Mixed-Use Project Eyed For Santos Site
MILFORD — Legend Properties attended the Milford Township Supervisors meeting Monday, July 18th to discuss possible building plans for the Santos Farm located on Route 209 and adjacent to the Municipal offices of the township. Doug Olmstead, Development Manager for the property firm, asked supervisors permission to go before the Planning Board with the hopes of developing a plan for a mixed-use project. Said project would combine retail, living, professional and restaurant spaces all in one place, allowing residents to live, work and play in the same area.
These types of projects, referred to as mixed use, blend residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses. Those functions are all physically and functionally integrated and provide pedestrian connections making it easier for the population to readily access services. This is the current trend in construction development and one such project has already been developed in Westfall Township. The Legend Properties project would encompass 21 acres of land, with an option to also utilize an additional 7-acre parcel located directly across the street.
Although Supervisor and Chair Gary Clark stated that the township was business friendly, their main concern was that the current code does not allow for mixed use. Solicitor Anthony Magnotta clarified the current situation in the township. “Right now we really don’t have anything that allows for mixed uses. On the contrary, I think we prohibit that, so you would have to work through that obstacle.” Olmstead explained that there was an option to use overlay zoning so that the township might be able to consider the project, which could bring employment to the area. Overlay zoning is a strategy being used more and more as communities try to find creative solutions to development projects. Overlay zoning allows a special zone to be placed over an existing zoning district. The overlay zone includes a set of regulations that is applied to the property in addition to those requirements already in existence in the underlying zoning district.
Supervisors gave Olmstead permission to go before the Planning Board at their next scheduled meeting clarifying their concerns with regards to overlay zoning that could be considered “spot zoning” and the time it would take to see the project through. Clark stated, “It’s going to be a long process though; it’s not going to be overnight, I can tell you that,” to which Olmstead replied, “We understand that there is time and effort we have to go through... for complete story, get this week's paper.