By FRED T. ROSSI
For Union County HAWK
SCOTCH PLAINS – The planning board on Monday authorized a study by its planner to look into whether a piece of property owned by St. Bartholomew’s Church should be redeveloped into an age-restricted apartment building.
Harbor Consultants, the board’s planner, will conduct the study of a 2.2-acre strip on the western edge of the church’s property, measuring about 100 feet wide and extending from Westfield Avenue to the rear of the property and including part of the front parking lot, a segment of the rear parking area, the baseball field and the Fatima House that was built several decades ago. The intent is for the church to lease the land to a private developer who will rehabilitate the building and expand it to a 35-to-40-unit apartment building that would be age-restricted and likely occupied by parishioners who wish to be able to walk to church for weekly mass and other activities.
The study will encompass all of the 2.2 acres in order to take into account any needs or requirements for underground stormwater-management systems, parking or other matters related to a redevelopment plan.
After the planner’s report is completed, the planning board will then hold a public hearing before sending its recommendations to the township council.
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