Last night we had a special Council meeting to discuss some timely matters. Here is a quick summary.
We held a hearing and a discussion on an ordinance regulating wireless telecommunication facilities. As this was a zoning ordinance, the Planning Board had reviewed the ordinance, found it consistent with our current Master Plan, and made a few recommendations to strengthen it. They suggested clarifying a definition of open space and setting a height limit for telecommunication facilities. Last night we passed the ordinance without these suggested changes, as we felt that there is a risk to the Township if we delayed passage of an ordinance since we have no ordinance on the books. In a future meeting we will introduce an ordinance to adopt the Planning Board's suggested changes.
The second hearing and discussion we had was on the overlay zone for the area on Bloomfield Avenue between Montrose and South Prospect (excluding the church properties). The new zone would be called the Town Center Mixed Use Zoning District. As you may recall, we were required, as part of our settlement with Fair Share Housing, to create an "overlay zone" to help encourage the development of housing in one section of Verona.
As this was a zoning ordinance, the Planning Board reviewed the proposed new zone and found it was consistent with our existing Master Plan. They did make some suggested changes, including modifying the offsite parking requirement to a 1,000 foot radius from the site, increasing the size of the sidewalk, and creating a minimum square footage for 3 bedroom affordable apartments (900 square feet). Unlike the previous ordinance, in consultation with our lawyers, we decided to postpone a vote on this ordinance, and will introduce a revised ordinance at our next meeting with these changes. There will then be another public hearing at our October meeting.
We passed three resolutions. The first closed out the Pine street demolition project, the second revised a bid for certain work at the sewer treatment plant, and the third authorized a contract with Tsviscos Enterprises to do the project work at the baby pool. That project will start on October 1st.
Finally, we once again discussed an ordinance regulating block party requests. The Council really does not want to put onerous restrictions on block parties, and we found the second draft of this ordinance to be too restrictive. We asked the Administration to scale it back even more. We will next discuss this matter at our October meeting.
If you have any feedback on issues we discussed, please feel free to email the entire Council here: https://www.veronanj.org/council. Our next regularly scheduled meeting is on Monday, September 19th.