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PETERSBURG - Upper Township Committee members passed a resolution Sept. 14 authorizing the municipality's Planning Board to conduct a preliminary investigation into whether to establish a condemnation redevelopment area within the municipality.  

After a closed session, Solicitor Daniel Young, responding to a resident’s question, said the area in view is the site of the former B. L. England generating plant, in Beesley's Point.  

If the designation moves forward, the action would allow developers access to more favorable zoning and flexible financing incentives among other assistance since, by definition, this type of site is difficult to develop given its deterioration and blight and such support is necessary if any project is to advance.  

Young made clear that the ultimate authority to condemn and/or acquire the site, even after Planning Board approval, rests with the committee.  

Under a state law from September 2013, a "condemnation redevelopment zone" is an area with potential for redevelopment that does not require eminent domain and which provides municipalities with a broad array of economic development tools in areas that have been designated as being in need of redevelopment or blighted. 

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