Howell council will consider warehouse ordinance May 11

HOWELL – An ordinance that will, if adopted, remove warehousing and distribution as a permitted use in Howell’s Special Economic Development (SED) zone is expected to be considered for passage during the May 11 meeting of the Township Council.

The ordinance was introduced on April 13. Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Thomas Russo, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Pamela Richmond and Councilwoman Evelyn O’Donnell voted “yes” on a motion to introduce the ordinance.

If the ordinance is adopted, permitted uses such as assembly and packaging, and/or the manufacturing of food, textile products, apparel, lumber and/or wood products, furniture, stone, glass and clay would still be permitted in the SED zone.

The proposed ordinance states that retail uses will continue to be permitted as an accessory use in the SED zone only to those warehouse/distribution facilities that legally existed as of April 12, 2021, provided the percent of floor area devoted to retail use be limited to 1,000 square feet or 5% of the gross floor area, whichever is less.

A public hearing on the ordinance and a possible vote for its adoption were scheduled for the council’s April 27 meeting, however, the item was pulled from the agenda prior to the meeting.

When residents attending the April 27 meeting asked why the ordinance had been removed from the agenda, Township Attorney Joe Clark said proper notice of the proposed legislation had to be provided to other municipalities by certified and regular mail.

“Notice had to be given out, not only into Howell, but also Farmingdale, Wall Township and Lakewood because (the proposed ordinance) is affecting areas outside the borders of Howell as well and under the Municipal Land Use Law they (have to) receive notice. That is being done right now and (the ordinance) will be on for May 11,” Clark said.