BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Two public information and input sessions regarding the redevelopment of the largest undeveloped property in the township - the 180-acre former Millington Quarry - are scheduled for May 15 and May 24 in the main meeting room at town hall.
The sessions won't be formal hearings, but will be an opportunity for residents to get a closer look at redevelopment options, and to offer input, township officials said when the concept was brought up again at the April 11 Township Committee meeting. The May sessions are scheduled to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on both evenings.
Anthony Splendorio, an adviser speaking on behalf of Shopoff Realty investments, contracted buyer of the now-closed quarry off Stonehouse Road, again said publicly that the redevelopment plans include both recreational land and a future lake that will have access for the public.
The idea of having an outside developer take over redevelopment of the quarry has come up a number of times before township officials at meetings for more than a year. Both the Bernards Township Planning Board and Township Committee have given their stamp of approval to designating the property eligible for a state redevelopment plan.
The Planning Board approved a resolution back in February officially endorsing an application seeking to designate the Millington Quarry as a state redevelopment site. The resolution recognized former Township Committeeman Bill Allen's advisement to recognize the "severe slopes and dangerous rock-face cliff on the northerly and easterly side of the property adjacent to the NJ Transit railroad line."
A part of the property has always been zoned for residential development. Splendorio said the concept being considered would include some smaller housing units for couples or empty nesters who do not necessarily have children.
On April 11, resident Todd Edelstein also questioned what impact residential development on the property would have on local taxes. He suggested the property might be rezoned for industrial use, rather than residential development.
Mayor Carolyn Gaziano said that the ideas being discussed include a mix of future uses at the quarry site, including some commercial space.
Other speakers instead spoke in favor of the current concept, noting that Shopoff has experience in redeveloping commercial sites into communities.