Sussex Borough takes no action on recommendation

Council considers options after Planning Board recommends not making old library residential


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The Sussex Borough council discussed but did not take action on a recommendation from the borough planning board not to change the zone for the old Public Library on April 15.

The process

Feb. 18: Sussex Borough Council unanimously agreed that the request to change zones for the old Public Library building be referred to the Borough Planning Board.
April 15: The Planning Board reviewed and referred back recommendations not to change the property’s zone from Public to Residential. Council decided to follow Town Planner’s recommendation and draft an ordinance to change the Public Zone to C1 and extend 2 other lots from R (Residential) to C1.
Ordinances usually last more than one year, and then can become incorporated into the laws of the town.
Resolutions usually last for one year or less.

The Planning Board recommended the council leave the property, located at 25 Bank St. as a public zone and not change the property's zoning to residential. Attorney Kate Yaskovic, requested on behalf of a buyer to change the peroperty's zoning to residential.

At its Feb. 18 meeting, the council derered the zone-change request to the Planning Board.

Town Planner Ken Nelson recommendated not changing the zone as requested in an effort to avoid spot zoning

The property had previously been a travel agency and has been vacant for about five years.

"It would be good to have someone there," Councilwoman Linda Masson said.

At this time, any use of the building would require a variance unless used by a public entity.

Councilman Bruce LaBar said Nelson recommended zoning the entire section for commercial.

Mayor Jonathan Rose said the Planning Board also could give a residential zone to the property if the whole section was under the C1 zone.

"The borough should have consistent clear ordinances," Rose said.

LaBar said in 2009 there was talk of extending the C1 zone.

Borough Attorney Francis McGovern said he could draft an ordinance to change the public zone to C1 and extend two other lots from the Residential zone to C1, by the Council’s next meeting.

Ordinances usually last more than one year, and then can become incorporated into the laws of the town.

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