Scotch Plains Mayor Nancy Malool and the Township Council will once again discuss at their monthly business meeting Tuesday night, which starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building courtroom (for the agenda, click the PDF thumbnail at right).
On Aug. 30, the township with New Jersey Golf Group and Shackamaxon, which filed lawsuits against the township after it declared the 146-acre property an "area in need of rehabilitation."
The country club, which occupies Scotch Plains' single largest parcel of land, went on the market for sale in December. Zoned as R-1, it could have become the site of up to 96 single-family, one-acre homes, according to Malool. The rehabilitation declaration limited the type of development that may occur at the country club, and the settlement announced in August stipulated that the future owners of Shackamaxon – almost certainly New Jersey Golf – could build up to 60 age-restricted luxury condos on 12 acres of land located at the center of the property (the current site of the country club's tennis courts and pool).
The rehabilitation declaration and the settlement became the subject of heated debate among the mayor and council. The votes ultimately fell along party lines, with the council's three Republicans – including Malool – approving the measure, and the two Democrats opposing it.
On Thursday night, the mayor and council hosted a public forum on the settlement. Council members did not speak – instead, only the mayor moderated residents' comments and responded to questions.
About 50 residents attended the meeting. Neighbors of Shackamaxon, specifically those on Dogwood Drive and Arrowwood Drive said they were worried that the construction of condos would worsen drainage that they say is already poor around the golf course. Others expressed concerns about increased traffic, the legal costs that the township incurred from fighting New Jersey Golf and Shackaxon's dual lawsuits, and that the construction of 60 condos units could open the door to further development.
On Tuesday night, council members will be permitted to debate the rehabilitation designation and lawsuit settlement. Check back for our coverage of the meeting. .