Township Planner Will Finish Work On Master Plan Before Leaving Position
New planner appointed by Mayor as of July 1
The Zoning Board of Adjustment last week extended the term of former township planner Joseph Burgis until the board’s July 20 meeting. The extension applies only to the Zoning Board, and not the township as a whole.
As of July 1, Mahwah’s new planning firm is Maser Consulting, with Joseph Layton taking over as township planner, as per a new appointment by Mayor John DaPuzzo, according to business administrator Brian Campion.
Campion said the company has worked with the township once before, on an Open Space Recreation Plan for Mahwah, “about 10 years ago.”
“The contract with Burgis and Associates expired June 30, and the Mayor appoints a firm every year for a one-year term. He felt it was time for a change this year,” Campion said.
The zoning board’s decision to extend Burgis’s time working with the board was based on two outstanding issues.
First, Burgis will now be present at the July 20 meeting to continue hearing the variance request from Zocolli Associates for their proposed assisted living facility. The board has been weighing the pros and cons of this facility, which would be located between Edison Rd. and Fairmount Ave.
Second, