Planning Board Debates Land Use Ordinances, Considers Stricter Submission Policies

In a recent meeting, the local Planning Board engaged in a detailed review of two land use ordinances, discussed stricter adherence to submission deadlines for applications, and deliberated over how to handle incomplete or faulty applications. The board also considered setting time limits for application review to maintain meeting efficiency.

The heart of the meeting was the thorough examination of two land use ordinances, 3023 and 3123. Introduced by the local governing body, the ordinances were brought before the Planning Board for a consistency determination with the township’s master plan. Specific provisions debated by board members included those concerning student residences and age restrictions for residents. Following a discussion, the Board voted to approve the consistency review for both ordinances.

The discussion on these ordinances was led by Board members including Michael Reina, Tsvi Herman, and Michele Campbell. The trio offered insights into the potential impacts of these regulations and led the discussion on the specific provisions.

Simultaneously, the board contemplated stricter enforcement of the 20-day submission requirement for applicants. The rule mandates that all application materials should be submitted at least 20 days before a meeting. The members, including Kenneth Bressi and Mordechai Burnstein, were divided over maintaining the flexibility of the rule or implementing it more strictly.

This debate was fueled by an ongoing issue: the submission of incomplete or sloppy applications, which has forced the board to expend additional time and resources correcting them. The board was divided on whether to adopt a more stringent policy for these incomplete applications. Some members, such as Irina Darrar and Lisa DeMarzo, argued for recommending changes to the land use ordinances to tackle this issue.

The meeting also shed light on the potential of setting time limits for each application. The idea, proposed by Len Haring and Shimshi Heller, aimed at preventing the domination of meetings by a small number of lengthy applications. While some members were in favor of this proposal, others expressed concerns about potentially curtailing thorough scrutiny of complex applications.

The meeting concluded with an emphasis on the need for advanced notice for applications to be heard at future Planning Board meetings. This was suggested by Laura Morrison, the Planning Board Secretary, and Jeffrey Riker. Both stressed on the need for transparency and adequate preparation time for all parties involved in the planning process.

Mayor Colleen Lambert, present at the meeting, echoed these sentiments and underlined the importance of maintaining open communication and efficient procedures for the benefit of the township.

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.

Colleen Lambert
Planning Board Officials:
Michael Reina, Tsvi Herman, Michele Campbell, Kenneth Bressi, Mordechai Burnstein, Irina Darrar, Lisa DeMarzo, Len Haring, Shimshi Heller, Laura Morrison (Planning Board Secretary), Jeffrey Riker, Joseph Sullivan, Raymond Tremer, Terence Wall (Administrator)

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