Monday, June 13th, 2016
COUNTY ALSO SEEKS APPROVAL TO BUILD NEW ACCESS ROAD TO CENTRAL PARK OF MORRIS COUNTY AT GREYSTONE
The Morris County Freeholders have passed a resolution authorizing the county to enter a long-term management and use agreement with the state to lease 126 acres in Parsippany that once housed recently demolished Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital for use by the Morris County Park Commission.
In a separate resolution last week, the Freeholder Board also agreed to seek state approval to divert a portion of the former Greystone tract to build a new access road into the county’s Central Park of Morris County complex on the former Greystone property.
Both agreements, however, are contingent upon approvals by the Statehouse Commission and the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority, and would require the state to complete its demolition and environmental cleanup work at the Greystone Hospital site.
“This would be a terrific addition to our current Central Park at Greystone, making great use of land that has been dormant for years and which could benefit residents of Morris County and New Jersey,’’ said Freeholder Doug Cabana. “We will work closely with the state to ensure this project gets completed.’’
That 126-acre tract is adjacent to the Morris County Park Commission’s Central Park complex, which is built on former Greystone campus land that the county acquired from the state in 2001.
“We look forward to adding this tract to our current Central Park facilities to be able to provide more recreational opportunities for county residents,’’ said Park Commission Executive Director David Helmer.’’
The state would not be done with its work and prepared to turn over the property to the county until sometime in the later half of 2017.
Under terms of a tentative management and use agreement, the state would deliver the property to the county in suitable condition for passive public outdoor recreation, such as walking, hiking, picnicking, nature watching, or for conservation purposes. The county could add active recreation uses in the future.
Helmer said he envisions passive recreation use of the new tract, with picnic areas and paved trails, once the county obtains access to the land.
The county Park Commission would be fully responsible for policing and security at the location, according to the management agreement.
Meanwhile, the county plans to construct a new Central Park main entrance road to run from West Hanover Avenue in Parsippany to Central Avenue, which is the main road through the county park. The new road would divert much of the traffic to Central Park that now runs through residential neighborhoods in Morris Plains.
The county has $1 million set aside for the design and construction of the new access road. But an easement is needed from the State House Commission and the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority.
The freeholders have authorized the County Administrator to submit an application to obtain all needed state approvals.