Kenilworth Planning Board Tackles Redevelopment Study Authorization

In a recent Kenilworth Planning Board meeting, the primary focus settled on the authorization of a preliminary investigation into a redevelopment plan for a property on Galloping Hill Road. Members deliberated the procedural steps, potential legal implications, and financial aspects associated with the redevelopment study. Additionally, the board faced an application resolution issue, where the applicant’s failure to remove side steps from their property, as previously requested, was a point of contention.

The redevelopment study emerged as a point of interest. It began with a discussion on the necessary steps for an area to be deemed in need of redevelopment. The process is initiated by a Borough Council resolution, directing the Planning Board to conduct a preliminary investigation. Once authorized, the planner would carry out the investigation to determine if the area satisfies the criteria, which includes factors such as obsolescence and vacant land usage. After a public hearing where the Planning Board would review findings, the study would be passed on to the Borough Council, who would draft a Redevelopment plan. The Planning Board would then ensure the plan’s consistency with the master plan before the Council could adopt it and proceed with its implementation.

During the meeting, there was a shared understanding of these steps among the board members, but uncertainty loomed over whether the governing body had already appointed someone to create the Redevelopment plan. Concerns were raised about the possibility of lawsuits if the procedure was not correctly followed. Members sought to clarify the roles of both the board and the governing body to prevent legal challenges.

The involvement of a pre-qualified planning consultant, DMR Architects, added another layer of complexity to the meeting’s discourse. The board members discussed the implications of resolutions passed by the governing body and sought greater clarity on the board’s role within the process. Questions were raised about the financial implications of the redevelopment plan, specifically regarding the reimbursement of costs incurred by the board. The need for clear communication and understanding of the resolutions and the study process was underscored by some members, pointing out the importance of the roles and responsibilities of both the planning board and the governing body.

In addition to the redevelopment process, the board addressed resolution application 23005, which involved an applicant who had not removed side steps from their house as previously requested by the board. The applicant cited a miscommunication with the architect and expressed willingness to comply with the board’s requirements. The board faced a decision: to vote on the resolution without revised plans or to await the submission of updated plans. After discussion, including the issue of water management and compliance with the resolution conditions, the board voted to approve the resolution, with the understanding that the applicant would submit revised plans showing the required changes.

The board also contemplated the budget and timeline for the completion of the redevelopment plan. Concerns were raised about the availability of budgeted funds and the detailed breakdown of expenses. Some members called for an expedited process. The role of DMR Architects was questioned, given their lack of contact with the professionals involved. Ultimately, the board passed a resolution to undertake the preliminary redevelopment action, along with an attached fee.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Linda Karlovitch
Planning Board Officials:
Linda Karlovitch, Rich Picerno, Greg David, Joseph Calello, Darrin McMahon, Larry Clementi, Anthony Laudati, Nick Pantina, Frank Mazzeo, Michael Scuderi, Louis DeMondo, Anthony DeLuca, Kathleen Moschitta (Planning Board Secretary and Recording Secretary), Wanda Grimaldi (Administrative Assistant), Kevin O’Brien (Planner), Louis Rago (Planning Board Attorney)

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