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Apartment Complex Issue Tops Busy Committee Meeting Wednesday

Final work session for one committeeman will see contract negotiations and open space projects at the municipal building.

Wednesday night’s township committee work session meeting is shaping up to be a big one, offering a full agenda of items capped by an issue that has riled residents over the last month. 

Town Planner David Banisch, along with representatives from Kings Highway, LLC, will come before the governing body for the second straight month to talk about rezoning a piece of land on Kings Highway Road that would tear down an industrial factory and make way for a 208-unit apartment complex.

Attorney Michael Selvaggi, representing the development company, has been working with the township’s planning board and now township committee for nearly two years on the project. Experts on traffic, engineering, and housing market trends have come before each body to explain the pros and cons of the potential development.

After the November meeting a group of residents living in the area started a petition against the development, which has now snowballed to more than 230 signatures at change.org.

Conversations on social media sites by residents have also indicated a large crowd is expected to attend Wednesday night’s meeting.

Selvaggi told Patch recently he plans to discuss the apartment complex’s tax implications on the town along with more detail on traffic and environmental impact at Wednesday’s meeting.

Just three committeeman are able to discuss the issue – James LiaBraaten, David Kennedy, and Tracy Tobin, who will act as mayor during the conversation – due to conflicts of interest. Mayor Kenneth Short has commissioned the services of Selvaggi in the past, and Vice Mayor Bill Roehrich lives within a short distance of the building site.

Aside from the development discussion, the committee is scheduled to set budget meeting dates for the start of 2014, as well as discuss open space grant applications and potential projects for current open space locations.

An executive session will see contract negotiations for the Chester Health Department and Mansfield IT department through shared services.

The meeting will also be committeeman Dave Kennedy’s penultimate session, as he is being succeeded by Donald Babb in 2014. Kennedy did not run for re-election in 2013.

The meeting is open to the public and residents are encouraged to attend the 7:30 p.m. session. 

Tracy Tobin December 10, 2013 at 07:48 PM
If you are coming to the Township Committee meeting tomorrow night, please consider car pooling. Parking is limited at the Municipal Building. Over 230 residents have signed an on-line petition regarding the Kings Highway Zoning project. I do not want to discourage anyone from coming to the meeting and speaking on the topic, just a heads up re the parking. I am having a family member drop me off so that will free up one spot. Tracy Tobin

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