Meeting Tonight To Discuss New Development in Short Hills

Credits: Jonathan Sym

MILLBURN, NJ – There will be two meetings held this evening at the Millburn High School Auditorium.  Beginning at 7 p.m. the Board of Education’s Institutional Advancement Committee will be presenting another open forum to discuss the upcoming referendum to purchase the Millburn Regional Day School, which will create a unified 5th grade, whereby all the townships students in that grade will be taking classes in the proposed building. 

This multi-million dollar referendum can solve current and future over crowding conditions at all the Millburn/Short Hills elementary schools as well as to allow for innovative uses for the free spaces.  It’s predicted that about four classrooms at each of the elementary schools will be freed up with the purchase of the day school.  The spaces could be used for permanent arts and technology classes, for example, or to meet other educational requirements as directed by the individual schools.   From previous board and committee discussions, there is a general consensus that this course of action will likely occur.  One of the aims of the board is to inform all residents about the fiscal and logistic requirements that the plan entails as well as the impact this referendum will have on township residents, with or without children currently enrolled in Millburn schools.

The second meeting that will immediately follow at approximately 8:30 p.m. will discuss the application by 233 Canoe Brook Associates to build a multi-use property near the Short Hills Mall section of town.  The concern that many township residents have is with the 200+ units, which will be built for residential housing, with about 15% of it dedicated to affordable housing. 

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Consternation amongst residents is in regard to the potential impact additional families may have on the population in the schools and how the township would have to deal with an influx of students.  The Hartshorn School may be particularly affected, as families that would be living in the current proposed site would be zoned to attend that elementary school. 

At this stage of discussions, there are no analytics or metrics to determine how many new students the proposed complex may have.  It was said that the property would be marketed primarily towards adults but some believe that given certain price points relative to current property values in Short Hills, some speculate that this development will attract many families who desire to have their children attend Millburn schools.

The application by 233 Canoe Brook Associates is on the Millburn Planning Board’s agenda on December 2nd.  The open meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

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