East Brunswick amends Route 18 corridor redevelopment plan

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EAST BRUNSWICK – Continuing a plan to redevelop East Brunswick’s busiest area, the Township Council has adopted an ordinance accepting the Route 18 Corridor Redevelopment Plan amendments.

On April 24, 2017, the mayor and council adopted a resolution which directed the Planning Board to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine whether the areas commonly known as Redevelopment Area 1A, 2A, 3A and 6A qualified as a Condemnation Redevelopment Area in accordance with the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, according to the council.

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In June 2018, the council adopted the redevelopment plan.

In March 2019, the Redevelopment Agency adopted a resolution and as extended by a previously approved resolution which designated River Development Equities LLC as the exclusive redeveloper of the redevelopment area, according to the council.

On Nov. 9, the council asked the Planning Board to review proposed amendments to the Route 18 Corridor Redevelopment Plan, according to the council.

The board, at its public meeting on Dec. 9, did review the resolution of the agency dated Sept. 5, which was presented to the board by DMR Architects Planner Francis Reiner, according to the council.

Based on its review of the Sept. 5 resolution, the agency and testimony of Reiner on Dec. 9, the board agreed with the findings from the resolution dated Sept. 5 from the agency and recommended that the proposed amendments be adopted by ordinance by the council.

“As discussed in our last meeting, this is just an amendment for this redevelopment plan to come into compliance with the revised designs that the current developer has brought to us in our planner,” Councilman and Redevelopment Agency Chairman James Wendell said.

Before the council adopted the ordinance, Councilman Kevin McEvoy asked Wendell when the council would be able to see the revised designs.

“The designs are in the process of being put to paper. What we are voting on tonight is the written redevelopment plan, not the actual civil engineering [plan], but it is expected to come before the Planning Board, and of course [the council] and the Redevelopment Agency at some time over the next three months with some real concrete plans,” Wendell said.

The council approved and adopted the ordinance to accept the amendments made to the Route 18 Corridor Redevelopment Plan on Dec. 28 during the council meeting via video conference.

The amendments that were made to the plan include:

• Reducing the minimum number of residential units in the Town Center Zone from 600 units to 400 units;

• Increasing the maximum number of residential units in the neighborhood/highway commercial zone from 300 units to 500 units;

• Increasing the maximum allowable percentage of dwelling units under 550 square feet from 5% to 10%;

• Reducing the minimum combined side/rear yard setbacks from 25 feet to 20 feet to all exterior property lines and confirming the zero feet is permitted for all interior property lines thereby permitting the construction of buildings or other improvements at or nearer to the interior property lines of parcels compromising the property;

• Revising the minimum parking requirements such that 1.0 space will be required for each multi-family unit types.

This ordinance takes effect immediately upon its adoption.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.

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