Vernon plans public hearing on redevelopment ordinance

Measure would allow for Township Council to approve Mountain Creek indoor waterpark PILOT


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The Vernon Township Council will hold a public hearing on Sept. 22 on an ordinance to establish eligibility of redevelopment projects with tax exemptions and abatements.

The council will hold a work session to discuss the ordinance on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 6:30 p.m.

The ordinance originally was on the council's agenda at the Aug. 11, but action was postponed due to the absence of Crystal Springs Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mulvihill, who was scheduled to present a proposal for a Payment In Lieu of Taxes program in the redevelopment zone to build an indoor waterpark and hotel. Mulvihill gave his presentation to the council at a work session on Aug. 18 and the ordinance was introduced at the council's Aug. 25 meeting.

Council President Brian Lynch said the ordinance is not specific to Mountain Creek. The property and proposed water park are in one of water park and hotel are in one of the redevelopment zones. Should the ordinance pass, it could pave the way for possible approval by the council.

“The PILOT credit is a good one for the township.” said Roy Tanfield, a commissioner on the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority. “The 30-year term should not be tampered with.”

There are currently more than one area that could qualify for redevelopment. Citing the now mostly empty Legends Resort and a similar proposal made 25 years ago by the owners of that property, some citizens are skeptical.

“It would appear that history is about to repeat itself," resident Bonnie Rubin said.

But before the PILOT agreement can be negotiated, the redevelopment zone must first be defined and an ordinance passed for property eligibility.

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