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Harrrison Redevelopment Agency Meets to Make Public Street A Private Road

Feb 11, 2024
The Wyldes Apartment Building Harrison NJ

The Harrison Redevelopment Agency is scheduled to convene on Monday, February 12, 2024, at 1 p.m., at the Harrison Town Hall located at 318 Harrison Avenue. This meeting, open to the public, will address several key issues pertinent to the town's ongoing redevelopment initiatives. The meeting will kick off with the customary call to order, Pledge of Allegiance, and a roll call. Following this, the Harrison Redevelopment Agency will proceed to approve the minutes from the previous meeting held on December 11, 2023. The Harrison Redevelopment Agency does not currently record and/or video their meetings.

Key Resolution

A primary focus of the meeting will be the endorsement of an amendment to the major subdivision plan for Tax Blocks 138.01 and 138.02, colloquially known as Advance Blocks A and B. This amendment is a response to the recent changes in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) storm regulation rules, necessitating a shift from a public to a private street to accommodate a new stormwater management system. The rationale that does not make total sense is that by giving the developer Advance rights to what is supposed to be a Public street. The reason given to transfer the public street into a private road to install a stormwater management system is because of maintenance and safety concerns by the Town of Harrison. The only saving grace is that there will be an easement that will allow the public to access the street.  Hopefully, the Town of Harrison ensures that the public can use the street despite the planned stormwater management system and there are provisions for payment of street cleaning and providing metered parking to the benefit of Harrison’s property taxpayers.

The amendment aims to address the DEP's updated regulations by requiring future developments to manage stormwater onsite, preventing similar issues from arising. This move has been carefully considered to ensure it aligns with the town's Master Plan and to prevent a proliferation of private streets within the redevelopment area, thus maintaining the intended open flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Additional Resolutions:

The agenda also includes resolutions for approving the bill list, designating official newspapers and depositories for the fiscal year 2024, and adopting a cash management plan. Another item is the amendment of the 2023 professional services contract to accommodate additional expenses incurred.

Public Participation:

A segment for public comment is scheduled, allowing Harrison residents and stakeholders an opportunity to voice their opinions or concerns directly to the Harrison Redevelopment Agency commissioners. This engagement is a crucial element of the meeting, fostering transparency and community involvement in the town's redevelopment process. The Harrison Redevelopment Agency established, at the request of the agency's Chairman & Mayor of Harrison James Fife,  a five-minute maximum time per speaker last year.  The Harrison Redevelopment Agency has been criticized for having regular meetings at a time when most of Harrison’s residents cannot attend, Mondays at 1 p.m. in the afternoon.  The Harrison Redevelopment Agency does not record, video, or provide a Zoom option for its meetings.  In addition, its meetings are held in the Mayor’s Third Floor Conference room rather than the Harrison Council Chambers, a much larger room both in length and ceiling height, which would provide for better social distancing.

The Harrison Redevelopment Agency meeting on Monday, February 12, 2024 residents and interested parties are encouraged to attend, offering a chance to stay informed and involved in the shaping of Harrison's future.

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