Application For Walnut Avenue Development Online, Clark and Cranford Communities Plan Resistance

Hartz Mountain Industries will appear before the Planning Board on July 19. Credits: Leah Scalzadonna

CRANFORD, NJ – The application by Hartz Mountain for 750 Walnut Avenue is available online.

The application was set to be heard before the Cranford Planning Board last month, but was rescheduled to July 19 at 7:30 p.m. The company intends to rezone the property to build approximately 900 apartments in the space across from the Clark Commons.

“The 30+ acre parcel at 750 Walnut Avenue presently consists of an obsolete and underutilized office/warehouse complex,” the application reads. “Accordingly, Hartz proposes to rezone the property for multi-family residential use. The project is proposed as an inclusionary rental project, with 15 percent of the units set aside for moderate and low income households.”

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The proposal has been met with resident backlash. The organization “Keep Cranford Quaint” has planned a community meeting to show resistance for Tuesday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cranford Community Center.

Other residents are concerned about the effects of the project on schools and traffic.

The application has promised to benefit local schools by creating an economic increase.

“A fiscal impact analysis was prepared to evaluate the impacts of the proposed rezoning on the budgetary finances of Cranford Township,” the planning report included in the application reads. “In terms of total net annual revenues, the development is estimated to generate a net positive impact of approximately $1,035,099 in Phase 1 and $1,598,962 at full build-out. The school district alone will experience net annual tax revenues of over $1 million at all phases of the project.”

Furthermore, the traffic study prepared by Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc. claims that traffic will not be increased by the project.

“The proposed use will generate similar peak hour traffic as compared to existing use and significantly less peak hour trips as compared to the permitted use,” the report reads.

Residents wrote on social media that they believe these reports are untrue and that the approval of this application will weaken the integrity of Cranford.

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