Progress toward the redevelopment of the former Belcher’s Run Shopping Center at 1592 Union Valley Road has moved a step forward.
In a communication to local officials, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) announced that it has issued a required fresh wetlands permit at the site. This approval is necessary because 9.21 acres, or 97.50 percent of the property, is located within a flood plain zone.
The current property owner is Kingwood Flex LLC of North Bergen. The property sold for $1,320,000 in 2014, records show.
The approval involves authorization of the construction of an outfall structure and restoration of a transition area in association with a proposed building addition and reconfiguration of an existing parking lot.
This is an environmentally sensitive area with a brook running from the overflow of Pinecliff Lake dam along one side of the property. The water travels along Belcher’s Creek and enters Greenwood Lake.
A Dollar Tree retail store is among the proposals for the property that have been discussed. The company and the West Milford Planning Board have been studying the company’s plan for development of a mixed use commercial building for some time.
According to information available last year, the proposed layout included partial demolition of a commercial building and construction of a 5,449-foot building addition to house a Dollar Tree store.
That report said information was being prepared for an eventual hearing that is necessary for approval of the applicant’s plans.
Associated suggested site improvements announced earlier included parking areas, grading, landscaping, lighting and utilities.
West Milford Environmental Commission members, having been asked to review environmental impact the project might have, directed last year that oil separators be installed in storm drains in the parking lot to prevent water runoff from reaching Belcher’s Creek.
The commissioners suggested installation of a recharge system for electric vehicles and solar for energy assistance.
Otherwise the commissioners saw the plan as seeming acceptable.