SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Three applications were heard at the March 1 meeting. The first was a redevelopment plan for the Church Mall and Walnut Court, block 207 lots 1 and 2. The proposal is to zone it for up to 24 apartment units of mostly one and two bedrooms in a three story building. The first floor would be zoned for retail. Because this location is the eastern gateway to Springfield, the plan encourages an iconic feature defining the corner as a welcoming gateway.
Mr. Bill Sinkowicz of Walnut Court was concerned about egress from Walnut Court with potentially 48 more cars parked on site assuming two cars per unit. Planning Board member Jeffrey Tiger asked of fellow board members, “Is everyone comfortable with 24 units?” Discussion of this topic concluded that when a plan is submitted they will get a second look and that it may not warrant including 24 units.
However, the plan was approved unanimously since this is just the first step in a longer process. The next step is to send the plan to the Township Committee because the redevelopment plan creates zoning issues which have to be changed by ordinance. Also there will be a public hearing with 45 days to send ideas of thoughts to the Township Committee. The Planning Board will then review the revised plan for final approval.
Once the site plan is reviewed and approved it is ready to move forward with a developer.
The second application was for Nissan World LLC. Mr. Alfred Preziosi the owner of Nissan World testified that he has operated at this location on Rt. 22 West and Hillside Avenue since 1999. His plan calls for an expansion of the campus. Recently, he purchased the Tile World building. Preziosi plans to tear the Tile World Building down and erect a new one (see pictures) that will be for Sales only. There was discussion of adding more landscaping to the plan but was dismissed due to site line issues on Route 22, as well as the difficult experience plants have had in past surviving near the highway. The plan was approved unanimously.
The last application was for a change in tenancy at 30 Millburn Avenue. Emerald Garden, a full service florist, is moving their business from Millburn to Springfield. Pamela Lia an employee of Emerald Garden testified that ninety percent of their business is conducted over the phone. She also said they do a lot of party work, which is done off site. There are 4-5 full time employees and a few part time seasonal employees. Their planner, Richard Keller testified that “This site is one third of an acre. The first twenty feet are in Millburn.” The discussion continues about whether Millburn should review the proposal. Board attorney Alexander Fisher stated he “…can’t see that happening here. Millburn will just waive jurisdiction”. The application was approved unanimously.
The next planning Board meeting is scheduled for April 5, 2017.