Applicant withdraws request for property rezoning in Millstone Township

MILLSTONE – A request to rezone a Millstone Township property to accommodate the construction of a warehouse has been withdrawn by the applicant who asked municipal officials to consider taking the action.

During a recent Township Committee meeting, representatives of DENJ Inc. appeared before the governing body.

Attorney John Giunco asked officials to consider rezoning a parcel on Trenton-Lakewood Road (Route 526) so the applicant could propose the construction of a warehouse as a permitted use at that location.

Giunco explained that his client was seeking to have the property, which is near Interstate 195 and owned by DENJ, rezoned as a business park to permit a warehouse.

“The demand in the market has just exploded for warehousing because of distribution and the changes we are seeing in many of the issues resulting from (the coronavirus pandemic),” he said.

“A lot of businesses are scrambling for different ways to be able to deliver product to customers and to move products among their various locations.

“From the township’s perspective, (the warehouse) should release an increase in revenues for the benefit of education, for open space, for the fire district and the municipal tax rate,” Giunco said.

He said a warehouse would have little, if any, impact on Millstone Township’s resources.

“This is a suitable rezoning for the property. It’s in proximity to the existing (business park) zone, it’s adjacent to I-195, it has a direct access from the township to I-195 and our client will direct that traffic.

“We believe the project will benefit (the township) by providing employment opportunities, along with the generation of taxes. It provides for a development consistent with the outline of the (business park) zone in the master plan,” Giunco said.

However, the proposal drew concerns from municipal officials and residents. Of particular concern was the truck traffic that would be generated by a warehouse.

While Mayor Fiore Masci agreed that warehouses are needed in New Jersey, he said the location was not suitable for one.

Noting that he was familiar with hearing truck traffic from living in Carteret, which is near the New Jersey Turnpike, and working as a truck driver, Masci emphasized that Millstone is a quiet community.

“On Route 526 where this is being proposed, you have people who take that road to go to Allentown High School,” the mayor said. “You have buses that take that road.

“Just down the street, there is a recreation facility we put in place with kids and parents. Quite honestly, the last thing we want to do is bring more truck traffic into this area.

“When I drive onto Route 526, it exemplifies everything Millstone stands for. You have this beautiful country road, you have beautiful farms, you have beautiful homes, and the last thing we would want to put there would be something that is the equivalent of nearly 13 football fields, let alone with 157 loading docks, 186 trailer space and 228 cars. To me, this is not the site for it,” Masci said.

After hearing the response to the proposal, Giunco said his client was withdrawing the  request for the property to be rezoned.