Year in Review: Hopewell Borough addresses building projects and cannabis

ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF

The start of 2022 arrives on Jan. 1 and with the New Year arriving this week much has taken place during 2021 in Hopewell Borough.

Here is a year in review of stories covered by the Hopewell Valley News on Hopewell Borough in 2021.

Hopewell Borough takes a pause on the operation of recreational cannabis businesses

The Hopewell Borough Council adopted an opt-out ordinance prohibiting the operation of all classes of the cannabis business in the borough by the state-mandated deadline of Aug. 21.

There are no limits for the borough to opt in by having chosen to opt out by the deadline.

There are six types of licenses the Cannabis Regulatory Commission will issue. They are cultivator (grower), manufacturer (processor), wholesaler, distributor, retailer and delivery service.

Hopewell Borough can choose which of the six licenses would be allowed, but is not allowed to deny delivery services to come through the borough to reach residents.

If the municipality had failed to adopt an ordinance by the state deadline, cultivators, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors would automatically become permitted uses in industrial zones of the municipality.

Also, the retail selling of cannabis would have been a conditional use in the commercial or retail zones.

East Broad Street project receives approval from Planning Board

The Hopewell Borough Planning Board approved the proposed 71 E. Broad St. commercial and residential project that will convert the existing building space for the two-story structure into apartments, retail and professional spaces.

The existing building used to be the former automobile service station building of Castoro & Company Inc.

Four residential units on the second floor of the two-story structure and the first floor will be all commercial. The first floor includes two retail and professional spaces, one professional space and a garage space.

The approval of the commercial retail and apartment project is phase one of what is anticipated to be a two-phased approach in developing lots along East Broad Street, next to the project at 71 East Broad St. There is currently not an application for a phase two project before the Planning Board.

Hopewell Planning Board begins public hearing to replace Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn

An application is being carried by the Planning Board into the New Year that proposes the construction of a new three-story building that will replace the Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn.

The hearing continues on Jan. 5. Genesis Investment Properties plans to utilize the existing building footprint of the building at 15 E. Broad St. in Hopewell Borough.

The applicant is proposing to demolish the existing building and shed, a one-story addition adjacent to the borough library, rear concrete walkways and curbing, wood fence and landscape wall.

The first floor of the proposed building would have a restaurant with a bar, a lounge and a dining room. A kitchen, a wrap-around porch and rest rooms are also proposed.

The second floor would have two one-bedroom apartments, a dining area and a wrap-around dining porch.

The third floor is proposed to have four one-bedroom apartments.

Hopewell Borough Council creates a safety advisory committee

The Borough Council established a Pedestrian, Bicycle and Safety Advisory Committee (PBSAC) in 2021.

The new committee is specifically designed to advise council and collect information on safety, help address issues regarding pedestrian, bicycle and traffic safety, prepare an inventory for each street in the borough spotlighting any issues or recommended improvements, and better safely connect residents within Hopewell Borough.

The committee is advisory only and will report to the council. The Borough Council makes the decision to move forward with any particular improvement, change or suggestion that is brought forth from the advisory committee.

The committee consists of five members who will be appointed by Mayor Paul Anzano.