Colts Neck Master Plan-Utility Services Plan


Plate 30, Utility Services Plan, shows the location of the N.J.-American Water Company's Treatment Plant at the east end of Swimming River Reservoir, as well as the water main in Swimming River Road serving the Borough of Tinton Falls, east of the Township.

Sewer service also exists in Tinton Falls on the east side of Swimming River Road. Its availability for Colts Neck's is considered marginal due to contract and possible capacity limitations in the Tinton Falls system.

Water and sewer services also exist in Freehold Township adjacent to the high density residential area in Colts Neck. The extension of these systems into Colts Neck were not planned at the time they were installed, and connecting the affordable housing development to them was only realized as a result of a Court Order. The utility service area shown along Freehold Township is therefore limited to the areas intended to accommodate the Township's lower income housing obligation.

Because of the low densities proposed in the agricultural zonedistricts and the bulk of the residentially zoned areas, the need for sewage treatment facilities is neither expected nor planned except for the high density, affordable housing area adjacent to Freehold Township. It is therefore the intent of the Utility Services Plan to limit the water and sewer service areas where they exist along Swimming River Road on the east serving Tinton Falls, and to the limited area in the southwestern corner of Colts Neck abutting Freehold Township. Generally speaking, the region's Route 9 growth corridor west of the Township is an area served by utilities, highways and other governmental services. By limiting water and sewer services to the southwestern portion of Colts Neck, the potential growth pattern in the Township is contained and is coordinated with regional growth patterns, utilities, highway accessibility, regional job centers, retail services, and the least impact on the reservoir.


Plate 31, Public Facilities, Recreation, and Open Space Plan, locates the existing and proposed properties serving these purposes. The open spaces created by cluster zoning designs in past developments, major tracts purchased and preserved as open spaces, as well as existing and future school sites, the Swimming River Reservoir, and stream corridors are shown along with the municipal complex, fire houses, library, and first aid squad. Specific recreation programs within the school and open space areas should be in accordance with the Colts Neck Recreation Plan and should consider the policies and recommendations set forth in the Monmouth County Open Space Plan.

As for expanded public services, the proposed fire house is carried forward from the previous Master Plan. Its location at the intersection of Route 537 and Laird Road places this facility at a cross roads that will provide access in several directions, locates the facility next to an existing industrial use, and incorporates a service area which is currently outside the three mile service radii of the two existing fire stations.

As for the schools, the existing school sites are shown and are anticipated to be adequate for the foreseeable future.

The Plan anticipates an expansion of the municipal garage facilities near the N.W.S. Earle property. Any expansion of the municipal administrative offices and meeting rooms are planned to be done at the existing municipal complex on Cedar Drive. While the existing library is shown on Hyers Mill Road in the village, the facility is small. As the population grows, the appropriate location for a new library would be as part of the municipal complex on Cedar Drive.

This element of the Plan should be used to select future open space areas for public acquisition in addition to identifying stream corridors which should be protected. The acquisition of the Colts Neck Recreation Area off Bucks Mill Road is an example of an area previously identified in the Master Plan and subsequently acquired by the Township.

Stream corridors can be avoided by increasing the setbacks of any new development and carefully limiting the area of soil disturbance as one approaches a stream corridor. Stream corridors can also be used to implement one of the Master Plan goals of designing future developments in logical neighborhood groups using streams and other natural features as neighborhood boundaries. Stream corridor protection is also helpful in establishing an overall drainage plan. Such a plan would not only develop methods to control flood waters, but can locate detention basins, retention ponds, and water quality basins that help settle pollutants before storm waters enter the reservoir. Permanent ponds could also be a resource for agricultural irrigation, ground water recharge, fire fighting, and neighborhood recreation such as fishing and ice skating.

An important public facility needed in conjunction with the developing areas is a comprehensive drainage plan. This Plan continues the recommendation that the Township undertake a survey of the present storm sewer system including culverts, bridge openings, and stream sizes in order to determine future needs when a stormwater management plan is developed. The result can be expected to be a combination of items such as limiting the number of detention basins needed, determining pipe sizes, installing detention basins to prevent surges of water through existing pipes and streams, installing new inlets at weak spots in the present system, cleaning existing stream channels, and identifying future areas for detention basins. It is recommended the Township consider two policies for a detention basin system: 1) that the system be planned for the entire Township so the number of basins can be minimized to a few larger ones; and 2) that the basins be large and shallow for easier maintenance of the side slopes and possible use of the basin for recreation activities when the basin is neither wet nor flooded. As part of the maintenance issue, the Shade Tree Commission should be requested to submit guidelines for aesthetic, "maintenance free" plantings for the appropriate soil types. Also, the larger, shallow basins are recommended to be graded in plateaus, each level designed for selected storm frequencies so the higher levels remain usable for recreation except after unusual storms.

