TOWNSHIP ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
APRIL 18, 2007
Nick Cifaretto - present Ron
Cain, Jr. - present
Everett Vreeland - present Mark Tabakin - absent
Murphy - absent Ron
Soussa - present
Jennifer Horowitz (Alt #1) - present Carol Ann Soroko (Alt #2) - absent
Anthony Speciale - present
Township Committee: Deborah Nielson
Planning Board Liaison: Gary Lewis -
Development of ‘How Do’ Guide & Application Review
Process & Website Discussion
Discussion on development of website information that can be
incorporate the How To guide/application process and have ability to be able to
put it into a format that would allow this to be printed out vs creating a new
brochure. Discussion ensued on creating
the data we would want to put on the website.
Linda White indicated that the township is currently working on getting
a new webmaster/program in place that would be similar to Montclair’s
website. She indicated that her
understanding is that we will be able to input our information and update
without waiting for a Webmaster, which will mean that the information will be
Mr. Cifaretto indicated that we should start developing this website
now since it has been a long time and in dire need, and that this way as soon
as the new program comes on line, our data can be put on. Discussion ensued about creating a separate
website just for EDC. Mr. Cifaretto
indicated that Mrs. White had sent some data that appears to be in line with
the thoughts of this committee, and asked the members to look at the following
sites: Montclair’s, Princeton, and
Washington Township in Morris County.
These sites appear to be user friendly, and allow easy access to
Mr. Lewis took the existing website EDC ‘Welcome’ message which was
taken from Summit and re-drafted it, submitting it to the EDC members. Ms. White indicated she would take this
information and start gathering this information and Mr. Vreeland indicated he
would look over the information and start to work on developing what we want on
the Montville EDC website.
& Vacancy List
Linda White distributed draft copies of the Business Inventory
listing and Vacancy listings that are being updated. She noted we will also be working with the Chamber of Commerce
and will get a list from them as to the businesses registered with the Chamber
to try and make sure we get all of the businesses in our community on this
website. Mr. Vreeland will review these
and offer any additional information he may have available.
Update on Morris County
EDC Seminar held Wednesday March 21st
Messrs. Cifaretto and Vreeland, along with Ms. Nielson attended this
seminar. Mr. Cifaretto indicated that the
main subject was eminent domain, explaining how this worked. Ms. Nielson indicated some of the other
discussion items responded to low interest loans relative to redevelopment.
Mrs. White indicated that GI is scheduled to come back to the
Planning Board on 5-24-07 to discuss other uses he is considering. The property is presently zoned
retail/commercial. He has been talking
with Lowes, but was given guidance that the Township would like to see
something different on this site.
Deborah Nielson indicated that her concern is that we are not being
proactive on this site, and that we are waiting for this developer to find
something that is financially feasible to him without our community taking the
‘lead’ on finding uses that may be compatible and good for the community in
this location. Mr. Soussa indicated
that Mr. Burgis had this property already studied during the Rt. 46 study. Mr. Soussa noted his recommendation was
office use on this property in this study, and also noted that Mr. Siragusa
is constructing the office buildings previously approved by the Planning Board
in this area, and they have sold without problems.
Ms. White indicated that she has already asked Mr. Burgis to re-study
this area and discuss with the Board other uses he feels may fit on this site
so that we can look at the zoning we want in place vs being forced to consider
a use that we may not feel fits in our goals and ideas for redevelopment. Mrs. White noted this is on the agenda for
the next meeting of the Planning Board as a ‘discussion item’ with the planner
to make sure the Planning Board provides authorization to go forward. Ms. Nielson indicated that the Planning
Board is going to take the initiative and look at zoning and invite Boswell
Engineering, rep for GI to attend, but that the zoning discussions should be
what this community wants. The Planning
Board will give the planner additional direction on the zoning studies for this
area at their meeting of 4-26-07. There
already is a report issued on Aged Restricted Housing on this site.
Discussion ensued on how much the EDC comes into play on land use
issues, and how far can they get involved in land use discussions. Ms. Nielson indicated that the EDC is a
liaison to the Township Committee and Planning Board and that they can offer
suggested uses for a site and/or area.
Ms. White indicated she has contacted the real estate engineering
representative as to what they intended to do on this site, again stressing an
invitation to appear at the EDC and work with the township on finding a use
that would be a good fit in the community.
Right now they are down at DEP trying to determine exactly how much land
is building since there are wetlands/floodplains in the area. The owner was asked to come in to the
Planning Board when this information is available to discuss potential
development on this land. Hertz Penske
lot, although owned by Kevor Konner, is not included in their redevelopment
scope due to floodplains existing on site and limited expansion beyond
Linda White indicated he has withdrawn his rezoning request for
development of retail use/gas station, and intends to file a ‘use’ variance
with the Board of Adjustment. Nothing
has been filed at this time with the Board of Adjustment.
indicated that this project has not been planned for this year due to budgetary
constraints, and other items that have higher priority needs. Deborah Nielson elaborated noting this
upgrade wasn’t as pressing as other needs of the community. There is no new development in this
area. The Township has settled the
property along Changebridge Road near Stiles and this will not be developed and
will remain open space. There is very
little development possibilities that can be seen along Stiles. Mr. Cifaretto voiced concerns that the EDC
should have been advised of this delay, voicing concerns that they haven’t even
see any potential layout of this area. Ms. Nielson reviewed some of the
critical areas facing the community that were put higher up on the list due to
safety concerns. A lengthy discussion
ensued. Conceptual plans are available
and if Mr. Cifaretto wanted to review them, they are available at engineering.
