Township Council Fast-Tracks Ordinance Meant To Mitigate Warehouse Effects

Update: The proposed zoning changes included in the ordinance do not conflict with the Township Master Plan, the Planning Board decided at a special July 13 meeting.

The Board made the unanimous decision to favorably return the proposed ordinance for Township Council action after a presentation by Township Planner mark Healey.

Healey told the Board that all of the proposed changes align with the Master Plan’s objectives.

Next stop for the proposed changes is a special July 19 Township Council meeting for a public hearing and final vote.

The public hearing and final vote on a proposed ordinance meant to mitigate the effects of new warehouse developments on nearby residential properties was moved up July 6 at a special meeting of the Township Council.

The second reading and final vote was originally scheduled for September 13 when the ordinance was introduced on June 28.

The Council at its special meeting voted to move the second hearing and final adoption vote to a special meeting set for July 19.

The original time frame was set to give the Planning Board ample time to review the proposed ordinance and make its recommendation to the Council.

The Planning Board has scheduled a special meeting to review the ordinance for 7:30 p.m. July 13.

“it took quite a bit of brainstorming with our attorney to get it done,” Mayor Phil Kramer said. “I’m very gratified that we did get it done.”

The ordinance was created and introduced several weeks after residents of Canal Walk went to Township officials with their concerns over an application for a warehouse submitted by B-9 Schoolhouse Developers, which would be located next to the Canal Walk development.

Residents have packed Council meetings, urging the Council to do what it could to block this application.

The state Municipal Land Use Law effectively ties the Council’s hands on this application, but the proposed ordinance could be used to limit new warehouses from being built in what the Township deems as inappropriate areas.

Mark Healey, the township’ Director of Planning, said all necessary papers have been submitted by the developer, and that the application would be considered under the current zoning ordinance.

The application “technically has not been deemed complete yet,” Healey said in an email. “However, they have made a resubmittal last week in response to my initial determination that it wasn’t complete.  Since the missing items were relatively straight forward (a missing form or two and additional plan copies), I would anticipate (unless the applicant really dropped the ball) that they have made all necessary submittals.”

For more on the ordinance, click here.

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