In a letter sent to the governing body last month, the law firm of Schiller, Pittenger, & Galvin out of Scotch Plains formally requested that properties along the Roselle Park train station on West Lincoln Avenue be considered as an area in need of redevelopment.
The correspondence stated that the Ryan family “would like to request that the property be explored for the purposes of being designated as a “redevelopment” area . . . as the present zoning is not consistent with the character of the neighborhood, nor is it conducive to smart growth and the transit village concept.”
The request is the first step in having a property be developed. The Ryan property, as the lots are commonly known, is a collection of nine (9) properties starting on the east side of Locust Street across the street from 7-Eleven and continuing north, then easterly on West Lincoln Avenue along the train station up until the NJ Transit parking lot. There are ten properties and all but one of them is either owned by members of the Ryan family or TIMPAT, a Ryan family-owned corporation out of Union Township. The only property not included in the request is 58 West Lincoln Avenue.
For decades, there has been talk of developing the over-an-acre property, being that it the series of parcels is right next to the train station. The latest public information was in 2013 when (link) then borough planner Victor Vinegra from Harbor Consultants spoke about potential plans or development.
This will become the fourth of 11 areas that the municipality – through the Municipal Land Use Board – cited as potential areas in need of redevelopment (link).
Being designated as An Area In Need Of Redevelopment is also a necessary step in having a developer apply for Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT). Most recently, Meridia At Roselle Park applied for PILOT (link).It was approved by the governing body last year.
PILOT is a program that is utilized as an incentive for developers to build on properties in municipalities that have been abandoned, vacant, or unused. Developers use PILOT to pay a municipality less than would otherwise be paid if taxes were paid on properties. Municipalities may receive less in taxes but the municipal government receives more by way of percentage since 95% of PILOT goes to a town as opposed to having 30% to 33% of taxes going to a municipality.
The request will be discussed as a workshop discussion during the May 4th Mayor & Council meeting which will start at 7 p.m. in the Roselle Park Municipal Complex, located at 110 East Westfield Avenue. The public is able to make comments and/or ask questions about the property during the first public comment portion of the meeting.