MILLBURN, NJ - A process months in the making will finally reach its next step on Tuesday evening when the Millburn Township Committee votes on the second reading and potential final passage of Ordinance 2542-19.
The ordinance would agree to a settlement between the town and the Silverman group concerning development on Woodland Road. Specifically, the Silverman group would be allowed to build a 62-unit, four-story development on the corner of Woodland Road near the Short Hills Train Station.
Over the past few weeks, the ordinance has been the subject of several meetings, which have all revolved specifically around the settlement. the following is a condensed timeline. The highlighted text links back to the stories about each of the meetings.
- SEPT. 3:
At the first reading of the ordinance, Millburn residents jammed the town hall chambers to speak to the committee about what they saw as a rushed settlement. During the meeting, the committee heard from more than two dozen residents about the proposed settlement.
In the end, the committee voted to approve the ordinance on first reading by a 4-0 margin. Committeewoman Cheryl Burstein had to recuse herself due to a conflict of interest stemming from her day job as a lawyer. It then went to the planning board.
- SEPT. 4:
The following night, the planning board had its say on the ordinance. In an advisory role, the board approved the ordinance to send back to the committee but said that certain aspects of the site plan were inconsistent with the town's master plan.
Planning board member Elaine Becker was the one dissenting vote on the board in regards to the ordinance. Residents also showed up to this meeting, although unlike the township meeting, there was no public comment. Burstein, who also serves on the planning board, had to again abstain from the discussion, due to the aforementioned conflict of interest.
- SEPT. 10
In the last meeting held before tonight's township committee meeting, several township legal and planning officials took questions from township residents at the public library.
The meeting stretched for more than an hour and a half, as residents continued to stress that they were not in favor of settling so quickly with the Silverman group. One notable group absence from that meeting were parents from the Glenwood neighborhood, where the building would be placed.
That evening meeting coincided with their back to school night, which people in attendance voiced their displeasure with. After the meeting, the only major step left was tonight's township meeting.
Should the committee approve the ordinance, the township would begin the process of finalizing a settlement with the Silverman Group. The other path at tonight's meeting is for the committee to not pass the ordinance, which would send the township into a builder's remedy lawsuit with the developers.
Additionally, before the final reading and vote on passage, residents will also have one final chance to make their voice heard in the public hearing.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is currently an ongoing story. Stick with TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills for more coverage as it continues to develop over the coming days.