The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water Resources, sets forth Flood Hazard Area Regulations (N.J.A.C. 7:13-1 et seq.). Included are various processes for issuing stream encroachment permits. In addition, there are parallel requirements in the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-93) concerning the requirement for municipalities to develop stormwater management plans in conjunction with the NJDEPN.J. D.E.P. Storm Water Management Regulations.

While the development of a stormwater management plan is advisable, the regulations include several key points: 1) no plan is required to be prepared until 90 percent of the funding is available from the state to the municipality; 2) if funding is available, the plan must be done within one year or by the next Master Plan re-examination, whichever is later; 3) the completed plan shall be submitted to the county for review and the plan will not take effect without county approval or unless the county takes no action within 60 days; 4) the plan shall be coordinated with other stormwater management plans prepared by other municipalities and the county; 5) flood and erosion control standards for detention require that the site, after development, will generate no greater peak runoff than prior to development; and 6) any "major agricultural development" must be submitted to the Soil Conservation Service.

A "major agricultural development" is defined as one resulting in one or more acres of additional impervious surface such as roofs, parking surfaces, driveways, etc. In recognition of the development of horse farms in the Township, the possibility exists that new agricultural structures and site improvements will require plan reviews under these stormwater management and water quality regulations. Certainly any major residential development will require such reviews. It therefore would be an advantage for property owners as well as the Township to undertake a Township wide survey of the best way to handle stormwater runoff so that if detention facilities are warranted, fewer large ponds can be designed rather than many smaller ponds.


It is the intent of the Master Plan to promote the conservation of energy through flexible design standards such as the continued use of planned developments (in various forms of cluster options, lot size averaging, etc.). By encouraging flexibility in design, the ability to design developments around topographic features, water courses, wetlands, and other environmentally sensitive conditions is more easily managed. With clustering and lot size averaging concepts, less street mileage is possible thereby reducing the use of blacktop and reducing the length of every-day travel by residents and service vehicles.

With flexible design regulations and with residential lots larger than 1 acre, streets and/or building roof lines are more easily oriented to take advantage of site-specific conditions in an attempt to encourage energy conservation and the full utilization of renewable energy resources.

The plan also recommends flexibility in designing streets, bikeways and walkways. Bicycle and pedestrian interconnections between areas of development, i.e. residential clusters, schools, playgrounds, etc., can be an incentive to reduce automotive travel. It is also possible to place bikeways/walkways away from streets thereby separating their functions from automotive functions and providing a better measure of safety.

Water as a renewable resource should be able to be dealt with as part of the flexible design provisions. For example, multiple public uses should be encouraged in the design of permanent ponds such as emergency water for fire fighting, stormwater management and flood control for public safety, ground water recharge for protecting potable water resources, ice skating for recreation, fishing, or aesthetic design for passive use. Design options for stormwater management might also maximize the use of surface flow through shallow swales and other grading techniques to maximize ground water recharge and to control the number of discharge points into local streams and ponds.

The plan recognizes each of these choices as an alternative. It is not practical to consider all these options in every instance. In that regard, both the plan as well as the implementing ordinances should provide options depending upon the tract's unique features considering topography, adjoining development, street locations, drainage characteristics, ponds, wooded areas, lot size, proposed land use, highway functions, and available utilities.


In accordance with the State's Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act of 1987 and 40:55D-28(12), Colts Neck coordinates its recycling efforts through the Township's Recycling Coordinator. The ordinance implementing the overall plan distinguishes between recyclable materials and garbage ("other solid waste") and provides a program for picking up those recyclable materials defined in the law, namely, leaves, glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, tin and bimetal cans, mixed paper, corrugated cardboard and/or high-grade paper, and demolition materials. Service stations, oil retailers, and re-inspection stations with used oil holding tanks are required to post a sign informing the public they are a used oil collection site. These businesses are required to accept up to five gallons of used oil at a time from individuals who have changed oil in their motor vehicles, lawn mowers, motorcycles, and similar equipment.

