South Toms River land use officials are expected to take action in the near future on a controversial redevelopment project that will see apartments built on the site currently occupied by an uncapped landfill in the borough, public records revealed.
We last checked in on the Borough of South Toms River’s plan to turn the site of an uncapped landfill in the tiny Ocean County municipality. Since then, the project has continued to work its way through the local bureaucracy. Environmental groups and concerned residents have raised objections to the plan over both the legality of the project and potential impact to the environment and South Toms River taxpayers due to increased demand for government services such as schools. and implications stemming from development of the site. Some of their concerns were previously documented by this website.
Apartments Won’t Pay Property Taxes For 5 Years
Another portion of the redevelopment plan that has been turning heads is the provision that states the borough will adopt an ordinance exempting the apartments from property tax payments for 5 years, with the possibility of a long term tax abatement (PILOT) agreement being put in place after.
STR Land Use Board Must Act By September Deadline
In April, the South Toms River Land Use Board voted 5 – 4 to proceed with additional studies needed for the project and at the July 25th, 2016 meeting of the borough’s council, a resolution related to the project, resolution 2016-138, was passed. The resolution set in motion a process for the borough’s land use board to examine the redevelopment plan for consistency with the borough’s master plan. Resolution 2016-138 sets a deadline of 45 days from the date of passage, which would make September 7th, 2016 the last date for the land use board to act on the plan either at their August 15th meeting or by calling a special meeting (with time to allow for proper legal notice) before the deadline.
After that deadline (or after the land use board completes its review), the project’s fate will rest with the borough council.
Landfill closures have been a component of previous redevelopment plans adopted in other Ocean County municipalities, such as the one that was capped to build the Stafford Park shopping center on Route 72 in Manahawkin.
Theresa Lettman of the Pinelands Preservation alliance kindly provided copies of the resolution and other documents under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) which are viewable below.