SCOTCH PLAINS — During its meeting last week, the township council gave final approval to three ordinances, two of which restrict parking on two streets and a third that revises how public utilities must repair local roadways where they are working.
The first ordinance prohibits parking on Far View Drive during times when snow plowing is being performed. The second prohibits parking on the east side of Highlander Drive for the first 500 feet from its intersection with Aberdeen Road on school days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The third ordinance modifies the minimum area that a public utility must repave when work being performed involves digging trenches below the surface of the road. Previously, if 50 linear feet of roadway was disturbed, then the utility would be required to resurface it. The new ordinance modifies that minimum requirement to 20 square feet.
In other business during its August 16 session, the council passed a resolution designating a segment of the St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church property as a Non-Condemnation Area in Need of Redevelopment and authorizing the preparation of a redevelopment plan. The piece of property in question measures about 100 feet wide and extends from Westfield Avenue to the rear of the church’s property and includes part of the front parking lot, a segment of the rear parking area, the baseball field and the Fatima House that was built 72 years ago and served as a convent from 1950 until 2020. The intent is for the church to lease the land to a private developer who will rehabilitate the existing building and turn it to a 35- to 40-unit apartment building that would be age-restricted and likely occupied mainly by parishioners who wish to be able to walk to church for weekly mass and other activities.
The council also accepted its planner’s July 29 report finding that a site plan prepared by Lidl US Operations, LLC was consistent with the requirements of the Lidl redevelopment plan that envisions a 31,042-square-foot Lidl grocery store being built on the site of the former Snuffy’s/Pantagis property at the northern end of Park Avenue. Also planned for the 5.5-acre site bounded by Route 22, Mountain Avenue, Park Avenue and Pinehurst Avenue are a one-story, 7,500-square-foot retail building and a park-and-ride lot for bus commuters.
In other business, James Ritchie, a 21-year veteran of the police department, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and sworn in at last week’s meeting. He replaces Matthew Fugett, who retired after 25 years with the department.