Zoning amendment would permit business to move


Staff Writer

MarlboroMarlboro MARLBORO – The Township Council has introduced an ordinance that would amend the uses permitted in the C-2 commercial zone following a request from a local business owner to make the change.

The ordinance, which was introduced on Feb. 1, is scheduled for a public hearing and possible vote for adoption on Feb. 15. If the ordinance is adopted, the change in zoning will permit commercial educational facilities in the C-2 commercial zone.

A commercial educational facility is defined in the ordinance as a commercial recreational use in which the principal activity is to educate and teach children and/or adults with respect to certain recreational, athletic and/or artistic activities. The permitted uses include a martial arts school, a dance school, an art school, and a yoga or Pilates studio.

During the public comment portion of the Jan. 25 council meeting, Jack McInerney, the owner of Black Belt America, Route 79 north near the village of Marlboro, asked the council to amend the C-2 commercial zone to allow his business to move to a location in that zone.

According to McInerney, the township’s zoning officer determined that a martial arts school is not an approved use in the C-2 zone. McInerney appealed the zoning officer’s decision to the Zoning Board of Adjustment but the board denied the appeal.

McInerney said he would have to appear before the zoning board and apply for a use variance in order to move his business from its present location on Route 79 to the Bear Brook Commons retail center at the intersection of Route 79 and Route 520. He asked the council to amend the C-2 ordinance to allow martial arts and other similar businesses in the zone.

On Feb. 1 the council introduced an ordinance amending the commercial zone, which, if adopted, would permit Black Belt America to move to Bear Brook Commons without receiving a use variance from the zoning board.

Councilman Joseph Pernice asked if the amendment would permit grade schools to be built in the C-2 zone.

Township Attorney Andrew Bayer said schools of that nature are separately defined in the township code and therefore the amended ordinance would not permit those types of schools in the C-2 zone.