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Edgewater News

Posted on: September 30, 2020

Mayor McPartland Statement in regard to the proposed adoption of Ordinance 2020-005

Mayor McPartland Statement in regard to the proposed adoption of Ordinance 2020-005, the Re-Development Ordinance for the Hess Site at the September 29, 2020 Mayor and Council Meeting

Tonight, we take another step towards the redevelopment at the center of town. As many of you will remember, we signed a historic agreement regarding the future development of the Hess site last year. That agreement required the Borough to begin a process that will ultimately lead to the acquisition of the entire western parcel of that site.  Most notably, (if you recall) the developer is transferring the entire western portion of the property, valued at approximately $15 million dollars (or more) at zero cost to taxpayers. This transfer of property will ultimately become the site of a brand new, state of the art, school for our children, and a massive influx of revenue for the Borough. 

Since that agreement was reached, we referred the matter to the planning board which held several hearings on whether the property qualified as an area in need of redevelopment. Despite being a member of the planning board, I recused myself so that the process would play out without any influence. The board held three hearings and ultimately agreed that the property should be declared an area in need of redevelopment. I was happy to see so many people participate in the hearings and even happier to see that during the final meeting not a single member of the public spoke out against that determination.

Following our acceptance of the planning board’s recommendation in July, we asked the Planning Board to review the entire redevelopment plan. They had another hearing and provided recommendations to the redevelopment plan. Our professionals have reviewed those recommendations, some of which we will incorporate into the redevelopment plan and some we will not. We thank the Planning Board for its work both on the initial area in need study and in their review of the redevelopment plan. 

Further, the settlement we reached laid the groundwork to settle our affordable housing case.  This site will provide for a substantial portion of our affordable housing obligation and allowed us to reach an agreement with Fair Share Housing, prevent any builders remedy suits, and set the Borough up for future compliance.

Tonight, we will vote to authorize the redevelopment plan and pass an ordinance in furtherance of that plan, we will designate a redeveloper. This will allow for the developer to develop their site plan in accord with the plan, and brings us another step closer to a new school for our children along with open space.  Over the last several years, it has become obvious that the school system needs, and our students deserve, a new school.  We have worked with the school system to support them in their financial needs, and now we are working with them in supporting their capitol needs.

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