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BRICK – Plans for a new hotel, residential and retail complex are officially on hold after a lawyer representing a group Brick residents opposed to the development filed a complaint in Superior Court, Toms River.The complaint delays – and may restart – the application process to build Ocean Pointe. If approved, it would include a 103-room hotel and 66 apartments constructed over nearly 40,000 square feet of retail space.Attorney Ron Gasiorowski’s complaint questions whether Brick’s Planning Board should hear the application for the proposed development at Route 88, Burrsville Road and Jack Martin Boulevard.Gasiorowski argues in his complaint that Ocean Pointe needs a use variance to be completed within Brick’s hospital overlay zone. The zone, he said, permits hotels but does not permit retail stores.“This (Planning) Board, based upon the testimony of the applicant’s planner, cannot hear this case,” Gasiorowski said.A use variance needs to be granted – not by the Planning Board – but by the township’s Board of Adjustment, he said.
If the Board of Adjustment were to hear the application, “there’s a higher burden of proof" to gain approval, the attorney said. A project only needs a simple majority to be approved by a Planning Board; in contrast, the Board of Adjustment needs at least five votes to approve a project, he said.Now, a judge in Superior Court, Toms River, will decide which of Brick's boards should consider the project.
If the application is moved to the Board of Adjustment, Englewood Cliffs-based Kamson Corp. – which is proposing the Ocean Pointe project – will have to start the process over. Even if the judge rules that the Planning Board should continue to hear the application, it will delay an answer by months.That’s welcome news to Robert DiGangi of Tilford Boulevard, who said the proposal is “overbuilt.”“Where will the extra cars park?” he asked during a break in the Planning Board’s meeting. “What happens if they don’t attract new businesses?”Megina Mittleberg of Melody Avenue also objects.“There’s no need for a hotel,” she said. “Nobody travels to our hospital (Ocean Medical Center)…. It’s not (Memorial) Sloan Kettering (Cancer Center).”After discussing Gasiorowski's complaint, the Planning Board ended discussion on the proposal on Wednesday. No date has been set in Superior Court for a hearing.Amanda Oglesby: 732-557-5701; aoglesby@GannettNJ.com  
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