Honeywell Hearings Continue With Experts, Public Input
Financial and traffic specialists to give presentations, residents have chance to address proposed zoning ordinance to redevelop corporate complex.
Members of the public on Thursday night will have their first chance to comment or question the zoning ordinance that would permit Honeywell to redevelop its corporate campus.
This hearing is the next step in the process that has lasted more than two years—consisting of numerous meetings and delays—to bring in residential and office units into the company's 147-acre property at the intersection of Columbia Road and Park Avenue.
The 7 p.m. meeting at the Morris Township Municipal Building will begin with input from financial and traffic experts, which many residents, especially those involved with Citizens for Better Planning in Morris Township, have been long awaiting to hear from.
Michele Demarest, president of the CBPMT, said she hopes for a "real discussion" about the fiscal impacts because she said there are a lot of questions that still need to be addressed.
"We hope that our experts will have some time to not only cross examine their experts, but give an independent evaluation on the analysis and listen with open ears," she said. "Something needs to happen on that property, and it should be the right thing fiscally for community."
The financial analysis will be done by David Evans, a certified accountant from Nisivoccia & Co. LLP. Evans will give a presentation of Honeywell's analysis, which is posted on the Morris Township wesbite, and also present his own thoughts and findings on the financial impacts.
After the presentations, Mayor Peter Mancuso said the Township Committee will have the chance to ask questions to the experts, and then the meeting will be open to the public.
This is the first Honeywell hearing that will not include committee members Jeff Grazyel and Bruce Sisler, after Grayzel recused himself from the proceedings last month, and Sisler earlier this week, because of potential conflicts of interests brought up.
Those conflicts delayed the first hearing, originally set for Aug. 1, until Thursday. And now residents will finally have the opportunity to continue to voice concerns about bringing in the proposed townhomes and office and lab space to the Fortune-100 company's property.
Residents part of the CBPMT have been attending the hearings, raising concerns about fiscal, traffic, environment, and open space impacts, and on Thursday many of those issues will be able to be addressed to the experts.
Mancuso said at this point in the process, he hopes the outcome of the meeting is "just a reasonable discussion among reasonable people as to what the process is, and to hear everybody's concerns, try to address them as they're proposed, and then from that point see where this leads."
Mancuso said he expects additional hearings on the ordinance, but those dates won't be decided by the Township Committee until Thursday's meeting.
Mancuso said he is going to make sure every resident gets the chance to speak.
"I'm sure there are lots of people who would like to be heard," he said. "I'm going to make sure everyone gets the ability."