One of, if not the biggest issue facing Washington Township residents in 2013 will be brought back to the forefront to start the new year, as three township committeemen will further discuss the development of a proposed apartment complex.
On Monday night, Jan. 20, committeemen Tracy Tobin, James LiaBraaten, and Donald Babb will again tackle the Kings Highway apartment complex development proposal, which has been batted around by the planning board and governing body for two years.
Kings Highway, LLC, has asked the town to consider rezoning an industrial-use site at the bottom of Kings Highway near the Mansfield Township border into a residential zone for the purposes of building a 208-unit apartment complex there.
At a December committee meeting Michael Selvaggi, an attorney representing the development company, brought forth experts on traffic patterns and real estate market conditions for committee members to further understand the scope and consequence of the proposal.
The project, overall, has been met with much opposition by residents in that area of the township.
Monday night’s meeting will include a discussion based on a memo from town planner David Banisch, in which he has asked the committee if it would be interested in exploring other options for the site, and if so, how to go about taking those steps, according to township administrator Andrew Coppola.
Because any change from the industrial zoning would require input and approval from both the planning board and township committee, a sub-committee bringing together members of both could also be founded to explore the issue.
As of now, Kings Highway, LLC is not actually an applicant, rather, is just bringing the concept to township officials for consideration. If the township committee says it is in favor of making such a change – either rezoning or redeveloping – the development group would then go through the proper steps and process with the planning board as an applicant to the township.
The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Washington Township Municipal Building on Monday, Jan. 20. There will be opportunity for the public to speak during the meeting.
Mayor Ken Short and Vice Mayor Bill Roehrich will not be part of the discussion due to conflicts of interest.