Health, fitness centers will be permitted in special economic development zone

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HOWELL – The Howell Township Council has adopted an ordinance amending the municipality’s land use law and designating health clubs and fitness centers as permitted uses in a Special Economic Development (SED) zone.

Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Rob Nicastro and Councilwoman Evelyn O’Donnell voted to take the action during the council’s Dec. 11 meeting. Councilwoman Pauline Smith voted “no” on the motion to adopt the ordinance. Councilman Bob Walsh was absent.

According to the ordinance, the purpose of the SED zone is to provide for a variety of economic development opportunities in areas of Howell where rail and highway infrastructure are readily available.

In 2011, the SED zoning regulations were amended to permit solar generation facilities to be located in the zone without a use variance being required.

In 2017, the SED zoning regulations were amended to permit microbreweries to be located in the zone without a use variance being required.

Now the SED zoning regulations have been amended to permit health clubs and fitness centers to be located in the zone without a use variance being required.

In other action, council members voted 4-0 to amend Howell’s salary ordinance for various non-union employees. The employees include:

• Tax Assessor, minimum salary of $50,000 and maximum salary of $101,000; the ordinance was amended with a new maximum salary of $102,000;

• Township Clerk, minimum salary of $65,000 and maximum salary of $109,000; the ordinance was amended with a new maximum salary of $110,000;

• Tax Collector, minimum salary of $50,000 and maximum salary of $97,000; the ordinance was amended with a new maximum salary of $98,000;

• Human Resources Administrator, minimum salary of $40,000 and maximum salary of $76,000; the ordinance was amended with a new maximum salary of $77,000.

Finally, council members authorized the continued appointment of Township Manager Brian Geoghegan and the reappointment of Chief Financial Officer Louis Palazzo.