Home » Hopewell Borough Council Discusses Water System Sale and Major Redevelopment Plans

Hopewell Borough Council Discusses Water System Sale and Major Redevelopment Plans

by Aaron Twitchell

Before a packed house on June 6, the Hopewell Borough Council convened to conduct important business. Several members of the audience and some Council members donned orange clothing in support of Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence. An official proclamation by the Borough was made as the first item of the evening before moving into ordinances, discussion, and planning. The proclamation established National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Update on Water System Sale

Mayor Ryan Kennedy encouraged the public to visit the Borough website for updated information on the exploration process. For more, please see Hopewell Borough Council Considers Selling Water System. Councilman David Mackie informed the audience that another, less formal, Town Hall will take place in July. The Borough’s application for the alternative sale process has been submitted to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Updates will be given once the Council receives word that their application has been accepted or rejected.

Parking Controversy Persists

The historic Hopewell Baptist Meetinghouse sits on W. Broad almost at the corner of Mercer St. in the borough. Business owners on that section of Broad are concerned over parking restrictions that would prohibit parking in front of the Meetinghouse, as they say such restrictions impede motorists and visitors from patronizing their shops. Owners are advocating for parking ordinances that protect their interests as well as the interests of the Meetinghouse. 

Over the past several weeks, debate has been simmering through emails and social media between various parties as people vied for their interests or simply to understand how to proceed. Several members of the public spoke in support of shop owners before the Council introduced Ordinance-888, which received its first reading. Protocol dictates that discussion on ordinances take place after the second reading—scheduled for July 1 (note day of the week change due to the Fourth of July holiday falling on that Thursday). Some Council members advocated for discussion to take place during this meeting but were rebuffed in favor of adhering to the rules of order.

Hopewell 57 Redevelopment

Hopewell Planning Board unanimously approved that the redevelopment plan conforms with the Master plan* for several lots in the Borough, designated Areas A, B, and C. Area A contains land along the railroad, mostly on Railroad Place and Somerset Street. Area B is the large parcel on E. Broad and Maple, backing up to Columbia Avenue, and Area C is the Van Doren lumber yard on Model Avenue, also backing to the railroad. Information on the redevelopment report can be found on the Borough website by clicking here. All three areas are designated as “non-condemned” “areas in need of redevelopment,” which gives the Borough and property owners new latitude in determining how best to rejuvenate those plots.

Council Liaison Reports

  • Youth advisory board members advocated for greater involvement of youth in the Hopewell community;
  • The Municipal Alliance and Greater Mercer Public Health Partnership have put out a health survey that residents are invited to complete and share concerns;
  • The Economic Development Committee was awarded a $2,000 grant from Sustainable Jersey which will be used for composting and recycling education and community engagement

The next Hopewell Borough Council meeting will be held on July 4, 2024 at 7pm.

*Edit: Procedural clarification as to the Planning Board’s role in the process. The Planning Board can vote whether the plan is consistent with the Master Plan. It is the purview of the Borough Council to make the ultimate decision on whether or not to adopt.

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