Belleville Officials this week approved a plan for development on the former Roche pharmaceutical manufacturing center in Belleville.
After brief testimony from the project’s planner, John Madden of Maser Consulting, officials finalized plans to restrict developers building a hospital, ambulatory/surgery center, or medical helicopter pad on the site for, respectively duplicating services Clara Maass provides and disrupting the neighborhood.
The Belleville Council voted six to one in favor of the plan, with Councilwoman Marie Burke voting no. Burke, who represents the ward where the property sits, was concerned that the plan allowed for a fast food restaurant.
At a Tuesday night meeting, Madden said that the original plan only allowed for hospital use to accommodate nearby Clara Maass if the hospital wished to expand into the space. Madden told officials that Clara Maass has said they do not wish to expand into the property.
A consulting company studying the property determined that the site contains soil and groundwater contamination, ruling out residential use as well as child and adult care facilities, the Belleville Times reported last month.
Permitted conditional site uses include medical facilities and professional offices, hotel and conference centers, and municipal and public facilities, the Belleville Times previously reported.
In a 2011 Patch article, Lawrence Hajna, a Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said "low levels of arsenic” have been found in the groundwater and soil at the site, but the contamination has not spread off the site and that Roche “voluntarily” entered into a remediation program in 2006, Hajna also said.