For single family homes, the collection will be made curbside in the same manner as regular trash. In order to assure that recyclable materials are separated from garbage in all new commercial developments, specific collection points are to be identified on the site plan. These areas are to be delineated with proper dimensions to accommodate the separated materials and the collection vehicles. The program should require licensed organizations to collect the recyclable materials. These may or may not be the same organization(s) collecting the garbage, but the program concerning recyclable materials should involve revenues to Colts Neck to at least cover any administrative costs. The licensing of private haulers should consider how the material is to be collected, the collection schedules, the method of sorting the materials, how the materials will be transported to reclamation centers, what sale and/or marketing programs are intended for the recyclable materials, and regular reports to be submitted to the Recycling Coordinator on the amount of each recycled item.


The Municipal Land Use Law requires that a municipal Master Plan review the goals and objectives of adjacent towns as well as County and State plans. The objective is to maximize, and hopefully achieve, coordination of land use plans and proper phasing for the completion of major infrastructure improvements. Great weight should be given to interlocal agreements for municipal services.

Plate 32, Planning and Zoning in Adjoining Communities, shows what is anticipated along Colts Neck's boundaries as well as the State Development and Redevelopment Plan ("SDRP") and the County's Growth Management Guide.

The SDRP was prepared by the New Jersey Planning Commission and, at this writing, is undergoing its second cross-acceptance process between the State, the County and all municipalities. Although the plan is general in nature, it indicates the balance which should be sought between conservation and development throughout the state. It indicates where further urban expansion should be encouraged, where less intensive development is appropriate, and where essential natural resources and agricultural land of state-wide significance should be preserved. Its particular application to Colts Neck is in the context of Monmouth County and the corridor of development influenced by Route 35 and the Garden State Parkway to the north and east, and the Route 9 corridor to the west.

The SDRP proposes "growth areas" in areas having significant infrastructure such as major transportation facilities, existing and proposed utility services, and energy supplies, e.g. electricity, natural gas, etc. These areas are the locations of many of New Jersey's existing residences, major businesses and industrial centers. The SDRP also designates areas most appropriate for preserving major agricultural lands and public open space, and protecting major resources such as the Swimming River Reservoir. A major thrust of the SDRP is to contain development in designated areas and rejuvenate the urban areas rather than encourage continued suburban sprawl development across farmland and other undeveloped areas.

The SDRP is presented as a state-level policy guide which has relevance for determining the appropriateness or inappropriateness of publicly funded, growth-inducing projects such as highways and sewers. It proposes to concentrate these public investments in older urban centers and the surrounding older suburbs resulting in limited investments in public improvements in areas where conservation, or agriculture, or limited development have been proposed.

Colts Neck's Master Plan is consistent with the SDRP in that the Township is committed to preserving the agricultural uses and protecting the environmental conditions which provide the foundations for the State's designations. In conjunction with the existing agriculturale character of Colts Neck, Route 537 is shown as a scenic corridor. This designation recognizes the visual relief and regional value of maintaining the existing rural characteristics in Colts Neck in an area located between the developed corridors in the Freehold and Red Bank areas. The proposal in the Township's plan to locate future housing development in the "AG" ZoneDistrict away from the existing roads advances the goals of this "scenic corridor" designation.

Monmouth County's Growth Management Guide also designates Colts Neck as an "agriculture/conservation" area. The exceptions to this designation are N.W.S. Earle, the Swimming River Reservoir, the County's Hominy Hills Golf Course, and the Village of Colts Neck at Routes 34 and 537. All major streams are shown in order to identify these courses for protection.

In both the State and County Plans, the coastal corridor east of Colts Neck is proposed at higher densities. These regional plans also show the emerging densities along the Route 9 corridor as well as the agricultural densities in the western part of the county. The County's low density designation for the entire Township is consistent with the Township's plan, even though isolated areas in the southwest part of the Township are shown in the Township's plan for the higher density, affordable housing program discussed above. The overall consistency is that the "average" density is still at about 0.5 unit per acre throughout the entire Township, with lot size averaging based on one unit per 10 acres in the agriculturale zonedistrict.

