Landis Ave Redevelopment
Landis Avenue Redevelopment was initiated to address the adverse financial and environmental effects of growth in the township. In 2003, the Township Committee tasked the Economic Development Committee (EDC) to create an Economic Development Plan (EDP) that would increase the business tax base in the township without adversely affecting its rural character. The completed EDP targets established commercial areas only, and is limited to low impact development. In order to preserve our rural character, these initiatives avoid conditions that encourage sprawl or an increased rate of development elsewhere in the township. Wherever possible, these initiatives highlight agriculture, our most important community asset.
The primary focus of the EDP is on attracting new businesses and expanding existing businesses in the Landis Avenue area. This area was chosen for several reasons.
- It is a busy state highway with many commercial properties, and others moving in that direction, and will develop that way on its own over time.
- It is in need of revitalization and has an abundance of developable land.
- It is close to Route 55 and the new SJH Regional Medical Center.
The Landis Avenue area has been designated as a Redevelopment Area as defined by New Jersey's Local Redevelopment and Housing Law (NJSA 40A: 12A-1 et seq) (LRHL). Agricultural related uses will be strongly encouraged and all environmentally sensitive areas will continue to be protected.
Redevelopment in accordance with the LRHL enables the township to guide development in a way that benefits the township financially, yet also enables us to preserve its rural character.
To be successful, the Township Committee, the Planning Board, and the EDC all believe that this redevelopment must be done in collaboration with residents, landowners, merchants and developers.
To that end, a series of public meetings were held to allow these stakeholders to hear plan details, ask questions, and provide feedback to ensure full public awareness and understanding of the initiative.
The EDC continues to discuss the ongoing issues in its public meetings on the first Thursday of every month.
Benefits of the Landis Avenue Re-Development Initiative:
"Redevelopment" in accordance with New Jersey's Local Redevelopment and Housing Law (LRHL), can mean many things, including,
- - Conservation, rehabilitation or construction of residential, commercial, industrial, public or other structures.
- - The grant or dedication of spaces…in the interest of the general welfare for streets, parks, playgrounds, or other public purposes.
For Pittsgrove, the Landis Avenue Redevelopment initiative means:
- - Being able to increase the business tax revenue without measurably increasing service costs in order to help keep down residential property taxes;
- - Increasing agriculture related land use in the area;
- - Improving protections for environmentally sensitive areas.
DID YOU KNOW? 93% of the Landis Avenue redevelopment area is zoned either commercial or business.
While "agricultural" is not a zoning classification, much of the current land use in the Redevelopment area is agricultural. But much of it is not actively used as such now. Unfortunately, developers can build on that land on their own, with few restrictions. That is already happening along Landis Avenue.
Redevelopment empowers the township to control this development in a way that is financially beneficial to the township and contributes to the preservation of its agricultural and rural character.
- - Incentives for businesses that complement our rural character. For example, new agricultural businesses that support existing farms throughout Pittsgrove, would help to ensure their future success, thus making it less likely that they would sell their land to housing developers.
- - Financial and regulatory resources that are available only in redevelopment areas that can protect and even enhance the environmentally sensitive areas along Landis Avenue. These resources include increasing and improving environmental buffers and controlling land use on bordering properties.
Redevelopment in accordance with the LRHL is an important tool for the township that enables it to guide development in a way that benefits the township financially, and also satisfies the desire of our community to preserve its rural character.
The Re-Development Process in Pittsgrove:
STEP 1: The Township Committee adopts a resolution to evaluate whether a designated area is in need of redevelopment, and refers the evaluation to the Planning Board.
STATUS: Completed at the regular meeting of the Pittsgrove Township Committee held December 29, 2003.
STEP 2: The Planning Board conducts a preliminary investigation and prepares a map showing the boundaries of the proposed redevelopment area and the location of the various parcels of property included therein.
STATUS: The Planning Board conducted a preliminary investigation using The Waetzman Planning Group who submitted the assessment report titled "Preliminary Investigation for the Creation of the Landis Avenue Redevelopment Area" on January 3, 2005. This report determined that 101 of the 121 lots representing 518 of the study area's 756 acres had conditions that reflect the LRHL criteria.
STEP 3: The Planning Board will then conduct one or more public hearings on the proposed redevelopment area, as needed. At these hearings, the planning board shall hear all persons who are interested in or would be affected by a determination that the delineated area is a redevelopment area. All objections to such a determination and evidence in support of those objections, given orally or in writing, shall be received, considered and made part of the public record.
STATUS: The Planning Board conducted the required public hearing on the proposed redevelopment area on April 20, 2005 in the Schalick High School Auditorium.
STEP 4: After completion of the hearing(s), the Planning Board makes a recommendation to the Committee as to which areas, if any, meet the statutory criteria and should be considered for determination as a redevelopment area.
STATUS: At the Regular Meeting of the Township Committee held June 28, 2005, the Planning Board recommended that the entirety of the study area be declared an area in need of redevelopment based upon the criteria established by the LRHL.
STEP 5: After receiving the recommendation of the Planning Board, the Committee may adopt a resolution determining that the delineated area, or any part thereof, or none of it, is a redevelopment area. The determination, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be binding and conclusive upon all persons affected by the determination.
STATUS: The EDC performed further investigations and in November 2005, recommended to the Township Committee that a smaller area of just 135 acres within the declared area be designated as a redevelopment area and that it be identified as RDA-1. Acting on the affirmative recommendations of the Planning Board and the EDC, the Township Committee at its Regular Meeting held December 13, 2005, adopted Resolution No. 2005-169 declaring RDA-1 to be an area in need of redevelopment. In a letter dated January 13, 2006, the Department of Community Affairs of the State of New Jersey approved the Township's designation.
STEP 6: The Township Committee then directs the planning board to prepare a redevelopment plan for the designated area. This plan is required before any redevelopment activities can be undertaken. It must be either substantially consistent with the municipal master plan or designed to effectuate the master plan. The plan shall include an outline for the planning, redevelopment, or rehabilitation of the project area sufficient to indicate:
- Its relationship to definitive local objectives.
- Proposed land uses and building requirements in the project area.
- Adequate provision for the temporary and permanent relocation, as necessary, of residents in the project area.
- An identification of any property within the redevelopment area which is proposed to be acquired in accordance with the redevelopment plan.
- Relationship of redevelopment plan to pertinent municipal development regulations, master plan, master plans of contiguous municipalities, county plans, and the state plan.
STATUS: At its Regular Meeting held April 25, 2006, the Township Committee adopted Resolution No. 2005-51 directing the Planning Board to prepare a redevelopment plan and Resolution No. 2006-52 awarding a contract to Remington & Vernick to prepare a redevelopment plan for RDA-1.
STEP 7: The planning board submits the proposed redevelopment plan to the Township Committee for its adoption. When considering the proposed plan, the Township Committee may amend or revise any portion of the proposed redevelopment plan by an affirmative vote of the majority of the committee. The Township Committee then adopts the Redevelopment Plan by resolution.
STATUS: The RDA-1 Redevelopment Plan has completed and reviewed by the Planning Board. The Planning Board requested several important changes be made. These changes have been made. Prior to further review by the Planning Board, the Township Committee adopted Resolution No. 2007-74 adding lots to RDA-1. These lots are to be added to the plan prior to further review by the Planning Board.
STEP 8: The Township Committee will then be responsible for implementing the redevelopment plan and redevelopment projects, or those responsibilities may be executed through a municipal redevelopment agency, a municipal housing authority, or a county improvement authority.