By PETE WALTON
The Neptune City Land Use Board is scheduled to meet Mon., Dec. 5 to discuss proposed changes in the borough’s retail cannabis ordinance.
The Borough Council is seeking to expand the areas where legal marijuana businesses can set up shop, while keeping the maximum number of licenses issued at two.
On Nov. 14, the council voted unanimously to have the land use board review the addition of adding highway commercial properties on the west side of the borough to the list of areas where cannabis sales would be allowed.
Neighbors of two proposed locations for marijuana businesses have expressed concerns about various aspects of the sites under consideration.
Councilman Glen Kocsis said he spoke with a lawyer specializing in cannabis laws at the recent meeting of the New Jersey League of Municipalities in Atlantic City. Kocsis said the lawyer offered to come to the borough and address the concerns of residents and the council.
Mayor Andrew Wardell, who also attended the league convention, said a public session could be set up for the discussion.
Representatives of Shipwreck’d LLC and Ivy Hall New Jersey LLC told the council in October that they were hoping to lease and potentially buy properties a block apart on West Sylvania Avenue to operate their businesses.
According to state law, applicants who want to sell marijuana in permitted areas must specify their proposed locations before local governing bodies review their plans.
Shipwreck’d LLC told the council it wanted to use the former Horseman Antiques location at 23 W. Sylvania Ave. Ivy Hall New Jersey proposed to use the current Santino’s Pizza building at 35 W. Sylvania Ave. Wardell said the locations were “not set in stone” and that an updated ordinance would increase the chances that the two licensees allowed in the borough could be located further apart.
No site plans have been submitted to the borough for any proposed cannabis businesses.
After the land use board reviews the proposed changes in the ordinance and evaluates their compliance with existing zoning regulations, it will submit its comments to the council for action.
Borough Administrator Al Jardine said the deadline for appealing new property tax assessments is Jan. 15. He urged residents to contact the borough ahead of filing an appeal. Council President Brian Thomas said homeowners should not be reluctant to file appeals if necessary.
The mayor announced that the Dec. 27 council meeting would start at 6 p.m. and be held at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. He said a number of police appointments are in the works and he wanted to have a space large enough for families to attend.
The borough’s annual holiday party for children will take place on Sat., Dec. 10. Information on free tickets will be distributed to students at the elementary school. Neptune City families with children in other schools should contact Borough Hall.