Council Discusses Two Redevelopment Projects

Manchester Town Hall (Photo by Micromedia Publications)

  MANCHESTER – Council members approved the introduction of ordinances concerning two redevelopment projects recently.

  The first ordinance involved adopting a redevelopment plan at 2121 Lake Rd., a non-condemnation development area. This ordinance will be heard for second reading on July 13 as it requires review by the Township Planning Board.

  The Lake Road project is to build a self-storage facility between Lacey Road and Station Road in Whiting. The property is in the WTO/P zone (Whiting Town Office / Professional).

  A second introduction concerned the redevelopment plan for 132 Route 37, another non-condemnation redevelopment area. It was formerly known as Coopers and is located next to the golf range. It will also be read at the council’s July 13 meeting for the same reason as the prior introduced ordinance.

  The Route 37 proposal is to build a rehab center on the north side of Route 37, just east of the Manchester Family Golf facility. The Zone there is HD3 (Highway Development 3) which requires a minimum of three acres.

  The two redevelopment plans are at an early stage of the township’s redevelopment program. The owners/developers propose a plan for the town’s review and comments.

  “If we feel the project would be good for the town, Council will approve the plan and send it to the Planning Board for their review and comments. If the Planning Board approves the plan, the Council will approve second reading and will work with the owner/developer to agree on a detailed contract to lock in the details of the development,” Council President Sam Fusaro said.

  He noted that when finished, the council will have another open meeting where the residents can comment on the project/contract.

  Fusaro stressed that the redevelopment plan is still only a plan and must go before the Planning Board before it gets the council’s final approval.

  “Then we have to agree on a contract with a redeveloper so this is basically step two of a longer step,” Fusaro added.

  In other news, the council amended salary ranges of positions of non-bargaining unit employees. Fusaro explained this was another of the municipality’s ordinances that is done “fairly regularly because as salaries go up we have to keep the salary range of every employee within that range and I believe there are only three changes being made to this ordinance.”

  Township officials approved a yearly ordinance that allows for funds not spent during the prior year to put into an account for special use.

  “If we have an emergency, we can use that quickly rather than go back for a budget change,” Fusaro said. The ordinance was unanimously approved at the start of a June 8 council meeting.

  The governing body also approved an ordinance on second reading pertaining to land use and development as it pertains to the Affordable Housing Act which Fusaro said was “basically cleaning up language.”

  The governing body also accepted a donation of land at 82 Lacey Road in Whiting where the township has water works.

  Township Clerk Sabina Martin said two EMS employees were being added per diem.

  Under appointments the council adopted the establishment of a Green Team advisory committee through the state’s Sustainable New Jersey program involving the township’s Green Team “to improve municipal operations with green community initiatives and those appointed (to the Green Team) will serve until 2021,” Martin said.

  Councilman Robert Hudak reported on the June 1 Planning Board meeting where a minor front yard setback variance was approved to allow the applicant, a church, to comply with plumbing code requirements.

 “We also held a public hearing about the redevelopment area of the golf center we designated the area adopted the planner’s report as an area in need of redevelopment,” Hudak said.

  Once again, Councilman James Vaccaro repeated a request he has made for nearly a year during the council report portion of the meeting asking Council to consider “discussing and preparing an ordinance banning the growth of marijuana within Manchester Township and also the distribution of recreational marijuana within Manchester Township.”