Hopewell Township Planning Board approves extension requests and talks cannabis retail 

Architectural rendering provided by applicant for Hopewell Parc: http://www.hopewelltwp.org/DocumentCenter/View/5684/B-93-L-501_502_602-Plans---Part-8-Architecturals-1

At its regular meeting on April 28, the Hopewell Township Planning Board met by zoom to approve resolutions regarding an extension for Princeton Research Lands, to hear the Preliminary and Final Major Subdivision for Hopewell Campus Owner, LLC, and hear a request from the U.S. Home at Hopewell Parc Urban Renewal, LLC, an affiliate of Lennar. 

Planning Board Chair Karen Murphy opened the meeting with a new compliance statement. ‘As of right now, we are continuing to have meetings on zoom, if we don’t know now that we’re back in person, it is safe to assume we will stay on zoom for the next meeting,” said Murphy. 

Planning Board Attorney Frank Linnus gave some insight on his discussion with the Township Attorney’s office. “Very recentl,y the public health emergency executive order was lifted, and that was the basis for allowing virtual meetings, rather than meetings in person. We both concluded that as long as the public emergency provision is in effect and we don’t get any super directives from the State, meetings can still be held virtually,” said Linnus. 

“I want to caution everyone that if something happens between now and the next meeting and we have a public hearing, then all bets are off and we would have to do the appropriate notice,” Linnus added. 

Board member Rex Parker also gave an announcement: “This weekend in celebration of Arbor Day, some of us from the Township with the Environmental Commission are going to be out at Woolsey Park at 10 am on Saturday to have a ceremony about the planting of the Salem Oak,” Parker said. 

Murphy then looked over the minutes for approval from previous meetings. Minutes for meetings from September, October, and November of 2020 were all approved. 

The Board then moved on to the memorialization of resolutions starting with The Princeton Research Lands.

“This is a resolution of the Planning Board extending the time for the applicant to submit the preliminary subdivision plans to the Planning Board for signature,” explained Linnus. The resolution was approved. 

Next on the agenda was a resolution for Hopewell Campus Owner, LLC. This is a resolution memorializing the action the Board took last month granting preliminary and final major subdivision approval, along with submission waivers and both variances to Hopewell Campus Owner, LLC the project known as Princeton West Innovation Campus. The resolution was approved. 

Moving on to other business, the Board looked at US Home at Hopewell Parc Urban Renewal, LLC, an affiliate of Lennar. Attorney for the applicant, Jason Tuvel, was present on the zoom call and spoke before the Board. “This is a pretty simple request, under the ordinance, we ask that the Board give the applicant 60 days to perfect the final major subdivision plans, we asked for the initial 180 day extension back in November, and now we’re asking for an additional 180 day extension,” said Tuvel. The resolution was approved. 

Murphy then introduced the ordinance referred by the Township Committee amending the code of Hopewell Township regarding the operation of cannabis retail businesses in certain commercial zones with conditions. 

This is a minor amendment to the existing cannabis ordinance for retail sale in non-residential districts, this ordinance is a clarification about the location of permitted retail sales. The existing wording in the ordinance says that retail business must be 1,000 feet from playgrounds and athletic fields in the township. The clarification is that these areas are school locations. 

The next Planning Board meeting will be held on May 26. 

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