Lopatcong Planning Board Proposes Zoning Ordinance Amendment

The Lopatcong Planning Board met to discuss a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance aimed at easing the process for homeowners with non-conforming structures looking to make improvements. The amendment, if enacted, would enable certain expansions without the need for a variance, provided that the non-conformity is not intensified. The Board also honored longtime volunteer Gary Van Vliet for his service and administered oaths to new and returning board members.

The proposed zoning ordinance amendment was the focal point of the Lopatcong Planning Board meeting, addressing the issue faced by homeowners with pre-existing non-conforming structures who wish to expand or modify their homes. The current ordinance requires these homeowners to seek variances for any alterations, a process that can be both costly and time-consuming. The proposed change would allow expansions that do not increase the degree of non-conformity to be approved by the zoning officer directly, thereby streamlining the process for residents.

This proposed amendment is specifically designed for residential properties and does not apply to commercial structures. It intends to alleviate the burden on homeowners whose houses, often older and predating current zoning laws, are placed in such a way that they do not comply with current setback requirements. The Board discussed the language of the amendment extensively and sought to ensure it would effectively reduce the unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles for homeowners while preserving the integrity of local zoning laws.

Additionally, the Board passed a resolution to honor Gary Van Vliet, recognizing his over 28 years of service to the township. Van Vliet, who could not attend the meeting, was celebrated for his contributions and dedication as a volunteer on the Planning Board.

The meeting also included routine business such as the swearing-in of board members Robyn George and Brian Weeks, alongside standard procedural tasks like the approval of minutes from previous meetings.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
William Wright
Planning Board Officials:
Andrew Melendez, James Palitto, Robert Samson, Susan DiLeo, Anita Caughy, Kermit Hartman, Ann Coyle, Brian Weeks, Robyn George, James Bryce (Attorney), M. Beth Dilts (CMC/CMR/Administrator), George Ritter (Planner), Paul Sterbenz PE (Engineer)

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