The Crossroads Developers LLC, the company seeking to build a 600,000 sq.-foot shopping center at the intersection of Routes 17 and 287 in Mahwah, filed a preliminary site plan with the township building department, according to the developer’s attorney Jim Jaworski.
The filing comes one day before the town council had scheduled a special meeting to adopt a new zoning ordinance that would change the area back to its original zoning, which allowed for office space.
The Mahwah town council approved three ordinances in March that allowed for retail development on the site. However, a backlash from a citizen group – The Committee to Stop Mahwah Mall – prompted the council recently to try to reverse its previous decision.
The CSMM submitted a petition with over 2,000 registered voter signatures on it demanding a non-binding referendum on the November ballot asking the feelings of the citizens about having a mall in the township. In response, the council moved to repeal the three zoning ordinances “as quickly as possible.”
After a required review from the Planning Board and publication of the ordinance, the council was set to adopt the new ordinance Thursday night.
However, due to New Jersey’s Time of Decision Law, if the developer files a complete site plan before the new ordinance is adopted, it will not be subject to the new zoning.
“We filed pursuant with the laws as of August 31,” Jaworski said.
According to Jaworski, the plan will now be reviewed by the township’s Construction Official Gary Montroy, and then proceed through other offices in the township to make sure that it is legally considered “complete.”
“Hopefully, we can have a public hearing on it in a few months,” Jaworski said.
In addition to the site plan, the developer filed drainage calculations, a soil movement application, both compiled by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., architectural plans completed by the Dietz Partnership, a traffic plan prepared by Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc., a planning analysis prepared by Kauker and Kauker, LLC, a preliminary security plan by IPS Corporate Security, and fees and an environmental inventory report.
No variation was filed and the attorney said he submitted what he believed was a “complete” site plan.
Mayor John DaPuzzo said he thinks the council should "proceed with what was planned and rescind the ordinances [Thursday] night," because it has not yet been determined if the site plan is complete. "It is a monumental task to submit a complete plan on the first try," he said. The mayor also said the non-binding referendum will appear on the November ballot either way.