WALL TOWNSHIP – A public hearing on the proposed Peddler’s Village Redevelopment Plan originally set for May 22 has been postponed and “will be re-visited at the appropriate time,” the township committee says.
The plan would change the site, which contains a vacant strip mall, from the current highway business zone to a mixed-use redevelopment zone that would allow a hotel, apartments and small retail shops. The 21-acre parcel is situated southwest of the Route 35 and Atlantic Avenue intersection, off the Manasquan Circle.
The tabling comes on the heels of a May 8 meeting attended by more than 125 residents, held at the South Wall fire hall on Atlantic Avenue, where the redevelopment plan was described as a “monstrosity.” Attendees then were urged to go to the May 22 public hearing en masse to speak in opposition.
Louis Maschi, a resident of the Orchard Ridge development, spoke at length at the May 8 meeting and urged residents to flood township officials with phone calls and emails. He said the plan would put an urban-type development in suburban Wall.
In a letter posted Monday on the municipal website to “our fellow residents,” township officials said “misinformation, disinformation, untruths and innuendos” made at the May 8 meeting made it impossible to have a “constructive, informed public hearing,” and so the redevelopment matter was taken off the May 22 agenda.
“The process is there is an [ordinance] introduction and then the talk starts,” Mayor Kevin Orender said by telephone on Monday. “We’re not running away from anything. There will be a conversation and we will be reaching out to people.”
On Monday, Mr. Maschi said residents still plan to attend the May 22 meeting, and also send a letter of response to the township committee.
“Our position is we’re willing to have a viable, open public hearing with the committee and developer so cooler heads will prevail,” he said.
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