Negotiations between the Township of Maplewood and Mark Built Home for the purchase and development of 125 Dunnell Road continue to inch along. Meanwhile, the Township Committee introduced a bond ordinance for $100,000 to pay for environmental improvements to the site.
A hearing and final approval for the bond ordinance is scheduled for November 15.
While Mayor Vic DeLuca said that there is "nothing final" to report regarding the deal between the Township and Mark Built Home of Union, the Mayor reported that the two entities are "about 90% on agreement on language." DeLuca wrote via email that the "other 10% is the hardest."
On August 3, the Township announced that there was an agreement in principle with Mark Built for the development of the site. This was announced after the town ended its exclusive negotiations with the developer in June after extending the exclusive negotiating period in April. The extension was made as the Town waited for reports on the environmental condition of the site that DeLuca said would "factor into the next stage of negotiations." On May 19, the Town approved a bond ordinance for $55,000 to provide for environmental cleanup of the site related to underground tanks.
The Township had entered into exclusive negotiations with Mark Built in February of 2010.
Maplewood Avenue resident Joe DePlasco, who last fall petitioned the Township Committee and Planning Board to limit the scale of any development of the site (DePlasco is involved with the group Save Memorial Park), addressed the Township Committee during the second public comments session of Tuesday night's meeting. DePlasco said he found it "very disappointing" that the environmental improvement bond ordinance was not on the agenda before 11 a.m. today and that he had only learned of the introduction of the ordinance two hours prior to the meeting, making him ill prepared to question the measure.
DeLuca noted that the ordinance was on introduction Tuesday night and that a public hearing on the ordinance would take place on November 15. DePlasco said he was disappointed with what he felt was a lack of transparency and said he felt the Township should be more proactive in notifying residents of such measures as well as potential environmental dangers related to the site. DeLuca countered that DePlasco had the responsibility to look for or ask for the information. DeLuca said that both environmental site reports for 125 Dunnell by Matrix New World Engineering Inc. could be found on the Township website.
Committeeman Jerry Ryan played mediator by suggesting that the soon-to-be-improved Township website would address DePlasco's concerns, enabling the Town to send more notifications and also making it more "obvious what is new" on the site.
More information on Maplewood can be found at http://www.NewJerseyUniquehomes.com
Maplewood, Short Hills, South Orange, Summit, and Millburn real estate and homes for sale in New Jersey - Robert Northfield, Realtor
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