The following is a copy of the letter that was mailed to Propority owners that live within the affected River Styx area. Showing the rescheduled meeting for September 6, 2016 at the Hopatcong High School Auditorium, 2 Windsor Avenue, Hopatcong at 7:30 PM.
Copy of Letter:
July 21, 2016
River Styx Road
Hopatcong, NJ 07843
Reference: Redevelopment Study Area Determination of Need
River Styx Area, Borough of Hopatcong, Sussex County
Re-Notification of Public Hearing
First, we would like to apologize for the inconvenience that was caused by the last minute cancellation of the public hearing on the above referenced redevelopment area on Tuesday July 19, 2016. We greatly appreciated the larger than anticipated turn-out for the meeting and we hope that all members of the community will participate in the re-scheduled public hearing on September 6, 2016 at the Hopatcong High School Auditorium, 2 Windsor Avenue, Hopatcong at 7:30 PM.
The Local Redevelopment and Housing Laws set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 requires the governing body of a municipality by Resolution to authorize the Planning Board to undertake a preliminary investigation to determine whether a proposed area would qualify as a redevelopment area. A Resolution was adopted and the study was prepared on behalf of the Land Use Board by its Planner, John K. Ruschke. The study is entitled Redevelopment Area Determination of Need and is available at the Hopatcong Borough Municipal Building and online. The study specifically identifies the properties which are being evaluated through lot and block identification and mapping which is attached to the study in accordance with the requirements of the local Redevelopment and Housing Law.
The law requires that a public hearing be held before the Land Use Board to determine whether the Land Use Board should recommend that the delineated area or any part thereof be determined or not determined by the municipal governing body to be a redevelopment area. The hearing shall not consider the specifics of a Redevelopment Plan in the event that a recommendation is made that the area or portion of the area be determined to be a Redevelopment area.
In the event that the Land Use Board recommends that the area or portion of the area specified in the study be determined by the municipal governing body to be an area in need of redevelopment then the governing body at a public meeting will evaluate that recommendation and make a decision whether to accept or reject the recommendation. If the governing body determines that the area or portion of the area is in need of redevelopment then a Redevelopment Plan would be developed. A Redevelopment Plan may provide opportunities for grants and financing and limited tax abatements.
By way of summary, the steps involve include the following:
Step 1: Establish a need for a redevelopment zone;
Step 2: Develop and adopt a redevelopment plan.
The Redevelopment Study and Determination of Need, together with the Study, which includes identification of the properties being considered both through lot and block designations and mapping, may be inspected through regular business hours at the office of the Municipal Clerk and can be found on the Hopatcong Borough website.
The public hearing scheduled for September 6, 2016 will be limited to comments as to whether the area being considered would qualify pursuant to the statute as a redevelopment area
As of this time, a “Redevelopment Plan” has not been developed, no developers have approached the Borough requesting a redevelopment area, and there are no concept redevelopment plans under consideration. In accordance with LRHL, no action will be taken on preparing a redevelopment plan until the area is first determined to be in need of redevelopment. The preparation of the “Redevelopment Plan” would be developed with input gathered from the public in subsequent public meetings.
When an area is determined to be in need of redevelopment, it gives the Borough access to many redevelopment “tools” under the LRHL. In accordance with the authorizing Resolution by the Borough Council, a Redevelopment Area Determination shall authorize the Borough of Hopatcong to exercise the power of eminent domain to acquire property within the redevelopment area. At this time, there are no properties targeted or scheduled to be acquired via eminent domain. Any implementation of eminent domain would be detailed in the “Redevelopment Plan” to be drafted and open to public comment in the future. Please note that eminent domain only applies to the properties within the proposed redevelopment area.
We welcome and encourage your appearance at the public hearing. If any property owners in the proposed redevelopment zone have any immediate concerns or would like to discuss any concept development plans or ideas, please do not hesitate to contact our Borough Engineer, John Ruschke, at 908-238-5000.
Very truly yours,
Hopatcong Borough Economic Committee
Councilman Frank Padula,
Councilman Richard Bunce, and
Councilman Richard Schindelar