Golf Course Project Could Drive Opponents Crazy

The township of Marlboro, N.J. is looking to buy 411 acres on which it would like to develop a hotel and golf course. The property was once home to the Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital, which closed in 1998.

Township officials signed a memorandum of agreement in January with New Jersey State Treasury officials, agreeing to develop a master plan by May. At that time, Marlboro has one month to settle a purchase price with the state. After that, other potential buyers have the right to see the property.

In March, the Marlboro planning board narrowly approved the township’s redevelopment plan for the site. The plan includes 200 acres of open space, a golf course, 19 single-family homes, office buildings and a hotel.

Environmental cleanup costs could become an issue when it comes time for the township and the state to negotiate a purchase price. Who will pay for needed cleanups has not yet been finalized, according to Marlboro mayor Matthew V. Scannapieco. He believes the state should shoulder most of the cost.

Opposition from the community could also present itself at a public hearing on March 15th. The points of contention include the construction of homes on 20,000 square-foot lots, and the possible disruption of the headwaters leading to the Swimming River Reservoir. The reservoir supplies 58 percent of New Jersey-American Water Company’s supply for customers in Monmouth County.