centerton Road will have a difficult time making a left onto the road. He suggested the sites create a back road access point onto Hartford Road. 

While he agreed the traffic represents a problem, McDermott said he doesn’t think widening the road is the solution. 

“That section of Centerton Road […] is a conduit between 295, Hainesport, New Albany road and Mount Laurel,” McDermott said. “I don’t want to see a four lane highway; I’ve got to be honest with you.” 

Locatell informed residents that all of these sites will have to go before the planning board for site plan approval at which time the developers will be required to bring traffic studies before the board. He said traffic studies will “be part of the conversation,” and he suggested residents check in with the Office of Community Development to find out when each site will be up for discussion. 

The next meeting of Moorestown Township Council will take place on Monday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.