Economic Development

For many years now, a large part of Harrison Township’s appeal has been its open spaces and ample farmlands. It is nice to live in a place with such a rural character which is still within close proximity to convenient shopping and commercial development. For many of us, part of Harrison’s great appeal was that the commercial development, while convenient, was not located in our town and along our roads. Under the current administration’s plan, it seems that more and more farmland is being designated for redevelopment studies and possible development. We believe that Harrison Township has overused the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law. For example, the township committee recently approved a redevelopment study for the farmland at Routes 322 and Tomlin Station Road, as part of larger redevelopment study for the newer business and commercial park on Tomlin Station Road. While such a study may bring interest from developers, it seems cavalier to add that farmland to a redevelopment study when there is already a significant amount of underutilized development right across the street. Unfortunately, at the rate the current administration is proceeding, all that development will diminish the open space and rural community that we all love. Our plan is to protect as much open space and farmland as possible so that the township does not risk becoming overdeveloped. With all the redevelopment zones and redevelopment studies currently in progress or already approved, residents are genuinely concerned that the rural character of Harrison Township will suffer. We think the better approach to protect farmland and open space is to slow the pace of redevelopment plans, pending actual development in the existing redevelopment zones. We believe that all this redevelopment can and will change the essence of our town which we want to protect. We would rather turn our efforts, at this point, into welcoming new residents and new businesses to homes and buildings that are vacant then build new and try to fill those. We believe in fixing what exists now as a problem before creating more problems.

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