Middle seeks positive change through expansion of Rio Grande redevelopment area

Cape May Court House, N.J. – The Middle Township Planning Board is preparing to study the possible expansion of the Rio Grande redevelopment area.
The Board is expected to consider the update over the summer, following Township Committee’s April 17 resolution that authorized the investigation. If the Planning Board finds that the area meets the state’s requirements for a redevelopment zone, a public hearing will be held before the Township Committee’s final determination.
On a similar summer timeline, the Township will work with Cape May County to engage the community in a public process to plan Rio Grande area development. This process will help ensure that any development addresses the needs of the nearby community and the Township at large. The Township and County are working to finalize these plans over the next 60 days.

The exploration of an expanded redevelopment area is driven by the Township’s belief that the wider zone would attract developers and enhance the development partnership with the county.
“As with every action we take in Middle, studying the redevelopment area is motivated by our desire to improve the quality of life for those who live here,” said Mayor Tim Donohue. “Healthy business and residential development support a better Middle Township. We will continue to balance the needs of the business community with our responsibility to our residents.”
Donohue said the redevelopment area is another tool to create a business-friendly climate.
“Creating a redevelopment area does not change the zoning in the area,” Donohue said. “It provides the Township the ability to work with qualified developers to address zoning issues as the need arises.”
Although Township Committee authorized the Planning Board to study a redevelopment area that would allow the use of eminent domain, there are no plans underway to enact that power.
The Township will update community members about the outcome of the Planning Board’s investigation.
“We look forward to the Planning Board’s review. The designation for redevelopment, coupled with our discussion on an economic development partnership with Cape May County, offers us the best chance to enhance quality business opportunities in Rio Grande through public-private initiatives and incentives,” Donohue said.

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