HomeHaddonfield NewsLullworth Hall to be turned into three residential units

Lullworth Hall to be turned into three residential units

Commissioners also reintroduce outdoor dining ordinance

EMILY LIU/The Sun: Haddonfield Borough Hall

The Haddonfield board of commissioners has approved a conditional agreement to redevelop Lullworth Hall at the Feb. 13 commissioners work session meeting.

The resolution reviews the lengthy history of the property, adjacent to the high school and part of what’s commonly referred to as the Bancroft Site. It was declared in need of redevelopment in 2006 and reconfirmed in 2016. Officials also adopted the Bancroft Redevelopment Plan, which was amended in 2018 and readopted in 2021.

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Though the commissioners had put out a request for proposals (RFPs), Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich noted that things haven’t quite gone in that direction.

“We didn’t receive proposals for Lullworth at all, so we ended up utilizing a broker, and the broker then brought us a qualified redeveloper,” she said. “And essentially, it came before the solicitor and conversations occurred. And we thought we felt comfortable moving forward.

“Since it’s an area in need of redevelopment, we formally have to adopt the redevelopment documentation.” 

Because Lullworth Hall is on the historic register, it cannot be demolished. So the conditional agreement specifies that the borough’s Development Group LLC will “renovate and adaptively repurpose” the existing building into three residential units. The work will include restoration of the original roof and exterior structures, construction of one residential unit in a carriage house-style detached from the hall and detached garage parking.

The agreement also specifies the repairs that will be made to the property, including removing the exterior stairs, closing damaged windows with plastic sheath and bringing in large fans and a dehumidifier to dry out a space previously affected by water damage. The agreement also gives both parties the flexibility to determine if the project won’t work or further negotiate terms. 

Also at the meeting, commissioners reintroduced on first reading their ordinance on outdoor restaurant facilities.

“What we are looking at is the actual outdoor seating, lighting etc,” Bianco Bezich explained of the now updated permit application. “Our ordinance as it existed did not address lighting or planters specifically.”

The mayor noted that the ordinance also addresses permits for public spaces or sidewalks.

“There’s an annual permit in place right now that a lot of people forgot about, or, during COVID, we weren’t pressing them to complete, so what we’re doing is revising the application to include lighting and planters,” the mayor noted. “ … Essentially (this ordinance) revises what we already have and it adds to it.”

Among safety additions is a requirement for outdoor lights to be in a certain commercial grade. They also need a specific lighting temperature and color of string, and they have to be installed at a certain height so patrons don’t accidentally come in contact with them, she added.

The next commissioners’ meeting will take place on Monday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m.

This article was updated March 2.


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