Report: Morris Township rezoning of Honeywell tract upheld by judge

In a ruling that paves the way for commercial and residential development, a judge has ruled that Morris Township’s rezoning of the 147-acre Honeywell tract does not represent spot zoning, reports The Daily Record.

honeywell logoResidents had sued to overturn the rezoning at Columbia Road and Park Avenue, property that had been intended for offices and labs.

But Superior Court Judge Stephan Hansbury sided with the township on Wednesday in a seven-page decision that cited case law and testimony from two days of hearings in February, the newspaper said.

After dozens of municipal hearings over two years, and contentious battles with residents, Honeywell Inc., the township’s largest employer, last year announced plans to move its global headquarters  to Morris Plains by 2015.

Township Administrator Tim Quinn told the paper that he anticipates Honeywell will sell its township tract shortly, with an announcement of development plans to follow.

In its 2012 lawsuit, the group Citizens for Better Planning in Morris Township Inc. raised concerns about traffic congestion and costly off-site improvements that members feared would stem from multi-family homes and commercial uses proposed for the site.  The judge said township officials would have to address such concerns in any future development plans, according to the newspaper.



Comments

  1. Don Smith says:

    Having served for several years on a zoning board, it is my opinion that the judge’s ruling is correct. From the outside (I do not live in Morris Township), it is clear that NYMB-ism is what has created this situation in Morris Township and the township is making the best of an unfortunate situation.

  2. Margret Brady says:

    I look at this from another perspective. I live in the Town, but have also lived in the Township and Morris Plains.
    The key issue in any zoning matter in New Jersey is the Master Plan. The Judge’s decision found that the new Township Master Plan, passed in 2012 had paved the way for this kind of development. Every resident should read their Master Plan. If that plan recommends certain areas for development, the law will uphold any zone changes that are in accordance with that plan. My concern with the Township plan is that all the proposed development and all the related traffic and environmental issues that that development will bring is planned on their borders. That enables the Township to collect the additional taxes and have the cost many services paid by their neighbors.

    From a strictly economic standpoint, good planning. For our quality of life, not such a good thing.

    The officials, who make these decisions are elected by the voters. When they get re-elected, they can assume that this is what their voters want for the community. We do get what we vote for in NJ.

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