Towns, developers can make good partners

Those of us who have been around the area for a while remember when controversy and strong feelings surrounded the proposed Bear Trap Dunes project in Ocean View.

Obviously, that project has turned out well for the entire community, with Bear Trap being a good partner with the Town of Ocean View, both in terms of providing a nice community, but also in regards to chipping in as a good neighbor. Take a look at the Town’s municipal building on Central Avenue right now and you can see what a corporate-municipal partnership can accomplish. Freeman donated that land to Ocean View, and the Town was able to take advantage of that generosity in a positive way.

That is but one example, as Ocean View has benefitted from council members and other elected positions being people who call Bear Trap their home. If that community was not built, some of the Town’s most involved residents might have chosen another place to live.

We bring up that story to tell another one.

The Town of Millville appears to be having a nice relationship with Millville By the Sea, by all indications. That project also stirred up a lot of controversy when it was in its planning stages, as all new large developments do, but the Town and the developers appear to be building a strong alliance that is beneficial to both sides.

The original approval process of Millville By The Sea was bumpy, as the Town was annexing property to include the entire project under its watch, and had to develop a plan for such an ambitious effort, as the Town had no prior developments of that size.

Now we are reporting that the Town and Millville By The Sea are close to agreeing to an offer by the developer for a 2-acre parcel of land along Route 17 that town officials believe could be used for the farmers’ market, the Great Pumpkin Festival and more.

This could be a long-term partnership that benefits all parties, and that just doesn’t happen enough.