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Land Use Application Process Could be Expedited

Technical Review Committee would make land use boards 'more user-friendly,' mayor says.

Montville Township's land use boards have asked the township committee to consider adopting an ordinance that would create a new sub-committee to speed up the development application process.

The committee, called the Technical Review Committee, would assist with applications that come before the Montville Township Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment. The ordinance calling for creation of the Technical Review Committee was presented by the Land Use Advisory Comittee. 

"The purpose of this committee would be to expedite applications for land use for both boards," Mayor Tim Braden said. "This would effectively reduce the cost for applicants and make, I think, our land use boards more user-friendly."

Even recently, some officials have said Montville is mostly developed, with not many opportunities for new development to move in to the township. There are still some areas township officials would like to see developed, however, including the G.I. Auto Yard.

Last year, home improvement store Lowe's was involved in the application process with the local land use boards to build a new store on the G.I. site but pulled out of the project because of the economy. The township has been discussing attracting new development to the site through the Economic Development Committee.

The salvage yard site had sat vacant for more than a year but is now filled with cars that were delivered to the lot after being damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Ariana Cohn-Sheehan January 23, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Thanks, Gary. I will clarify that in the story.
Dan Grant January 23, 2013 at 05:39 PM
People connected to development have been calling for expedited applications for years but a major part of the process is to allow the effected residents to clearly understand the impact of that development on their neighborhoods. State Land Use Law already has time limits for a completed application to be heard and must be argeed to be extended by the applicant. If guestions arise through the process either from residents or the Planning Board members the applicant can extend the process. I am not as interested in an "Expedited" process for the applicant as I am for a process that allows effected people to have a full airing. .I look at the Rails project on Whitehall Rd in Towaco. The building is so big and so close to the road you can hold your hand out and grab a hamburger just driving by. You have to wonder if they got an "Expedited" hearing..
Ron Soussa January 24, 2013 at 09:34 PM
The Rails project will be an outstanding addition to Montville and is no closer to the road than the Montville Inn, which is one of the nicest buildings in town. We need to stop torturing/discouraging commercial developers if we are to have any hope of reducing the burden on our residential taxpayers.
Dan Grant January 25, 2013 at 09:09 PM
The Montville In was established about 170 years before Montville had a zoning code. The County also moved 202 decades ago to be closer. Rails project is built on vacant land and I believe it is too close to Whitehall and too big for the site. I think a lot of zoning was ignored on this site. That said it is there and I hope they are successful.
Dan Grant January 26, 2013 at 12:41 AM
oops Montville Inn.

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