Home Tri Town Tri Town News Howell council members will take action on open space parcels

Howell council members will take action on open space parcels

HOWELL – The Township Council has introduced four ordinances that deal with open space parcels in Howell. A public hearing on each ordinance will be held on May 19 and council members may adopt the ordinances at that time.

Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Pamela Richmond and Councilman Thomas Russo voted “yes” on motions to introduce the ordinances during a meeting on May 5.

The first ordinance authorizes the acquisition of land from the Monmouth Conservation Foundation for open space preservation. The 30-acre vacant parcel on West Farms Road is known as the United Talmudical Academy Torah Vey property.

“Mayor Berger, this property has been on your radar since 2017. This parcel was one of (numerous proposed) affordable housing sites. This (purchase) is a huge accomplishment. This property was supposed to include 140 units, high density,” Bonevich said.

The cost of the United Talmudical Academy Torah Vey property is $1.14 million. According to the ordinance, municipal officials will pay for the purchase with open space funds, any available grant money and taxpayer funds in an amount not to exceed $10,000.

The second proposed ordinance amends a 2019 ordinance which authorized the acquisition of 10 acres adjacent to Deerwood Park on Lakewood-Allenwood Road.

The ordinance proposes using taxpayer funds in an amount not to exceed $15,000 to acquire a right of way that abuts the road so the right of way is not encumbered as Green Acres property, making it easier to perform work at that location in the future if needed.

The third proposed ordinance amends a 2019 ordinance which authorized the acquisition of 13.5 acres on Preventorium Road (the Berger-Wind property).

The ordinance proposes using taxpayer funds in an amount not to exceed $10,000 to acquire a right of way that abuts the road so the right of way is not encumbered as Green Acres property, making it easier to perform work at that location in the future if needed.

Berger abstained from the vote on the ordinance involving the Berger-Wind property.

The fourth proposed ordinance amends a 2019 ordinance which authorized the acquisition of 4 acres from the Monmouth Conservation Foundation for open space preservation. The parcel is known as the Van Schoick property on Preventorium Road.

The ordinance proposes using taxpayer funds in an amount not to exceed $1,000 to acquire a right of way that abuts the road so the right of way is not encumbered as Green Acres property, making it easier to perform work at that location in the future if needed.

Township Attorney Joseph Clark noted that the first ordinance the council members considered on May 5 (the United Talmudical Academy Torah Vey property) represents a new purchase.

The other three ordinances that came before the governing body that evening will amend previous legislation. Clark said Howell officials worked with representatives of the Monmouth Conservation Foundation on all of the land acquisitions.

“We are using township money to purchase the rights of way that abut the roads. Doing that will allow us to do roadwork on them in the future, or expand the road,” the attorney said.

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