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Following emotional meeting, Hillsborough Planning Board postpones two proposed warehouse hearings to the new year

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HILLSBOROUGH – The Hillsborough Township Planning Board has decided to postpone hearings for two warehouse proposals until the new year.

The Planning Board agreed at a meeting on Nov. 3 to postpone warehouse applications for 279 Homestead Road and 1170 Millstone Road to Jan. 12, 2023.

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This decision comes on the heels of the essential chaos that erupted at an Enviromental Commission meeting in October when residents of the township’s Hearthstone 55-plus community spoke out about another warehouse application proposed to be built on Weston Road across the street from the adult community development.

Neil Julian, who serves on both the Environmental Commission and the Planning Board, called last month’s meeting “very precarious” noting the public’s actions and “emotions running high” from the warehouse proposal.

“It was overcrowded. It was emotional. It was frustrating. We didn’t know what to do,” Julian said about the meeting, asking officials what the protocol would be “when situations potentially can be volatile.”

“We didn’t know how to get a hold of the fire marshal or get a hold of the police. We almost had to shut down the meeting a couple of times. It was not a good night.”

After Julian finished his comments on the matter, Mayor Shawn Lipani addressed the public to remind everyone that the Environment Commission is an advisory panel of community volunteers and that they have no impact on voting for or against the application.

“They advise us, the Planning Board,” Lipani said of the Environmental Commission. “So, to take your ire out on five people who are sitting there just trying to do a job, you should all be ashamed of yourselves whoever you are. Completely ashamed of yourselves.”

Lipani went on to add that “if these actions continue to happen from the public, he will limit the amount of people that can attend meetings in the township moving forward” and also the possibility of having law enforcement in attendance at those meetings as well.

Township Committeeman Frank DelCore concurred with Lipani’s statements.

“We will never put our volunteers in a position where they feel threatened again,” he said.

The warehouse on Weston Road is proposed to range from 135,000 to 157,750 square feet on an 18.2-acre tract. The application is scheduled to be heard at the Planning Board meeting on Nov. 10.

The warehouse at 279 Homestead Road is proposed to be a 37,413 square-foot warehouse with 9,663 square feet of office space.

The warehouse at 1170 Millstone Road is proposed to be a 20,440 square-foot light manufacturing building with 6,000 square feet of office space.

On Dec. 8, the Planning Board is scheduled to hear a proposal to build two warehouse office buildings at 189 Homestead Road. The first building is proposed to be a 168,304 square-foot warehouse with 6,000 square feet of office space and the second building is proposed to be around 368,995 square feet.

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