indicated that the Planning Board will start finalizing this master plan and
associated zoning regulations to promote the redevelopment in this area. Deborah Nielson indicated there are a lot of
items pending at the Planning Board on rezoning and she also has concerns since
she wants to see areas like Changebridge Road, particularly the Sunoco Station
that is vacant and is subject to a new site plan, along with Old Bloomfield
Sunoco Site –
Mr. Cifaretto indicated that he has talked to
Ms. Horowitz about meeting with the new owners of Sunoco to discuss their ideas
of what they want on this site. Linda
White reminded them she did meet with both the lawyer and owner on several
occasions and gave them direction on either asking for rezoning or coming in to
meet with either the EDC and/or Planning Board subcommittee. Original discussions were that they wanted a
retail strip mall with a larger anchor retail chain store. Mrs. White indicated she gives guidance to
those coming in for possible redevelopment noting the concerns of certain type
of large box type users, giving them some guidance on our streetscape and site
plan upgrades we are seeking along our corridors.
Cifaretto indicated that he would meet with Ms. Horowitz and the owner of the
site sometime next week, and would advise Ms. Nielson and Ms. White so they can
join in the informal dialogue. Ms.
Nielson indicated this site would be a good site to have a small type of
activity/café that would allow those in the area to use some of the amenities
the community owns. There is a large
pond in the rear that can be used for recreational purposes like fishing
derbies. You have the dog park, which
lends itself to people walking to the corner for something. There are also a series of open space trails
being considered, all of which are positive to looking at this area and guiding
new development the way we want to see it grow. She prefers our community be proactive vs reactive.
Foods/Wegman type of retail activities that may be something we want to
encourage discussed. Although we can
encourage certain type of retail uses, and can develop site plan controls that
has those outside café type of amenities we would like to see developed, applicants
still have the right to seek Board of Adjustment approvals on a site.
ensued about creation of a committee to investigate some of these zoning study
areas comprised of members from Board of Adjustment, Planning Board, Citizen
groups and EDC.
indicated that there are a lot of business items at the Planning Board, noting
that the Planning Board has been very receptive in moving some of these larger
businesses through the development process, mentioning Winebo as a prime
example. If the EDC has ideas on uses,
they should send them to the Planning Board.
The Planning Board welcomes the input.
Ms. Nielson indicated similar sentiments, also noting concerns about
having to have additional Planning Board meetings in order to get thru the many
planning projects at the board level.
She noted we have a new planner and this took several months for
transition, but it is hoped we can start getting thru the items we have had
County Traffic Report released @ Township Committee on 3-27-07
This meeting was held, and responds
to traffic concerns along Changebridge and Rt. 202. Deborah Nielson elaborated on some of the work that will be done
along Rt. 202. A summary prepared by
Frank Bastone, Administrator of this study was in the member’s package.
Update on Highlands
Linda White indicated that a subcommittee of the Planning Board
consisting of Art Daughtry, Deborah Nielson, Larry Hines, Ladis Karkowsky and
herself reviewed the Highlands mapping of our community, updating it to reflect
the inconsistencies of the overlay mapping.
The Planning Board engineer is updating this map, which will be sent to
the Highlands. Mrs. White referenced
the population mapping displayed in the room which reflected all of the
existing developments, noting that the revised mapping takes into consideration
all of the areas already developed with industrial buildings, site plans and
housing, and also takes into consideration study areas already funded with
grants by the State. This map will be
submitted to the Highlands in next few weeks.
Mr. Cifaretto noted that Linda White also copied the Morris County
Planning Board’s response to the Highlands plan, which is extension. This report should be reviewed by EDC and
are in their packages.
Restricted Email Discussions
Mr. Cifaretto indicated
that the EDC members have to remember that they cannot carry on a dialogue thru
emails since they are public records.
Names and specifics should not be used, nor should a certain activity be
encouraged or discouraged.
Agenda Schedules from Other Boards
Linda White indicated
that she has been sending agenda schedules and minutes from all of the various
boards and commissions she oversees.
The purpose of these transmittals are to keep the EDC members and others
abreast of what is pending, the subject on planning and zoning discussions, and
that if they see something at these levels, they should contact her so that
should EDC need to discuss, she can schedule accordingly. These are meant to connect all of the agencies
in the township so that there is a common thread. To not pay heed to them creates confusion when people ask ‘when’
did this occur. Mr. Cifaretto
Mr. Cain felt that the EDC was losing the concept of their goal: that the EDC was here to help locate and
find users for vacant buildings.
Mrs. White felt the Township should release a press release from
township on the positive things we have done lately, like Winebow, a Restaurant
Wine Distributor located on Maple; Dessert Factory, a wholesale restaurant
desserts approved on Changebridge Road, and Restaurant Depot is on Rt. 46. Gary Lewis voiced that these have been
positives in the township acknowledging the extensive amount of help the
Planning Board did give to these various businesses. Linda White will ask these companies for a press release and will
get these out to newspapers to get the positive highlighted about our
community’s review process.
Adoption of EDC minutes of: 3-21-07 Eligible: Mr. Speciale, Mr. Cifaretto, Mr. Cain, Mr.
Vreeland, Ms. Soroko, Mr. Murphy, Ms. Horowitz
- adopted unanimously
Meeting adjourned unanimously.
Linda M. White