BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Center for Excellence proposed redevelopment project was the subject of the Bridgewater Planning Board meeting Monday, with testimony and public questions continuing set to continue again during a special meeting Tuesday.
The discussion will continue, but no final decisions are anticipated Tuesday at 7 p.m. at a special planning board meeting scheduled specifically for the continuation of this application.
The application remains on the agenda for the regularly scheduled planning board meeting Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.
The application proposes a mixed use development including retail, office, restaurant, residential and office research on Route 202/206.
Attorney Erik Frins addressed the board at the start of the meeting to say that he represents resident Crystal Fresco and a group of concerned citizens that oppose the development project. Frins said his services had been retained earlier that day, and he requested a postponement of any decision on the application to allow time to thoroughly review all the information, which was met with an objection from the developer’s attorney.
The board stated they would proceed with the scheduled witnesses and revisit at the end of the meeting whether it would be necessary to continue on Nov. 12, which was later affirmed.
Testimony was heard from traffic expert Gary Dean, who testified on recent parking studies of site from Oct. 3 and Oct. 15 around peak times of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. He said these were conducted in response to concerns from the board and the public that previous parking studies in the summer may have had a seasonal impact.
Dean said the results of the October studies aligned with prior data and that “seasonality had no bearing on these conclusions” that parking use at its maximum filled no more than half of the available parking spaces.
Brandon Diamond, the commercial project architect, testified about the building materials selected for the commercial properties proposed for the site, including a ShopRite supermarket. Diamond provided physical representations of building materials that had previously been provided as digital material boards.
Diamond added that the architecture and materials are designed to create an “authentic Main Street character” within the development.
Several members of the public asked questions expressing concern about the impact of parking, traffic, lighting and noise the development project could have on the community and surrounding residential neighborhoods.
Check back Wednesday for an update on progress made on the application, and Thursday for a full story on testimony, concerns from residents and where the project stands heading into November.