EDC Minutes 10-24-07 Print E-mail




            ROLL CALL

            Nick Cifaretto - present                                 Ron Cain, Jr.  - present

            Everett Vreeland –present                            Mark Tabakin - absent

            Ron Soussa  - Present                                 Vacancy

            Jennifer Horowitz (Alt #1) - Absent              Carol Ann Soroko (Alt #2) - present

            Anthony Speciale - present


                        Planning Board Liaison: Gary Lewis - present

Mr. Cifaretto indicated we have some vacancies on the EDC and asked the board members if they have any ideas and/or nominations to forward same. 


‘How Do’ Guide – Linda White reminded EDC members that she had developed various guides for the EDC which she gave to Mr. Perkins for use on the web.  The only other item left is to finalize the matrix developed on the Waiver process which was started by Mr. Lewis and Mr. Soussa.  This is still an open item that needs to be finalized.   

Update:  Rezoning

GI – Mrs. White indicated that there was an ordinance drafted on this property providing for aged restricted housing, big box retail, mixed use concept such as a hotel, conference center, retail and housing mix, along with self storage facilities, office use.  This ordinance was sent back to the Township Committee and was scheduled for their meeting of October 22nd at 8:30PM.  The Ordinance was distributed to the EDC members. 

Mr. Lewis indicated that he was present with Mr. Burgis and that although it was a very good meeting and presentation, it was decided that the ordinance be amended to eliminate big box.  The ordinance would be scheduled on Township Committee agenda on November 5th and then sent back to PB for referral recommendation and then scheduled for adoption at their second meeting in November. 

Towaco Area:  Planning Board hired a wetlands expert to review the area that would be used as a ‘municipal parking lot’ to determine if the sketch provided by town planner providing for 62 parking spaces can be realized.  Once that is finalized, then the Planning Board can finalize Towaco Center ordinances.

Pine Brook Area:  Ms. White reviewed the redevelopment of the Pine Brook Motel site which includes the property of the existing car wash area.  The applicant asked for a change in FAR%.  The Planning Board heard the presentation and the town planner is investigating the possibility of removal of an FAR addressing over development with bulk requirements under existing B zone.  The applicant was asked to give information to the Planner on all of the other sites along this roadway as to their FAR/parking/variances. 

Retail in Industrial Zone:  Mr. Lewis indicated that he was glad to announce that the Planning Board is going forward with an ordinance to allow more retail in existing industrial zones, allowing 10%.  This Ordinance is scheduled for Thursday Oct. 25th PB meeting. 

Update:  Website Development: 

Mrs. White indicated we are going forward with developing the new website, and anticipated it would be up and running by December/January.  She indicated that the Department Heads will have ability to update and post current items of interest; we will be able to access all municipal forms, and the layout will be user friendly.   She asked if there were any other changes needed, to advise her.  Mr. Speciale indicated his name was not on the website.  Mrs. White indicated she would fix this.


Update:  Contact with Hotels – Received printout from Ms. Soroko with phone numbers for all major hotel chains for contact.  Mrs. White will coordinate contact with Mr. Ciffaretto.


Update:  Master Plan/Sign Ordinance/Parking/Municipal ordinances – Mrs. White explained the Planning Board has asked the board’s planner to develop some cost proposals to proceed with updating land use elements/zoning ordinances, which will include studying parking ordinance and bulk requirements, including FAR%. 

Mr. Cifaretto voiced his concerns on parking needs and the cost to a developer to meet today’s standards which may not be those the Planning Board are ultimately going to adopt.  How is this resolved?  Mrs. White indicated that most new site plans are reviewed at subcommittee and/or informally at a Planning Board and the planner offers input at that time.

Mr. Cifaretto voiced concerns about the Board of Adjustment and their professionals not being on the same page as to what may be changed and the town’s planner’s comments on parking needs, etc.  Mrs. White indicated that she is the coordinator, talks to board chair and makes sure that the Board of Adjustment professionals discuss projects with the Planning Board professionals so we have continuity. 

Mrs. White indicated the Planning Board has created a subcommittee to review our budgetary needs for 2008 so we can get these items into an ordinance that all can rely on.  The EDC members discussed the need to address these upgrades in order to promote economic redevelopment and development and moved that they would support the Planning Board’s budgetary needs in view of need to address these issues now. 


EDC Budget:  Mr. Cifaretto discussed the needs for funds in his request for the 2008 budget.  He asked for $500 for Printing & Stationery; $2,000 for Education and $2,000 for Miscellaneous: Totaling $4500 for EDC 2008 Budget. He discussed the reason for the $2,000 miscellaneous indicating he thought this could be used to conduct a town wide study to see what the residents want. 

Mr. Lewis indicated that one of our goals is that of business retention and expansion and thought these monies may be better used to focus on existing businesses, realtors, consider a breakfast and develop a list of questions that may help guide us on how better to serve our existing commercial/industrial base.  Land Use plan and residents are more related to a planning board function and when the Planning Board goes into Land Use changes in Master Plan, the residents will be asked to participate at this level.  Different questions were discussed i.e. How long has business been located here?  Why did they move here?  What are their expectations?  Are they planning to expand?  Are there other municipal services that may assist them in their goals?  We can send these out and even partner with Chamber on this endeavor, and can actually use the Web for this purpose.  This appeared to be a good way to find out how we are doing.

Mr. Lewis also wondered if we shouldn’t invite the larger business owners to a breakfast to discuss this?  Mr. Cifaretto said we did this several years ago, but can consider in the future. 

The budget recommended as drafted.  Mrs. White to send to Mr. Bastone.  When she received the Planning Board figures, she will send to EDC for support.

Mixed Use Concept – Reference: R. Soussa Letter

Mr. Cifaretto discussed Mr. Soussa’s input relative to what constitutes a professional use?  Is a beautician a professional and would they be allowed in a professional business zone?  What is the definition of a professional and how does a board determine that.  Mr. Cifaretto indicated some are ‘licensed’ such as beautician so would you qualify this as being a professional?   Mrs. White indicated that a beautician would be a personal service not a professional office/use.  Discussion ensued.  Mrs. White indicated that perhaps when the parking ordinance is finalized, and ordinances  are updated, there will be additional defnitions, but the way her determinations are made are from past history/Board of Adjustment decisions on use interpretations, guidance from town planner. 



Adoption of EDC minutes of: 9-19-07 Eligible:  Mr. Speciale, Mr. Cain, Ms. Horowitz, Mr. Soussa, Mr. Tabakin, and Mr. Cifaretto  - rescheduled to December 19th agenda. 


Mr. Cifaretto indicated the EDC meeting of November 21, 2007 is day before Thanksgiving and felt we should cancel this meeting.  Meeting cancelled unanimously.  Next meeting would be December 19th.

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda White

with explanation

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 February 2008 )
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