EDC minutes 8-19-09 Print E-mail

MONTVILLE TOWNSHIP ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Agenda of August 19, 2009

8:00AM

ROLL CALL

Ron Cain, Jr. - Present                          Margaret Miller – Sanders - absent

Everett Vreeland - present                    Mark Tabakin - absent

Ron Soussa - present                             Deane Driscoll - absent

Jennifer Horowitz - present

Alexander Kachmar – Alt. #1 - present   

Greg Milazzo – Alt #2 - present

Liaisons:

Township Committee: Deb Nielson - present

Township Officials:  Linda White, Land Use Administrator       

Planning Board Liaison:  Gary Lewis - present

         

OLD BUSINESS

General discussion ensued on a redevelopment zone created in Jefferson Township that allowed for a five year tax deferral on improvements made on commercial properties.  Comments indicated that this didn’t appear to be a bad idea, since the municipality continues to receive taxes on the original improvement.  Ms. Nielson indicated she would look into it.

Update:  Master Plan update

Mrs. Horowitz, Mr. Milazzo & Mr. Driscoll, the master plan subcommittee, developed a draft of the goals and objectives of the EDC in view of the upcoming master plan revisions.  Mrs. Horowitz presented the report indicating the Planning Board may wish to consider reviewing in the future as part of their subcommittee’s task in preparing for a new master plan in our community and that this may be the vision we want to offer the community.  She indicated that the vision should be to become a more cohesive community with places to congregate shop and dine in a charming suburban village-type community; to encourage development of more places for Montville residents to see, meet and greet each other. 

Also discussed was the suggestion that the Planning Board plan consider the broad goal of attempting to achieve a particular look and feel for the community.  While there are a variety of natural characteristics in the different locations within the Township, it would be desirable to have the Township have some general consistency with a clear identity.  With this in mind, the Planning Board should consider whether each a particular type of retail development should be encouraged in the Township and, if so, in which location(s) such development would be appropriate. 

Also indicated was that the Design Review Committee should ensure that the retailer (upon development of the property and continuing thereafter) will comply with very stringent requirements with respect to design of buildings and facades as well as signage and landscaping.  The Planning Board and the Design Review Committee should be proactive in promoting and encouraging the types of retail development and the types of aesthetic development it deems desirable.  With respect to appearance on a property, consider the extensive enhancement to the community of properties like the Montville Office Plaza (Changebridge) or the proposed Towaco Lifestyle Center (Jacksonville Road).

Recognizing that the Township generally only wants limited retail development, we propose encouraging retailers that offer goods and/or services which are generally not otherwise available within Montville Township with the hope of a diverse mix of retailers to serve the community.  We would propose encouraging higher-end boutiques or mom and pop types of stores in the interior of the community to maintain this country feel. 

On Route 46, we could perhaps encourage more extensive higher-end development like gourmet markets (e.g. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s) or other services that are not available in our community.  By way of example, we generally do not have a bakery, coffee shop/luncheonette/café, book shop, chocolate/candy shop, cheese shop, gourmet market, fish shop, butcher or shops offering giftware, housewares, food, clothes or toys.  We have very limited restaurants. 

These types of retailers should be encouraged, while banks, gas stations, nail salons, beauty salons, fast food and other retailers which already provide a particular good or service offered (and, in some cases, in excess) in the Township or are not adding to the community should be discouraged.  

Retail development should be primarily in existing retail or industrial zoning, including the Route 46 corridor, Route 202 and Changebridge Road.  Retail may be expanded in areas adjacent to the existing retail in these zones, but, in any event it should be carefully considered and designed.

Ideally, a walkable village could be developed in lieu of some of the many empty offices spaces and dilapidated warehouses.  This can also be considered at the Pine Brook Motel and surrounding retail developments or perhaps on Changebridge.  Industrial zoning should not be expanded in areas ripe for retail or residential development.  A listing of areas which the EDC suggests consideration and potential rezoning or particular consideration was submitted for review for the membership. 

Prior to further retail development, we propose asking the fundamental questions: Is this the type of retailer that would best serve on our community? Is this the type of good/service currently offered and desired within the Township? Does structure of the storefront give the impression of Montville Township we want to portray? Is this aesthetically pleasing? Is it consistent with the community needs? Are we encouraging traffic from other towns beyond the parameter of our town?

We should not look at any property in isolation and recognize that each and every retailer and business added to the Township has an effect on the community--it is more than just filling one spot.

If we could offer Montville Township residents more of the products and services they need or desire, they would likely stay within Montville Township for their shopping needs.  Unfortunately, our residents do not do extensive shopping/spending in Montville.  They go to Parsippany, Fairfield, Boonton, Lincoln Park and other surrounding areas to satisfy their basic needs. Our retailers could and should get those dollars. 

This vision will require careful planning as well as creative/innovative ideas for encouraging the types of uses and high-end retailers desired. Nonetheless, like other communities who have cultivated a particular type of desired village, it can be done.

The Planning Board should consult with legal counsel to consider appropriate methods to encourage and incentivize the type of development that is desired in this community

We believe the proposed vision would add to the sense of community, add to the beauty and charm of the Township, add to the tax ratables to the Township and add to the money expended in town by residents. This would be a win-win for the residents, businesses and the municipality. 

Selected Target Areas dsicussed

--Emery Lane
--Stiles Lane
--Rte 46 East and Westbound
--Old Bloomfield
--Chapin
--Changebridge / Rte 202 Intersection
--Towaco train/bus depot
--86 River Road (by BoE and firehouse)—potential walkable village
--Block of land bordered by Changebridge Road and River Road and Church Lane—potential walkable village 
--287/202 properties
--North side of Rt 202 across from 287 South entrance and up to Rte 287 No. entrance
--Corner of Horseneck/River Road
--Changebridge between Stiles and Old Bloomfield

--From intersection of River & Rt. 202 up to borders of Boonton Township

Mrs. Nielson indicated that the information supplied speaks to retail use and questions whether or not there should be some discussion as it relates to the industrial properties/zones in the community.  Mrs. Horowitz indicated that where we can take these larger warehouse units and look to allow retail, we should encourage same.  Tax rates discussed.  Mr. Soussa indicated you receive a higher ratable for retail than industrial.  Discussion ensued on the possibility of using overlays in industrial zones in place to help promote economic revitalization?  Mr. Soussa also indicated we should encourage internal connections within industrial areas so that this promotes less traffic and enhances site usage and also look to see how we can find incentive monies for existing site improvements.

Ms. Nielson elaborated on the need to look at all areas of the community and how the community should look in future.  She noted that the township is looking at the Changebridge Road connector road and that this area may be an area EDC wants to look at also. 

After lengthy discussion, with all members agreeing that this vision statement matches their goals and objectives of the community, Mrs. Horowitz was asked to make the necessary revisions and this final document will be on the September 19th EDC agenda.

Website Development – update – Mr. Vreeland indicated that the EDC meeting time needs to be changed to 8AM, and that the vacancy list is outdated and needs to be addressed.  Mrs. White will discuss with Mr. Perkins. 

         

MINUTES

Adoption of EDC minutes of 7-15-09 – Eligible: Mr. Cain, Mr. Driscoll, Ms. Sanders, Mr. Soussa, Mr. Tabakin, Mr. Vreeland

Adopted unanimously   

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. White

With explanation

With explanation

With explanation

 
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 October 2009 )
 
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