CHATHAM, NJ - Four consecutive lots on River Road, starting from the corner of Watchung Avenue, were designated as "an area in need of redevelopment" by a 6-0 vote of the Borough of Chatham Council on Monday night.

The vote followed a public hearing held at the borough's Nov. 13 meeting, which acknowledged the Nov. 7 planning board approval, recommending the designation.

The vote puts Chatham Borough a step closer to a plan that allows Chatham River Road Partners, LLC, to build apartment housing on the four lots that span from 12 River Road to 22 River Road. The four lots are assessed at $4.1 million and bring in $88,000 of tax revenue annually.

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There is a preliminary plan in place to build 47 apartments at 16 River Road, where Burling Instrument is located.

The developer also plans to build housing on the current site of Crown Oil, located at 22 River Road, and National Manufacturing at 12 River Road.

Urban planner Phil Abramson of Topology reports on his findings of the Crown Oil property that support designating River Road "an area in need of redevelopment"

By making the designation, Abramson noted that the borough council will have more input on what can be built on the privately owned properties.

A widening of the road and a possible new train station on River Road could follow. But Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris cautioned council member Thad Kobylarz in the video below that a train station and parking deck will not become a reality for a long time.

In other business, the council adopted an ordinance that amends the "salaries and wages for municipal positions" in the Borough of Chatham for 2019. The measure passed by a 6-0 vote.

The council also unanimously approved on first reading a bond ordinance to appropriate $2.7 million toward the improvement of the Madison-Chatham Joint Meeting Molitor Water Pollution Control Facility. Chatham's share of the improvement is 36 percent, with Madison Borough responsible for the remainder of the total estimated cost of $7.5 million.