Harrison Township adopts Richwood Redevelopment Plan

Approved ordinance will include affordable housing, service areas

The Harrison Township committee held its first meeting of the month on Feb. 7, mostly to discuss adopting the Richwood Redevelopment Plan. Photo by Danielle DeAngelis / The Sun

The Harrison Township committee meeting on Feb. 7 started off with the comment of a Mullica Hill resident concerning shopping carts at her apartment complex.

“There’s already a stigma attached to living in low-income housing, and stolen shopping carts being left in my complex only adds to this stigma,” said the anonymous resident, who claimed the carts are coming from the local ShopRite.

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The committee assured her it would investigate the situation. But the main topic at the meeting was the next step in the Richwood Redevelopment Plan. After 12 years in the works, the committee adopted an ordinance amending the plan.

“This amended plan makes it an area that becomes positive in terms of the physical impact, the rateables, and it puts the land into a utility that meets the current status of how people spend their time,” said Joint Land Use Board planner Bob Melvin.

The Richwood Redevelopment Plan will include service areas, affordable housing, minimal retail, an athletic recreation area and more. The full plan is available at the Joint Land Use Board’s office.

The committee appointed several officials, including Kevin Powell as an emergency management coordinator, with Mike Datz and Frank Rodgers named deputy emergency management coordinators.

The committee also approved tax exemptions for the properties of two disabled veterans in the township whom Mayor Lou Manzo thanked for their service.

Resolution 72 was discussed by both the committee and the public, as it was requested by resident Bob White that the committee go more in depth on the contract at the start of its meeting. The contract was for Molinari & Associates P.C., for fair-market value appraisal of the building at 14 Woodstown Road.

“The building was a big brick schoolhouse that has been falling down on itself the past couple of years,” Manzo said. “It’s been under contract to be rehabbed the past couple of years. The owners have been recently advised by our code officials to take definitive steps in a short timeline, and I think we have Valentine’s Day as their deadline.”

The next township committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. An online link to the session will be available the day of the meeting.

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