HT Planning Board reorganizes and approves Kerr Ridge Farm subdivision

From Kerr Ridge Farm Planning Board Application

The Hopewell Township Planning Board met on January 27 by zoom for its regular meeting to appoint Board positions, adopt the 2022 Planning Board meeting dates, and approve some plans while tabling others.

HT Assistant Community Development Coordinator Linda Barbieri started the meeting with a roll call, and began the nomination for the Planning Board Chair. Karen Murphy was selected as Board Chair, and with that Murphy took over the remainder of the nominating process.

Paul Kiss was selected Planning Board Vice Chair, Barbieri was named Planning Board Secretary, and HT staff member Amanda Bregenzer was named Planning Board Assistant / Recording Secretary.  

Frank Linnus was appointed Planning Board Attorney, James Hutzelmann, the Township’s engineer, was named Planning Board Engineer, and Joanna Slage, a representative of Banisch Associates, was appointed the role of Planner.

Next on the agenda was to adopt the 2022 Planning Board Dates. The board adopted to meet virtually on the 4th Thursday of each month at 7pm. “Depending on the applications and what we have in front of us, we may need to hold special meetings,” Murphy pointed out. 

With the new dates set, the Board moved on to announcements. Hutzelmann acknowledged that redevelopment engineer, Mark Kataryniak, (formerly the Township engineer) was on the call. “[Kataryniak] has been appointed redevelopment engineer, so he will be continuing with redevelopment applications and will continue with the Board. He’ll be doing the majority of those reviews and resolution compliances and the reason for that is continuity—for me to come in at this point will be a little difficult.” 

Murphy then turned the meeting over to Linnus for the Memorialization of Resolution for Princeton Research Lands, located at Pennington-Lawrenceville Road lots 11 and 31 in block 72. 

“This is a resolution for action the Board took in December,” said Linnus. “The resolution memorializes the decision that condition 17 of the original resolution is replaced by a condition that the applicant will pay any affordable housing residential fees required by the Land Development Ordinance of the Township of Hopewell relating to the subdivision.” The resolution was approved by the Board. 

The Board moved on to the Memorialization of Resolution for Kerr Ridge Farm located at 1132 and 1139 Bear Tavern Rd. This is a resolution memorializing the grant of preliminary and final major subdivisions, variance approvals, and submission waiver approvals. 

The resolution aims to subdivide block 95 lot 3 into four lots, and block 98 lot 15 into two lots. The resolution was approved. 

In other business, Pennington Adult Living Services requested an extension to sign plans. In a letter to the Board, the request was attributed to receiving new descriptions and revised plans, staff shortages, and COVID-19 related issues. The extension was approved. 

Before proceeding with the application for BeiGene Hopewell Urban Renewal, Linnus pointed out concerns with wording in the application.

“The key words we’re going to be dealing with are the words ‘shall’ and ‘should’. Whenever you see ‘shall,’ it’s a mandatory compliance with the redevelopment plan. If the word is ‘should.’ then it’s encouraged and not mandatory,” Linnus explained. 

Michael Butler, the attorney for the applicant, made clear that they were not going to start the presentation at that meeting. “We received the review memo and we were in the process of complying with those recommendations. We want to present a more full and complete package to the Board.”  

The Board will be holding a special meeting on February 17 to hear the full application from BeiGene Hopewell Urban Renewal.

The map shown above is from the Kerr Ridge Farm Planning Board Application

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