Jackson Twenty-One Zoning Change Made

Photo by Jennifer Peacock

JACKSON – The board approved an ordinance to create additional zoning districts to accommodate the Jackson Twenty-One project. This ordinance now heads back to council for a final vote at its May 9 meeting.

The ordinance will create two zones: Mixed Use Neighborhood Center/Highway Commercial and Mixed Use Neighborhood Center/Light Industrial, only along Commodore Boulevard, off exit 21 on Route 195. The language arrived at by the township and Jackson Twenty-One representatives took years to agree upon, officials said.

The 26-page ordinance spells out permitted uses for buildings and spaces within the zones. The MUNC provides for a minimum of 1,365 “dwelling units,” 20 percent or a minimum of 273 units being affordable family rental units. There must also be a minimum of 273,000 square feet of required commercial space.

There are 24 permitted uses for buildings, including business offices and services, barber shops, dance or photography studios, hotels, museums and theaters, and parks.

The amount of commercial space permitted is dependent on how many residential units are built. Council President Kenneth Bressi, who sits on the planning board, said residential development must stop and commercial development begin once that threshold is met.

  Planner Ernest Peters told the board the ordinance “breathes life” into affordable housing obligations, bringing the township closer to meeting Council on Affordable Housing round two and three obligations.

“This ordinance is a benefit to the town. The courts liked it,” Bressi said. “It is a big step forward for the town.”

Jackson Development Company manager Tom Bovino has previously said his company is looking into mixed use development with residential, commercial and office space in one location, which the proposed zoning addition would afford.

Jackson Twenty-One is a residential and commercial marriage conceived by Man of La Mancha composer Mitch Leigh. Leigh died at the age of 86 in 2014, but the website offers a glimpse of his ultimate vision: “I’m Mitch Leigh and I’m a dreamer.”

Jackson Twenty-One will eventually comprise various work/life green villages, where “nice” people can work and play. The Gardens of Jackson Twenty-One, one- and two-bedroom apartments, are available for rent now.

For more information about Jackson Twenty-One, visit jacksontwentyone.com.

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Ocean County native Jennifer Peacock is a community journalist and photographer. She’s written for weekly and daily newspapers in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for more than 20 years. Readers can contact her at [email protected]