The ‘interest of the public good’

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Hillsborough Township Committee move two ordinances forward in their efforts to maintain a desirable community

The development of warehousing and the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians essentially go hand in hand.

That is what Hillsborough Township Committee members concluded as they moved forward with two ordinances that are in the “interest of the public good” and continue their objective to maintain a desirable community.

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In May, the Township Committee introduced an ordinance to remove warehouse, shipping and receiving facilities as permitted uses in the I-1, I-2, and I-3 Light Industrial Districts, GI General Industrial District, and LI Light Industrial District, according to a press release through the township.

Principle permitted uses in those zones will be permitted to have warehousing as an accessory use if it is customarily associated with the permitted use, officials said.

The township has a document of frequently asked questions about the ordinance on its website at www.hillsborough-nj.org.

The Committee concluded that although warehouse, shipping and receiving facilities generate economic activity including jobs and ratables, it would be at the expense of the public good and would have a negative impact on the community. The ordinance recognizes that any benefits from such facilities would be outweighed by noise, truck traffic, and air pollution, according to township officials.

Warehouses have been a hot topic at many board meetings as many residents vehemently oppose the construction of warehouses especially in or near heavily residential areas. The Committee recognizes residents’ right to quiet enjoyment and to maintain the natural landscape of the community, according to township officials.

In the same sense, the Committee took the first step to protect pedestrians, bikers, and vehicles traveling on Willow Road between Amwell Road and Hillsborough Road.

In May, the Committee also introduced an ordinance that proposes a four-ton weight restriction on Willow Road between Amwell Road and Hillsborough Road. The roadway is actively used by pedestrians and bicyclists. The corridor is also used by school buses in the morning and afternoon. Restricting trucks over four tons was recommended by the township engineer to preserve vehicular and pedestrian public safety, township officials said.

Concern for this was elevated by the proliferation of warehouse applications on streets adjacent to the section of Willow Road. Three warehouse applications are currently active for Homestead Road. This area of roadway on Willow Road is primarily residential and includes houses, bike lanes, and the Willow Road Complex which hosts a variety of recreational facilities for children and adults, officials said.

The ordinance would keep the roadway safer for drivers, bikers, and walkers. It allows only trucks making deliveries to a connecting street to travel on the specified section of the road, thereby eliminating the risk of general truck traffic from endangering this residential community, officials said.

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