BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The final fate of the Center of Excellence project is expected to be decided later this month.
 
The massive redevelopment project proposed for Route 202/206 is expected to be heard by the Bridgewater Township Planning Board on Sept. 23, according to Councilman Howard Norgalis, who is also a member of the planning board.
 
The center application includes plans for 400 rental apartment units, plus on-site amenities such as retail shops, restaurants, a hotel and a supermarket. 
 
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Residents have appeared before both the council and the planning board on a number of occasions to voice their concerns that the Center project would only serve to increase traffic congestion in that area to unheard-of levels that would negatively impact their quality of life. In January, a group of residents operating under the name Preserve Bridgewater started a petition against the Center project that amassed more than 800 signatures.
 
In April, the township council voted down an ordinance that would have revoked a land use measure entitled the Redevelopment R-SEED (Special Economic Development District) regarding the Center. That same month, the council also unanimously voted down a P.I.L.O.T. (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program, which denied the township’s interest in, approval of or execution of a long-term tax exemption financial agreement for the nearly 62 acres of land encompassing the Center project.
 
The project had been anticipated to go for a final vote earlier in the year, but was pulled from the agenda prior to final testimony being heard, and has not come back before the planning board since.
 
The Sept. 23 planning board meeting will be held in the council chambers at 100 Commons Way, and will begin at 7 p.m.