5-19-10 edc minutes Print E-mail


Minutes of May 19, 2010



Ron Cain, Jr.    - present                                   Margaret Miller – Sanders - present

Everett Vreeland - absent                                Kevin Seidel, Alt. #2 - present

Ron Soussa - present                                        Deane Driscoll - present

Jennifer Horowitz - present                               Alexander Kachmar – absent

Arnold Schancupp – alt #1 - absent                            


            Township Committee: Jim Sandham - present

            Township Officials:  Linda White, Land Use Administrator - present

            Planning Board Liaison: Tony Speciale - present



BoA & Planning Board applications update – not discussed due to presentation from Rail Steakhouse

Master Plan Update – discussion ensued on what may happen along Changebridge Road/Rat. 46, Old Bloomfield resulting in a request to contact Master Plan subcommittee relative to economic development & redevelopment along some of our corridors. 

Mrs.White to talk to Master Plan subcommittee to see if when the EDC can meet to discuss common economic goals and what may happen to zoning along Changebridge, Rt. 46, Old Bloomfield, Stiles. 

Website Development – Mrs. White summarized the various ideas EDC presented on changing the EDC website.  Mr. Driscoll will meet and address whatever changes can be made in house by Adam Brewer to have at least these changes made. 



Temporary Sign Policy Discussion

Mrs. Horowitz indicated that the subcommittee met and that the general consensus is that some additional areas can be changed and/or enhanced, especially as it relates to banners signs which some felt should be strongly discouraged or re-addressed.  Mrs. Horowitz is preparing a draft that will highlight these ideas and will send out.

Presentation Scheduled – Rails Steakhouse

Present:  Jim Stathis, owner/applicant

Reviewed the development a restaurant and six retail units and six rental apartments above consisting of two one bedroom units with 4 two bedrooms which will be marketed as upscale rental.  He indicated the theme is consistent with the Towaco Master Plan as to architectural and design parameters.  Summary consistent of reviewing the various elevations and how he has addressed the elevations to have two fronts, one facing Whitehall, the other facing Rt. 202, that he is working with  NJ Transit on possibility of installing a bridge from his property to rail station, that he has designed this building to accommodate this concept with the walkways all covered. 

He hopes to be able to start construction before frost.  This is no set tenant at this time.  He will own but not operate the restaurant, and he will look for high end quality type tenants.  He reviewed the restaurant plans and outdoor areas, as well as the lower level uses. 

He intends to promote the continued historical background in this area, and will at some time in the future, have a website that will address items on his site and how they relate to the history of the community, noting the important of responding to the Morris Canal and surrounding residential uses.

EDC members were supportive of the concept and hoped that should this go to fruition, that this would promote the in fill of some of the other lots/properties within the Towaco center, noting that both this and the LaSala buildings, if built, would be an asset in moving forward. 

The site encourages pedestrian circulation and will certain enhance our economic base, and reflects the community taking special note to the sensitivity of developing in this area and to the history of the community.

Although he did meet with adjacent vet use, who was pleased that the site would be developed since she also experiences parking needs, she was not interested in cross easements to enjoy site. 

When asked how his experience has been with this filing, Mr. Stathis indicated he has had all positive reactions, and the only issue that was of concern to him was the sewer and water connection fee.  He indicated his engineer is double checking this numbers but that the fee for connection was out of line with past practices, noting that the fee is calculated by number of houses, and that his fee was calculated for a 22 sf unit development.  He expressed concerns that some of the sustainable features and upgrades he anticipated for this site may suffer as a result of the unexpected cost.  General discussion ensued as to possibility of available grants, etc.  Mr. Soussa indicated that he may want to look on NJ Clean Energy.org since he sits on Sustainable Energy Committee.  This committee is involved in looking at that very subject:  sustainable energy/construction techniques, etc.  Discussion continued.  It was indicated that this subject would be taken to this committee who may have some input that would aid the municipality in addressing the current fee ordinance in place. 

Mr. Stathis left.

EDC members moved to endorse this project and forward their recommendation to the Planning Board.  Discussion continued and members thought also moved that the applicant be permitted to access certain members of the EDC when or if he needs assistance on this development.    


Adoption of EDC minutes of 4-21-10 – Eligible:  Mr. Soussa, Mrs. Horowitz, Mrs. Sanders, Mr. Vreeland, Mr. Schancupp, Mr. Seidel and Mr. Kachmar  - adopted unanimously in a Motion made by:  Kevin Seidel, seconded by Ron Soussa

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. White

With explanation

With explanation

With explanation

Last Updated ( Thursday, 01 July 2010 )
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