MILLBURN, NJ - Before a packed chamber in town hall, members of the Millburn Township Committee heard testimony from township residents regarding a settlement for a proposed development that is currently in litigation.
Ordinance 2542-19, which was introduced and had its first reading at Tuesday's meeting, concerns a settlement on the property, which is owned by the Silverman Group.
The developer has proposed a plan for the 1.56 acres of property that would sit near the Short Hills Train Station and the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum. The plan currently calls for 62 units, as well as space for the Summit Medical Group on the ground floor of the structure.
Parking would be located under the building, and the overall height of the structure would be in the range of four stories, or approximately 40 feet.
As part of the public comment session during the introduction, the township committee brought out planning board attorney Ed Buzak, township planner Paul Phillips and court-appointed mediator on the project Frank Banisch to speak to all the information that could be released without breaking the NDA.
As Buzak said, the ordinance is an omnibus ordinance, which if passed, would settle the litigation and adopt zoning ordinances for the property.
Then, it was time for residents to take the mic.
For those who live in the area, the project is seen as detrimental for a number of reasons. The main one is that the building is too large and too unwieldy, and in their eyes, would ad more traffic to an already congested section of roadway near the station.
Another issue to many residents is that from their perspective, it does not feel as if the town has negotiated the developer down on the size of the building or the number of units since the initial site plans were released.
After hearing from residents, the township committee voted on whether to pass the ordinance on first reading and bring it up for final debate and potential passage at the next meeting, with a public hearing scheduled for Sept. 17. The measure was put to a vote and passed by a vote of 4-0.
Committee member Cheryl Burstein was the only one who could not vote on the matter, having to recuse herself based on a potential conflict of interest from her job.