Overcrowding causes city planning board to adjourn meeting on controversial proposal
Tonight’s New Brunswick Planning Board meeting was adjourned on the grounds that it violated the Open Public Meetings Act, which states that no member of the public can be excluded from a meeting where there will be discussion about a matter described in the subsection of the meeting’s agenda.
The meeting was meant to see discussion on Lot 4.01, or 17 Mine Street. Construction Management Associates, LLC is seeking the approval from the City of New Brunswick to tear down the 17 Mine in favor of redeveloping the lot into a four-story apartment building.
Thomas Kelso, a private city-based attorney spoke on behalf of the public when he brought up the fact that a past city council meeting (three month prior) to discuss the same issue was also adjourned because it was in violation of OPMA.
Kelso said the city was supposed to find a new venue for the meeting, large enough to accommodate every member of the public who wished to be there. He said the city was unable to find and secure such a location for tonight’s meeting.
Members of the public were sitting on the floor, leaning against walls and pushed out into the hallway due to sheer lack of space.
According to a March 13 article in The Daily Targum, the apartment building would intend to provide housing for Rutgers and New Brunswick Theological Seminary students.
City residents have voiced their disapproval for the project, noting that it will aesthetically degrade the street’s historic appearance, according to the article.
Others argue that adding 140 people to the 200-person street will heavily increase traffic congestion.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published online on August 12, 2014.