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Eatontown council declares Monmouth Mall to be area in need of redevelopment

EATONTOWN – The Borough Council in Eatontown has designated the Monmouth Mall as an area in need of redevelopment.

The mall’s property on Route 35 was designated as a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment through a resolution passed by council members on Dec. 8.

According to the resolution, in April, the council authorized the Planning Board to undertake a preliminary investigation to determine if the Monmouth Mall met the criteria to be designated as a non-condemnation redevelopment area.

The Planning Board referred the investigation to engineering firm Leon S. Avakian Inc.

In June, planner Jennifer Beahm of Leon S. Avakian Inc. prepared a report that concluded the Monmouth Mall met the criteria to be designated as an area in need of redevelopment, according to the resolution.

Beahm’s report cited two criteria the mall’s property met.

One criteria that was met was the discontinuance of the use of a building or buildings previously used for commercial, retail, shopping malls or plazas, office parks, manufacturing or industrial purposes; the abandonment of such building or buildings; significant vacancies of such building or buildings for at least two consecutive years; or the same being allowed to fall into so great a state of disrepair as to be untenantable.

The second criteria that was met was the designation of the delineated area being consistent with smart growth planning principles, according to the resolution.

Following the issuance of Beahm’s report, the members of the Planning Board also determined the Monmouth Mall met the criteria to be declared a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment and confirmed the finding through a resolution passed on Dec. 6, according to the council’s resolution.

The council’s resolution states that the governing body agrees with the Planning Board’s findings.

The website njplanning.org cites the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law which says, ” “Redevelopment” means: ‘…clearance, re‐planning, development and redevelopment; the conservation and rehabilitation of any structure or improvement, the construction and provision for construction of residential, commercial, industrial, public or other structures and the grant or dedication of spaces as may be appropriate or necessary in the interest of the general welfare for streets, parks, playgrounds, or other public purposes, including recreational and other facilities … in accordance with the development plan.’ “

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