Bridgewater, NJ (June 21, 2022)(CNBNewsnet– At last week’s special meeting, Mayor Matthew C. Moench and the Bridgewater Town Council took a decisive next step in their rejection of overdevelopment by agreeing to a new settlement on the Center of Excellence site and updating the relevant zoning ordinances to allow the project to proceed.
The new agreement emphasizes the site’s historic focus on biotechnology, and life sciences which are consistent with the pre-existing 202/206 tech corridor and will add no apartments, no hotel, no grocery store, and just 30,000 square feet of light retail.
Mayor Matthew Moench praised the Council for coming through on this major accomplishment.
“I cannot speak highly enough of the work the Council put in on behalf of the people of Bridgewater to achieve this highly desirable outcome,” said Mayor Moench. “From Filipe and Howard holding the line against overdevelopment in 2019 to Michael and Tim coming in with me as the cavalry in 2020, to Allen’s leadership in the home stretch, this has been a great effort on the behalf of the people of Bridgewater.
Council President Allen Kurdyla discussed the project’s timeline, and the positive effect its completion will have in subsequent projects the town may face.
“It’s been a bumpy road,” said Council President Allen Kurdyla. “But after almost 10 years of work and deliberation, I truly believe that we are delivering the right kind of development for our town. The outcome of this agreement will benefit the people of Bridgewater for years to come, and will set the tone for future development in our town: We will work with you, but our residents will always come first.”
Council Vice-President Michael Kirsh emphasized the role of the whole community in this win against overdevelopment.
“Bridgewater is a beautiful, well planned community,” said Council Vice-President Michael Kirsh. “That’s not by accident, it’s due to the actions of the people of Bridgewater. Whether in the form of comments at public meetings, discussions by the land-use board members, or resolutions from my colleagues on the dais, Bridgewater’s team comes together and gets the tough work done – and that’s what we’ve accomplished with this new agreement on Center of Excellence.”
Councilman Filipe Pedroso spoke on the impact that Bridgewater Residents had on reining in the initial proposal, and battling against what would have been a drastic change to the character of the town.
“I was proud to support the measures that were approved last week,” said Councilman Filipe Pedroso. “When I started the Preserve Bridgewater movement back in 2015, and then recruited Lauren Whalen to be the lead and face of the group, almost no one in the public knew about the monstrosity overdevelopment that was proposed. However, Preserve Bridgewater successfully grew into a powerful movement, with hundreds of community members, that actively worked together to stop the overdevelopment and protect the character of their beloved Bridgewater. These resident volunteers deserve the credit for the successful outcome we now have. In the end, the Center of Excellence showed that it is the Bridgewater residents who truly are the center of excellence of our community.”
The next steps will see the ordinances voted on last week be placed on a Council agenda for a public hearing and final action by the Council. At least two weeks must pass between the introduction and final action.
Subsequent to that vote, Advance Realty will need to submit a new site plan and additional technical documents to the Township for review by our professional staff. The Engineering and Planning staff will review those documents, and once our professionals certify that they are complete, the matter will go before the Planning Board.