Government

Mountainside Hears Residents, Includes One New Lot in Barnes Tract Redevelopment

9e950a577193d911e139_barnestract.jpg
9e950a577193d911e139_barnestract.jpg

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The council delivered a welcomed “curveball” to residents who had come to the Tuesday, Sep. 19 council meeting to oppose the planned expansion of the Barnes Tract Redevelopment area. After the discussion, the council unanimously approved the revised resolution regarding the expansion.

Councilman Keith Turner explained that the subcommittee had met prior to the council meeting and, based on community feedback, the subcommittee is recommending that only lot 13 be included in the Barnes Tract Redevelopment area expansion plan. The subcommittee recommended that lot 17 – which had been included in the Planning Board’s recommendation – be omitted from the expansion. “Mayor and the council are here to listen to residents,” he said.

The news was met by silence by the stunned audience, who were prepared to hear that both lot 13 and 17 be included in the expansion plan. With the encouragement of Mayor Paul Mirabelli several residents took the microphone to express their concerns regarding increased traffic congestion and potential drainage issues due to the planned development. However, some residents said they were pleased with the revision.

Sign Up for E-News

“Months of hard work” preceded the committee recommendation. It was a prime example of the mayor, council and residents working together, Councilwoman Deanne Andre stated. Including both the lots 13 and 17 in the redevelopment plan “sounded like a good idea;” however, after listening to residents it turned out not to be such a good idea after all, Councilman Robert Messler said.

The affordable housing debate has been going on for decades. It began with a New Jersey Supreme Court case regarding Mount Laurel which became a benchmark decision. The court ruled that every municipality has an obligation to provide its fair share of affordable housing. Turner explained that Mountainside is required to allocate 123 affordable housing units based on the Mount Laurel Doctrine. “Mountainside is very lucky” as the court mandated zoning requires only six units per acre here while other nearby municipalities have been dealt with much higher density requirements. He noted that all New Jersey municipalities are force fed with the new affordable housing mandates.

The Barnes Tract development will have a minimum of 32 units of which six will be affordable. The rest of the units are priced based on market value. The development also has a commercial component. The borough has approved the sale price of the five acre parcel for $3.1 million to Pop Realty. Turner explained that this agreement gives the borough more control over the project. “We want it to fit in.”

The next step is for the planning board to formulate an ordinance for the development and submit it for council approval. This process may take up to 90 days. After the ordinance is approved the developer will submit its plans to the planning board. Mirabelli expects the project to be shovel ready in the spring.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mountainside

Upcoming Events

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

The History of Hanson Park and Surrounding ...

Education

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield

Plainfield Symphony Mahler's 9th Symphony

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, April 29, 1:00 PM

The Monninger Center/The Orangerie at Fairleigh Dickinson University Madison Campus, Madison

Sculpting the Land - Creating Gilded Age Gardens

Education Green Home & Garden

Sun, April 29, 3:30 PM

Codey Arena, West Orange

Girls Try Hockey Free Clinic

Sports

Student Led #Rally4 Action to Protest Gun Violence Held Friday in Springfield

April 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Fueled partially by their disappointment that students were not allowed to leave school for the nationwide student protest last month, student leaders planned a rally Friday on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado. At 4:30 p.m., students, parents, families, community members met at Chisholm Community Center to register voters, make ...

Student Led #Rally4 Action to Protest Gun Violence Held Friday in Springfield

April 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Fueled partially by their disappointment that students were not allowed to leave school for the nationwide student protest last month, student leaders planned a rally Friday on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado. At 4:30 p.m., students, parents, families, community members met at Chisholm Community Center to register voters, make ...

Tickets On Sale Now for “An Evening Of Shining Stars” at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway on May 4

April 22, 2018

RAHWAY, NJ - One of the area's most anticipated events - "An Evening of Shining Stars" - featuring members of the special needs community from Cranford and around Union County will take place 7 p.m. Friday, May ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...