FLEMINGTON, NJ – Borough Council approved a redevelopment plan for the former Agway property at its regular meeting on Monday.
Officials designated three lots totaling 5.6 acres as an “area in need of redevelopment” in April, 2014. Planner Kendra Lelie of Clarke Caton Hintz said that because of wetlands rules, probably only about three aces of the site is developable.
The largest portion of the area is 3.34 acres divided between two lots that face Main Street, Walter Foran Boulevard and Hopewell Avenue. There are four buildings on the property that have been vacant since 2009.
The redevelopment plan was first unveiled in December.
The Planning Board reviewed the plan at its Jan. 24 meeting and determined it is consistent with the borough’s Master Plan, Council President Marc Hain said.
Hain said the Planning Board did suggest, and Council agreed, to include in the plan that there should be no entrance or exit from the site onto Main Street. Those coming down Main Street would be required to turn onto Walter Foran Boulevard and then turn into the Agway site from there.
The Planning Board also suggested that final plans encourage “interproperty access” between the two lots that are east of Main Street. It also wants to discourage any “cut-through” from Hopewell Avenue onto Walter Foran Boulevard.
The property that is west of North Main Street, and that includes the old train depot, would have Main Street access restricted to right turns in and right turns out.
Mayor Phil Greiner said Council plans to draft a Request for Proposals to solicit specific plans from developers.
Lelie said the redevelopment plan “is not an actual conceptual plan” but a zoning ordinance that defines the permitted uses for the site, which is predominately residential. A conceptual plan can’t be produced until a developer actually comes forward with a proposal, she said.
“It does allow for some commercial use, but that’s in the old train station depot,” Lelie said, and some municipal or educational use would also be permitted, perhaps on its ground floor. The proposed density is about 30 units per acre, she said, with three-story buildings. The Planning Board suggested in its review that the height of buildings on the railroad depot site could be increased, Hain said.
Resident Tony Previte told officials that Steve’s store – which he called “underperforming ... and ugly” should have been included in the redevelopment area. Council member Brooke Liebowitz said the store is privately owned and “not part of this plan.”