Hopewell Township Planning Board meets to hear Princeton Research Labs application

At its regular meeting on March 24, the Hopewell Township Planning Board met by zoom to approve resolutions regarding the Open Space and Recreation plan and the  preliminary final site plans for BeiGene Hopewell Urban Renewal, LLC. The Board also heard a new application for a subdivision for Hopewell Campus Owner, LLC. 

Planning Board Chair Karen Murphy opened the meeting with discussion of an amendment to the Open Space & Recreation Plan Element of the Hopewell Township master plan. According to Planning Board Attorney, Frank Linnus this was a ‘long-awaited’ resolution. The resolution was approved.  

The next resolution the Board looked at was for preliminary and final site plan approval for BeiGene Hopewell Urban Renewal, LLC. “There were some last minute changes going back and forth. As the Board may recall, during the course of the application and public hearings, lot 8.012 was added to the application based on the road improvements that are necessitated by the site plan application on lot 8.012,” said Linnus. The resolution was approved. 

Murphy then moved to another business, which included a request for an extension of time to satisfy conditions and sign plans from Princeton Research Lands, Inc. 

“This is quite normal. The applicant in this instance has requested a one-year extension of time for the signing of the plat; we have an ordinance in town that requires that the plat of either a site plan or subdivision, be signed within a certain period of time. This is the way of the Board monitoring the process of the particular application,” explained Linnus. 

“I voiced some concerns over this but this is a routine matter and I see no reason to object,” said Hopewell Townshp Committee member Kevin Kuchinski. With that, the extension was approved. 

Murphy then moved on to the application for Hopewell Campus Owner, LLC regarding a major subdivision. 

Attorney Rich Goldman of Drinker Biddle and Reath gave a brief background of the application. “Lincoln Equities purchased this site a few years back to redevelop it from a single-user project to a multi-user type project with various owners. Pretty early on, BeiGene identified a section of this project for its home and has been through the process with you, so that’s one big step toward the redevelopment of this site,” said Goldman.

Goldman explained that when BeiGene was identified, one of the things that occurred was the Board and Township adopting a new redevelopment plan for the project and it was under that redevelopment plan that BeiGene was able to move forward with their subdivision and site plan application. 

To avoid any confusion between the inside and outside ring roads, the redevelopment plan requires that the owner present a preliminary and final major site plan subdivision application to separate the inside and outside as their own lots. 

“The land inside the ring road along with the three driveways that service that land are depicted as the portion of the land that would be a subdivided lot. It only makes sense that the driveways are part of the commercial lots because that’s who is using and maintaining it,” Goldman explained. The outside of the ring road land, by law, becomes three separate lots because the driveways divide them. 

“This wasn’t by any design to create three separate lots, it was simply the legal result of the interior lot having three driveways,” Goldman reiterated to the Board.  

“This is a simple subdivision, I don’t see any issue with this,” said Murphy. The application was approved. The next Planning Board meeting will be April 28.

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