Byram to control more Village Center property

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:58

    Byram - In order to provide the town of Byram with more flexibility when designing and building its proposed Village Center, the town council recently designated two large privately owned parcels of land near the center as a ‘Redevelopment Area.’ This means the property cannot be developed without town involvement and sanction. Plot 5 is a 50-acre parcel owned by the Stabile family, the owners of Wild West City. Plot 2 is a 6-acre lot owned by a well drilling company. Although the designation essentially means the town has control over what can happen on private land, Councilman Earl Riley claims taking possession of the properties recently designated is not the intention of the council’s action. “Eminent Domain is not the reason we can take somebody’s property so that we can do what ever we want,” said Riley. “I want to be clear that is not the intent.” According to Town Manager Greg Poff, the designation is meant to ensure the Village Center and surrounding areas have a consistent look. “The goal is to establish a zoning ordinance for those properties to regulate how they look in order to fit into the overall Village Center plan,” said Poff. “In order to secure the Village Center as envisioned by the township, there are two components that are essential, plots 2 and 5. These represent 91percent of the total area in the Village Center zone.” This new designation means the town has the authority to develop a building plan for the properties and give the projects to approved developers. The developers then approach the property owners in an effort to acquire the land. According to Poff, the property owners in question have been approached by the town and are on board with the plan. “This is just the first step. It is a collaborative process that includes the property owners,” said Poff. “If you bring all the parties in at this time it doesn’t mean an adversarial position.”