Preliminary and final major subdivision approval is being sought in order to subdivide the existing lot into 74 lots consisting of 70 building lots, three open space lots, and one common area lot, according to a recently published Legal Notice. There are also plans to construct a 14,000 square foot retail facility and 80 townhouse units, including 16 affordable housing units, on the property.
Stratford residents have expressed concern about this project. Diana Gonzales, a 37-year resident of the Laurel Mills section, reached out to SJO to ask if we were doing a follow up post to this story since the matter is now scheduled to be heard by the Joint Land Use Board.
Ms. Gonzales saw a need in the community to have a place where residents could discuss the Borough’s redevelopment plans so she started a private Facebook page called: “Stratford Advocates for Responsible Redevelopment” and serves as the pages’s moderator. “We got over 200 members in 24 hours to our page that promotes respect for differences in opinions. It’s going well,” she wrote.
She asked if a few quotes from residents could be included in our updated post.
SJO did reach out to Mayor Keenan on August 12, 2019 to ask if he would like to provide a quote for this story. As of this writing, he has not responded, but will provide an update to this post to include his quote if he does.
John Gentless Mayor Emeritus Stratford:
Stratford can soon become a chock-a-block (crowded, jammed) community. If you follow Stratford’s intended development, as of now, more than 125 units, some 80 townhouses some divided into apartments, on Warwick Road with affordable housing, and some 48 townhouses on Bryant Avenue/Berlin Road next to the townhouses already there with their traffic problems, are already planned. And this is policy even with some 60+ abandoned private homes with no plan from our elected officials to address their future occupancy.
Time to raise a red flag?
Before any residential projects are approved, has borough council even formally considered their impact on roads, sewer, trash, police, fire, public works, administration and, yes schools?
Our elected mayor and council will say they have nothing to do with school taxes. Don’t they realize that these residential developments add students, teachers aids, and possibly a new wing?
A feasibility study should be done on what we residents want our community to be, not giving carte-blanche to any and all developers to tell us what’s good for our town.
A responsible, multi-year development plan should come from this; we used to be a foremost” Camden County community.
Why are we running from that word?
I am a 50 year resident of Stratford, and a member of Stratford Advocates for Responsible Redevelopment.
I cannot believe that our Mayor, Council and Joint Use Land Board (JULB) would approve this proposal. 80 townhouse in the middle of town will impact a few things, increased traffic and a strain on the all ready overcrowded school system.
The owner/developer has not been a friend to the town since he bought the once striving shopping center. He let the center fall into disrepair, to get the taxes lowered on the property.
80 homes are way too many. Apparently, he is calling the shots, not our elected officials or hand picked JULB.
Council even gave him a 5 year tax abatement on the property. There are better uses for the property, that council can’t understand.
How about an over 55 complex with more retail space?
The developer is only calling for 14,000 square feet now.
The over 55 complex would have a smaller footprint than 80 townhouses, more green/open space.
We know the owner bought the property to make money. We have no problem with this, but [he is] making money on the backs of the Stratford taxpayer.
Council and the JULB should vote no, and have him come back with something better, like the over 55 Complex and more retail space.
I’ve been a resident of Stratford since 1999 and the Incollingo’s Shopping Center was pretty much full at the time. I’ve seen it go downhill since.
With all the complaints going on about how much of an eyesore it is, I think anything that’s in the works is a positive thing.
If they want to put housing there that’s fine. It’s called progress.
At this point, why not? Because nothing has been happening since it started to tank. So basically, I’m for whatever goes.
Also from what I’ve read, there will be some commercial space, and everyone is complaining about no commercial.
Nobody will ever be happy with what happens to that lot. I’m also willing to bet that nobody will be happy with the Bradlees site once that gets going.
[*Post was updated on 8/24/2019 at 9:50 a.m. to reflect the date of the meeting change.*]