UPDATE: THIS VERSION CONTAINS ADDITIONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE PROPOSAL
By Kevin Coughlin
The developer of a controversial storage facility proposed for Morris Street has knocked one story off the five story plans, according to Morristown’s town planner.
A public information session on this revised four-story proposal is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, from 7 pm to 8 pm at town hall, in the third-floor seniors center.
A July hearing drew a huge crowd and lots of questions.
In addition to the lowered height, town Planner Phil Abramson said on Tuesday that other potential revisions include:
- Increased green space in front yard along Morris street, and more greenery throughout.
- An updated architectural strategy involving both the design approach and materials, to “better reflect art-based programming.”
- Consideration of off-site public improvements.
Initial plans from Hampshire Properties called for a five story, 100,000-plus-square-foot structure on a property that formerly housed Milelli’s Auto Service and Towing and an oil distribution operation.
The proposal also included a 2,600-square-foot art studio, to be run by the nonprofit Morris Arts.
Planning officials have said zoning revisions probably would be required; the Morris Street redevelopment plan does not include storage facilities as permitted uses, and the business zone only allows three-story structures.
Opponents of the original plan voiced aesthetic concerns about the building’s height and façade, and about its use.
Residents said a storage center contradicts prior town plans to transform Morris Street into a residential gateway to Morristown.