Moorestown’s Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) presented findings on matters related to Main Street parking at council’s June 13 meeting.
EDAC members Richard Kaye and James Walsh initiated a survey in May for 14 businesses that surround the municipal lot across from town hall, according to committee Chair Mark Hines.
“About 14 or 15 months ago as chair, I appointed a subcommittee to the Moorestown Economic Development Advisory Committee consisting of appointed members, and the goal is to really address and identify and offer solutions for any of the barriers or issues or concerns that are limiting economic development in Moorestown,” Hines said.
“We’ve looked at a number of activities (and) we’ve actually interviewed a number of people,” he added. “One thing that did come up more recently, probably this calendar year, is that we feel like our municipal lot and parking regarding the Main Street district is inadequate.”
Hines explained that while there were no complaints from business owners about parking in the lot, concerns were raised over lack of Main Street parking, meters that don’t work and maintenance. He noted how EDAC plans to find solutions to some of those issues.
“I think what I’m going to do is try to get a generation of an ideation session looking for real solutions (at) the next EDAC meeting,” Hines said. “How can we incentivize businesses all throughout Moorestown, just not Main Street in this case, all through Moorestown, to maintain their properties to the standard we’d like to have?’”
Following Hines’ presentation, Township Manager Kevin Aberant mentioned in his report that since council’s last meeting, the police department has welcomed two new officers, Kody Johnston and Joshua Graham. He also addressed residents’ complaints regarding high-school students parking on nearby streets during school hours.
According to Aberant, the school limits student on-site parking to seniors. Toward the end of the school year, more juniors are licensed to drive, and since they’re not allowed to park on school property, they park on nearby roads.
“I had been contacted by residents of Deer Rest Road, which is a fairly, newly constructed street that backs up to the football field,” Aberant noted. “Kids are parking there (and) this has been a periodic problem.
“ … The suggestion would be that council agree to adopt an ordinance to limit parking,’ he added. “The way it’s (been) done in other locations is usually a two-hour period (between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.) during the day (and) (it) is limited to no parking.”
Aberant also suggested that to prevent students from parking in a different location, council should amend the ordinance prohibiting parking on Deer Rest Road, Windsock Way, Signal Light Road, Stonehouse Road, Paddock Path and the south side of Paul Drive and Prospect Avenue, adjacent to Moorestown Friends School.
“ … I think we take it one step at a time,” said Mayor Nicole Gillespie. “I think it makes sense. I do think the underlying issue is not going to go away, unless the school adds some more parking, and I don’t think they’re in a position to do that anytime soon.”
Earlier in the meeting, council proclaimed the township a stigma-free community, one in which issues of mental health are addressed without shame.
“ … We’re just not a town, we’re a substantial town,” said resident Greg Newcomer during public comment. “We’re someone who cares enough to stand for these things, (and) I really appreciate that.”