The Borough Council at its Tuesday Feb. 3 council meeting introduced an ordinance that would allow the municipal government to spend 1.86 million dollars (including 1.767 million dollars in bonds) to buy Buck Woods. Council members declined to comment further on the matter at the present time, but the action could be part of a negotiating strategy to preserve the property.
Located between South Fifth and South Seventh avenues, Buck Woods is a half block from Bartle Elementary School and Borough Hall. It is privately owned and undeveloped property, but under current land-use law may be developed for single-family houses. The property is assessed at $279,700, and is owned by JSM @ Highland Park LLC, whose principal is Jack Morris of Edgewood Properties.
In 2013 the Borough commissioned a study by the firm Clarke, Caton and Hintz to determine if Buck Woods and the areas known as the Upper and Lower Meadows bordering Donaldson Park qualified as “Areas in Need of Redevelopment.” Such a determination as an Area in Need of Redevelopment would allow the Borough to create a Redevelopment Zone which would give the municipality more control over how the land would be developed.
The full Redevelopment Study can be viewed as a PDF here: Buck Woods & the Upper and Lower Meadows Sites Preliminary Investigation of a Determination of an Area in Need of Redevelopment.