The Hopewell Borough Planning Board discussed a number of issues at their Wednesday night meeting including redevelopment on Model Avenue, noise monitoring of the Rockwell Groundwater Remediation System, and renovations of apartments on West Broad Street.
The upcoming redevelopment of Van Doren Lumber on Model Avenue was the foremost topic of the meeting, with the Board deeming it to be consistent with the Borough Master Plan. However, they pressed the importance of public awareness about the project.
“What’s important to me is to build and maintain public trust in the process,” said Council Member David Mackie. “Honestly, I don’t mind if I go door-to-door.”
The Planning Board raised numerous ideas to raise public knowledge regarding project that go beyond fulfilling the legal requirement, such as fliers, signs, and even social media.
Public information sessions on the redevelopment were scheduled for an undetermined time next month, giving the public an opportunity to discuss it outside of a board meeting.
“They’re to show how redevelopment works and what the public’s role is in it,” Borough Administrator Michele Hovan said. “We’re talking about redevelopment in general, not just on this plan.”
The Board furthermore discussed noise monitoring on the Rockwell Groundwater Remediation System on Somerset Avenue, removing the need for further noise monitoring.
“The only thing I think would require us to monitor the noise requirements is if they change their operation,” Mackie said. “If we put any restraint on it, that would be the only one I can think of.”
The noise monitoring requirement was amended altogether by the Board, finding the noise to be lesser than the “background noise of the crickets at night,” according to Mackie.
“If it ever gets louder, someone can just call,” said Council Member David Shmyko.
A plan to renovate a series of apartments located at 23 through 25 West Broad St was also universally approved by the Board. The project would include replacing porch framing, flooring and columns among other improvements. They also determined to keep the apartments’ style “consistent with Hopewell.”
Finally, The Planning Board announced the retirement of Council Member Wyatt Pratt, who is “pursuing other opportunities in another location,” according to Board Chair Peter Macholdt.
“I’d like to recognize his five years of service to this committee,” Macholdt said. “We’re going to miss you.”
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