Township Council reintroduced revised ordinance regarding the Hampton Road Redevelopment site

The Cherry Hill Township Council reintroduced an ordinance in first reading regarding the Hampton Road Redevelopment site on its meeting Nov. 27.

Cherry Hill Township Council reintroduced an ordinance on first reading regarding the Hampton Road redevelopment site at its Nov. 27 meeting.

The redevelopment site, located on the west side of town near the border with Pennsauken and Merchantville, mostly consists of the former Saunders Publishing building. The Redevelopment Plan approved it on March 20.

On July 10, there was a public hearing on the plan where residents raised concerns. Council tabled the original plan. The mayor and Town Council proceeded to collaborate with residents to produce a revised plan that would incorporate residents’ feedback. From there, a meeting was held two weeks later for residents to express concerns, and then another meeting was held a month later. In mid-October, there was an open house at the mayor’s office where residents were able to come in at their convenience and ask questions or express concerns. Only after everyone was comfortable with the revision, the township formalized it and finalized it, according to the township’s Chief of Staff Erin Gill.

Concerns regarding the number of units, traffic and lack of open space were high priorities for residents, according to Gill.

“This comes back to council tonight with several significant revisions that were the result of extensive discussions with residents and neighbors who live in the redevelopment area. I want to thank all of the residents for their input and thoughtfulness in implementing this plan,” Mayor Chuck Cahn said.

Adjustments to the plan include the preservation of approximately 2.8 acres of open space and the reduction of 48 units. The original plan suggested 300 units, but after revisions, it stands at 252 units. Lowering total height of the buildings and shifting the internal access roadway away from the neighborhood, which had an original distance of 96 feet to the closest residence, now is at 150 feet from the closest residence.

During public comments, Sal Mikhael expressed concern with cluster development in association with the Hampton Road redevelopment site. He also acknowledged the efforts of the township to alleviate some of the cluster issues by changing the ordinances.

“Changing the ordinances and changing the designation, including the development zone, goes a long way to rehabbing it,” Mikhael said.

He also questioned the town council on the approach to avoiding cluster development, traffic and other issue regarding population density in the future.

“In regard to your question, I think it is actually well-timed. We are actually doing a master plan study as we speak and we are going through the entire master plan study, which looks at every single property and every single zone across the township, so your questions are exactly what we are studying now,” Cahn said.

Cahn also advised that residents continue to come out and express their concerns to town council and redevelopers moving forward.

Council passes a series of resolutions

Council passed 11 resolutions during last week’s meeting, one of which will allow the township to enter into a shared service agreement with Camden County over the construction of a fishing and wildlife observation platform adjacent to Croft Farm. The agreement allows the construction to include a portion of property owned by Camden County.

“As a single mom raising a son, I didn’t know how that was going to work out for me, and at a very early age a very wise person said to me, just give a boy a fishing pole and teach him to fish because there isn’t a problem in the world that a child can’t solve when a fishing pole in silence on a pier . . . it’s good to see that we will be encouraging fishing in the township of Cherry Hill for all of our residents, no matter what their abilities are, ” Councilwoman Carole Roskoph said.

Another resolution authorizes a cooperative purchasing contract with Liberty Parks & Playground INC., of Clayton, Del., for an amount up to $521,348 to purchase playground equipment to be installed at the Ashland, Gregory Dalessio, Jeremy Kane and Woodland Parks.

The next town council meeting will take place on Monday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.