DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR 101-103 COLUMBIA ROAD / FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The following list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) is provided to inform interested parties of the proposed development plan for 101-103 Columbia Road in Morris Township.
What is in the Proposed Development Plan for 101-103 Columbia Road?
The New York Red Bulls, one of the founding teams of Major League Soccer (MLS), proposes construction of a Training Complex to accommodate the Red Bulls’ professional, Academy and youth soccer programs.
The proposed Training Complex would include the following components:
- Eight (8) soccer fields initially and one (1) in a future phase:
- Fields may be natural grass or artificial turf
- All-natural grass fields will have irrigation systems
- Four (4) of the Academy fields will have sports field lighting
- Four (4) of the fields will have a subsurface snow melt heating system
- One (1) of the natural grass fields will have bleacher seating with a capacity of 500 seats along with public restrooms and concession stands for Academy match play and second/third division professional matches
- One (1) training building inclusive of professional soccer facilities, Academy training facilities, Academy seasonal dormitories, and office space
- One (1) fieldhouse
- One (1) groundskeeping/operations building
- Potential Future Phase: one (1) indoor half size soccer field and one (1) 9 v 9 size Youth Field and one (1) Women’s professional and Girl’s Academy training facility
What are the Advantages to the Township and Township Taxpayers?
- A low impact Training Complex development of the 80-acre site as compared to the potential for a 900,000 square foot office/commercial development as currently permitted.
- Dramatically less traffic generation from the site and significantly less traffic impact on surrounding roads as well as on the Park Avenue and Columbia Road intersection.
- Eliminates the possibility that the property will be rezoned for high density use.
- Reduced environmental impact of a soccer Training Complex versus that of a commercial office complex, including less building coverage and parking lot area.
How will the Proposed Development Project Impact Residents in the Immediate Area if Adopted?
- Setbacks: Current zoning requires buildings to be a minimum of 175 feet from the property line. All of the proposed buildings will meet that requirement.
- Traffic: The proposed Training Complex will operate primarily on a 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM schedule for the professional teams and office operations, and from 3:00 PM to 9:30 PM for the Academy programs during the season. The proposed Training Complex will generate significantly less vehicle trips than the permitted 900,000 square foot office/commercial development, more detail on this matter is forthcoming. As noted below, substantially all of the traffic flow is anticipated to be from Columbia Road.
- Buffers: Existing vegetation will be enhanced with new plantings along with the creation of terraformed areas that will be planted to create additional new buffers around the proposed development.
- Lighting: Four (4) of the Academy fields will be lit with sports lighting for after school and evening workout sessions for the Academy teams. The sports lighting will be operated for scheduled practices during the Academy season and will be turned off no later than 10:00 PM. The sports lighting will be shielded to prevent spillage at the property lines and screened with landscaping to minimize glare. Site lighting will utilize fixtures that minimize adverse visual impacts, such as glare and overhead sky glow, on adjacent properties. The use of LED light sources will be required.
- Existing Trees: The existing stand of mature trees along Columbia Road will be maintained as well as the existing trees at the top of the slope along the westerly side of the site. Some trees will be required to be removed for the proposed development however new trees will be planted to conform with the Township’s requirements on replacement trees.
- Access: The proposed development will be accessed via the existing roadway network and primarily from Columbia Road via Stockton Drive. Employees and Visitors will be directed from the major highways to the Columbia Road access drives. Exiting traffic will be directed away from Madison Avenue towards Columbia Road to access the major highways. Access to the parking areas will be in the vicinity of the existing access drives from Stockton Drive.
- Building Heights: The heights of the proposed training complex buildings will be within the current zoning (i.e., 55-foot maximum building height). The number of stories of each building will vary between one (1) and three (3) above grade. The potential future phase indoor field will be constructed with a proposed maximum building height of 65 feet.
- Removal: The existing water tower and Columbia Road guard house, previously used by Honeywell, are unnecessary for the development and will be removed.
What are the Design Standards for the Training Complex?
- Façade design for the main building will include architectural concrete, low-reflectivity glass, architectural metal panels and treated wood sun shades.
- Façade design for the field house and groundskeeping building will include burnished masonry exterior walls and standing seam metal panel roofs.
- The potential future phase indoor field’s exterior will consist of architectural metal panels, translucent panels and low-reflectivity glass.
- LED light fixtures will be used to minimize adverse light impact.
- All utility connections will be below ground.
Where will the Training Complex Buildings And Fields Be Located?
Please check back periodically for additional information and next steps.