Township meeting focuses on proposed athletic complex

Residents ask for updates on Richwood development plan

Photo by Danielle DeAngelis / The Sun

The Harrison Township committee’s April 18 meeting had as its main topic questions from residents who live nearby on next steps in the construction of the MOTUS soccer and entertainment complex.

The complex, including a youth soccer development facility, is expected to be a part of the 385- acre Richwood development plan that has finally gained traction after a decade of proposals.

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“At this point, there is no official application for the MOTUS group to come before our joint land use board for a site plan approval at a public hearing, which is when residents would have the opportunity to weigh in,” Mayor Lou Manzo said.

“Therefore, all of our interaction is speculating what the final project would look like ‘if’ MOTUS moves forward,” he added.

While progress on a complex that promises 60 artificial turf and grass fields is still uncertain, the upcoming retail, restaurants and tourist attractions are expected to impact residents in the future. Ordinances approved at the meeting included the adoption of a redevelopment plan for the Mullica Hill West Apartments and general legislation to add a supportive needs housing overlay district and residential districts.

“We passed several ordinances connected to our settlement with fair-share housing related to our Affordable Housing (COAH) requirement that basically makes the required zoning changes to accommodate that settlement,” Manzo explained.

Resolutions included tax refunds and cancellations for disabled township veterans.

There were also recognitions at the meeting to honor special Harrison Township residents, including 14-year Eliana Matz, who just celebrated her fifth year cancer free after a battle with childhood leukemia. Since being diagnosed in 2014, she has used her illness as a platform to create awareness for childhood cancer.

Also recognized was Clearview Regional High School’s boys ice hockey team for winning the South Jersey High School Ice Hockey Tier I Championship. Proclamations were awarded to every team member and coach at the meeting.

At the end of the session, it was announced that while IT specialists worked to retrieve the recording, the June 21, 2021 business meeting record has been lost and there will not be minutes from that meeting.

The next committee meeting will take place on Monday, May 2, at 7 p.m., in the municipal building.

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