ROXBURY, NJ – Unless they wanted to plow through overgrowth, people attending Olde Suckasunny Day last Saturday were forced to step off the sidewalk on the north side of Main Street and walk in the road at one point.
That brushed Roxbury Councilman Mark Crowley the wrong way.
While he joined his colleagues in praising the annual event at a council meeting Tuesday, Crowley said he was disappointed with the long weeds that hung over the sidewalk at 75 Main St., a lot that’s been vacant for decades.
“You couldn’t walk on the sidewalk,” said the councilman. “Even though we’ve done all this work, you can’t use some of it.”
Crowley was referring to the new sidewalks and lighting along Main Street, part of a so-called “Main Street Streetscape” project. The township is planning to do similar work on the south side of Main Street, using state grant money awarded two years ago.
But Crowley said the township needs to figure out how to keep property owners from allowing overgrowth to diminish the beauty, and usefulness, of the pretty walkways. “We need a way to stop this before we do the other side,” he commented.
We're On It
He didn’t respond at the meeting, but Roxbury Township Manager John Shepherd on Thursday told TAPinto Roxbury that the township plans to act on Crowley’s concerns.
“We are looking at enforcement through our health Department,” the manager said, in an e-mail. “The staff will contact the property owner which should result in the vegetation being properly cut and maintained.”
The land with weeds arching over the new sidewalk – the site of the former Roxbury Inn – was rezoned by the township last year to allow developer Equinet Properties of Morristown to build townhouses. The special zone, called the Main Street Multi-Family Residence District, allows “multi-family housing with an affordable housing component that is compatible in context and enhances the unique historical, cultural, aesthetic and scenic character of the township’s Main Street Succasunna Historical District.”
Equinet representative Richard Reimers, today said the company does not yet own the property. Records show the owners to be Degrande Schroeder of Dover, who could not be reached for comment.
Reimers promised Equinet will properly maintain the 1.9-acre site once the sale closes. Equinet's project is working its way through the approval process before the Roxbury Planning Board.