The plans in adjoining communities show that across most of the northern boundary, Colts Neck is separated from Holmdel and Middletown by the Swimming River Reservoir. There are only four places where roads cross the reservoir. The physical separation created by the reservoir provides a significant divide that minimizes the land use relationships from one side to the other. All three Townships have expressed concerns over protecting the reservoir. Colts Neck's boundary with Holmdel is commercial at the intersection of Routes 34 and 520, with the low intensity office park near Holmdel Village. To the east of South Main Street, Holmdel has one industrial use on 90 acres north of the "conservation" districtzone along the Colts Neck boundary, followed by a 1-acre residential development. The eastern third of the common boundary consists of permanent open space in the form of the "Township Farm" and the County Park. It is recognized that Holmdel Village is an historic fact and the office and small commercial patterns on Route 34 are consistent with that major transportation facility. Colts Neck's boundary with Middletown is also compatible, recognizing Middletown's large area for public use, including the college. The 1 unit/acre residential development is an extension of the coastal development pattern which gradually reduces in density as one moves away from the coast toward Colts Neck.

The eastern boundary of Colts Neck abuts Tinton Falls. All of Tinton Falls is planned for either 1.0 or 1.5 units per acre along the Colts Neck boundary. The Colts Neck portion is largely agriculture reflecting some horse farms, the "Due Process" farm with the golf course and equestrian-oriented residential lots, and some residential uses along Hockhockson Brook. Both plans identify the flood plains and wet soils along Hockhockson Brook which extend into the N.W.S. Earle property.

The Township's southeastern and its southern boundariesy are shared with Tinton Falls, Wall, and Howell Townships. All these communities identify the N.W.S. Earle facility with a variety of public or industrial uses.

The southwest portion of Colts Neck abuts a small segment of Howell Township and the east end of Freehold Township. The areas abutting the corner of Colts Neck are about one unit per acre in Howell, then 0.6 unit/acre (60,000 sf lots) in Freehold Township, with a change to about 1.4 units/acre (25,000 sf lots) along Route 537. The Route 18 Freeway in this area is generally a demarcation between suburbanization extending east from Freehold and the beginning of the rural character in Colts Neck.

Most of the Township's western boundary is with Marlboro Township. Just north of the Route 18 interchange Marlboro has residential zoning similar to Colts Neck, i.e. approximately 0.5 unit per acre (80,000 sf lots). North of Dutch Lane Road, Marlboro proposes industrial development which, while not compatible with Colts Neck, apparently recognizes some scattered industrial activities already in the area. Marlboro calls for 3 acre lots with a floor area ratio of 0.35 in this industrial area. The Colts Neck portion across from this industrial area is largely undeveloped, but is proposed for residential development. Because this portion of Boundary Road is the dividing line between industry and proposed residential development, future development in both zones should maximize buffer areas, controlled access, increased setbacks and similar features to reduce the impact of the industrial development upon the residential/agricultural area. North of the industrial zone is the State Hospital which is largely undeveloped, but compatible with the low density residential uses in Colts Neck. In 1996, the County proposed the acquisition of 300+ acres on the south side of Route 520 (around Camp Arrowhead) to be part of the County Park system. This proposed acquisition did not include any of the hospital buildings and the grounds around those buildings. Marlboro also has a "land conservation" district abutting Colts Neck. This zone calls for minimum 5 acre residential lots and is compatible with Colts Neck.

Along Colts Neck's northern boundary, west of Route 34, Marlboro proposes low density residential in the "land conservation" area (min. 5 acre lots). Recognizing the low density residential development in Colts Neck as well as the drainage patterns and undeveloped nature of this area, the low density development proposed in Marlboro is compatible with Colts Neck.


Population Estimates

U.S. Census Bureau

1990 Census19911992199319941995
Total County Population553,093558,750566,275572,383578,498585,230
Co. Pop. Age 65 & Over69,97071,36172,41273,07673,46773,848
Age 65+ as % of Total12.65%12.77%12.78%12.77%12.70%12.62%
Co. Pop. Under Age 65483,123487,389493,863499,307505,031511,382
Group Quarters Pop. in Co.11,17411,25911,23410,62310,23410,003
Colts Neck Pop. Est.8,5599,5159,6059,6539,785n/a

July-July each Year4/1/90-7/911991-921992-931993-941994-95
# Births in County10,5348,1648,0027,9727,901
# Deaths in County6,0124,9635,2825,2085,265
# Births per Death1.751.641.511.531.50

Source: U.S. Census data from N.J. Department of Labor, Public Information

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