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RARITAN BOROUGH – The borough’s land use board will maintain a listening to Aug. 26 on a proposal to construct flats on the positioning of the deserted United Dyes warehouse subsequent to the Raritan River on Orlando Drive.

Raritan Orlando Drive Associates is proposing a complete of 42 flats in two buildings on the positioning of the warehouse which was gutted by hearth in Might 2015. Two of the 42 flats might be inexpensive models.

The 6:30 p.m. Aug. 26 listening to often is the ultimate chapter within the developer’s four-year quest to construct the flats.


In 2016, Raritan Orlando Associates obtained preliminary web site plan approval from the borough to construct 44 flats. However the developer was not capable of apply for ultimate approval till receiving a allow from the state Division of Environmental Safety (DEP) as a result of the positioning is partially in a flood hazard zone.


After receiving DEP approval, the developer returned to the land use board in 2019 for ultimate approval with plans to construct solely 40 flats and cut back the quantity of retail house on the bottom ground of one of many buildings and cut back the variety of parking areas in a first-floor storage.

However the land use board denied that plan.

That ruling prompted the developer to file a lawsuit in Superior Courtroom searching for to overturn the board’s choice.


A Raritan lobster roll joint is born from a catering company

The lawsuit prices that the denial was “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” and primarily based on “misguided factual findings and authorized conclusions.”

The swimsuit additionally claimed that the board’s choice was primarily based on “irrelevant and inappropriate” elements and that former Mayor Charles McMullin and different members of the borough council interfered with the efforts to develop the property as a result of they needed it to stay as open house.


The lawsuit additionally alleged that McMullin, who had a seat on the land use board due to his mayoral place, was pre-disposed to denying the applying in 2019.

Former Mayor Jo-Ann Liptak, when she served on the board, had voted in favor of the applying in 2016.

The land use board denied the applying as a result of it discovered that the revised plan was “considerably” totally different than the preliminary plan it had beforehand permitted.


In its protection, the land use board argued that it was permitted to impose an inexpensive housing part of the challenge “to uphold its constitutional obligation.”

The borough settled its inexpensive housing litigation in 2018 after the preliminary plan was permitted. The inexpensive housing litigation included a provision that sure redevelopment initiatives, together with the Orlando Drive property, ought to have 10 % of the proposed models put aside for inexpensive housing.


A trial was scheduled for June 15 was scheduled earlier than Superior Courtroom Decide Thomas Miller however was adjourned to permit the borough and the developer to barter a settlement.


Mike Deak is a reporter for To get limitless entry to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.


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