The Cherry Hill council met on Feb. 14 to recognize the township’s Cherry Hill African American Civic Association (CHACA) for its contributions and proclaim February Black History Month.
Council’s proclamation referenced the civic association’s inaugural Juneteenth celebrations at Croft Farm last year and the township’s support of future initiatives. This year’s Juneteenth celebration is scheduled for June 18.
Mayor Susan Shin Angulo used her remarks to discuss the recreation department’s spring classes and activities and encouraged residents to try a program.
“Whether it’s a yoga class, volunteering to clean up one of our trails or trying a brand new hobby like pottery,” Shin Angulo said. “It’s a great way to meet your neighbors and other township residents.”
As promised, Council President David Fleisher provided updates on cannabis businesses in Cherry Hill.
“We wanted to be thoughtful about when, where and how (cannabis businesses) could come to Cherry Hill,” he said.
Over the next 60 to 90 days, officials will discuss cannabis research, council’s necessary steps, and planning- and zoning-board implications.
“There will be multiple opportunities for members of the public to weigh in as the next steps develop,” Fleisher added.
Regarding environmental initiatives, Fleisher said the township wants to encourage and promote electric-vehicle usage and is currently conducting a deep dive into current zoning and planning ordinances regarding trees.
As discussed in previous meetings, a number of tree removals have taken place in the past year, with one to come on Kresson Road, where MiPro Homes plans to add single-family residential homes, along Route 70 as part of NJ Department of Transportation’s road improvement project and where PSE&G is proposing to remove a number of trees on Evesham Road to put a substation.
Prior to public comment, Fleisher announced that council is conducting a deep-dive into the current zoning and planning ordinances regarding trees.
“In the near future, we’ll be sharing our thoughts on ways to strengthen our tree ordinances, restrictions on how and when trees are able to be removed, as well as ways to ensure replenishment when it’s absolutely necessary for trees to be removed,” Fleisher said.
“Regarding current procedures and current rules, if there are any gaps, we’re going to fill them, and if something needs to be fixed, we’re going to fix it.”
Councilwoman Jennifer Apell said she had been in contact with the Urban and Forestry Program at the Department of Environmental Protection about programs to replace trees already being removed.
Apell also announced that starting May 4, single-use bags will no longer be available in stores. The state-wide ban includes plastic bags, paper bags and polystyrene foam food-service products. Residents should be prepared to use their own bags.
The next council meeting – both virtual and in person – will be on March 14 at 7:30 p.m.