HOWELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A plan for a new development in Monmouth County has some local residents banding together.

A “For Sale” sign sits in front of a lush, thick forest just off Randolph Road and Brook Road in Howell.

CBSN New York’s Meg Baker spoke to extremely concerned residents about a proposed plan to cut down more than 30,000 trees on 100 acres and put up a warehouse on the land. On FaceTime, long-time resident Brandon Reo said the back roads through this rural area just cannot handle a distribution center. He is asking the township to preserve this peaceful plot of woods.

“We are at maximum capacity already. I can’t imagine that these roads that haven’t changed since the days when I first road road my bike there,” Reo said. “Last remaining continuous forest that runs from the Barnegat Bay and runs all the way out through Jackson and beyond, the Metedeconk Watershed. This is going to be a complete disruption of that contiguous forest. There just nothing good that can come from this thing. I know I’m one voice, but my neighbors share the same feelings.”

The project is called the Monmouth Commerce Center. A lawyer representing the project says the now-vacant property with a permitted use will provide a significant tax ratable and substantial number of jobs.

The plan is under review by the planning board. A special meeting devoted only to this project is set for the end of July.


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