Mahwah Can Expect A Future-Minded Master Plan
Planning Board discussions should begin in August
The township’s revisited Master Plan, being drafted by Planner Joseph Burgis, will be one that emphasizes recommendations for the future, he said at Monday's Planning Board meeting.
“The last version of the plan from 1989 was about 90 percent background information about the status of the town and only about 10 percent recommendations. We are obviously taking a different approach this time around,” Burgis said.
The document, which has been in the works since May, will consider land use, sustainability, community facilities, the implications of being a member of the Highland’s council and other environmental issues, as well as traffic and circulation.
Burgis said he expects the document, which will be more than 100 pages, will be ready for review by the planning board in about three weeks.
“I don’t want this to be a Burgis Plan,” he said. “This is your community, and I want to hand you the document to accept or modify it as you see fit.”
Once the plan is ready, it will be available to residents in the township center, and the board will hold meetings and public hearings on the document.
“The plan is looked at by developers; a town can be sued over a lot of issues…and we want the Master Plan to provide support behind all aspects of planning and zoning to protect the municipality,” Burgis said.
In response to a question asked by resident Joey Bourgholtzer, Burgis said the Master Plan does not impact the ordinance changes that would allow for a 600,000 sq.-foot retail development neat the Sheraton on Route 17, in terms of the ordinances’ validity.
“The plan and ordinances support each other but do not depend on each other.”
"Litigation filed against the township could only affect the ordinance, not the plan,” he said.
The board expects to begin Master Plan meetings in August.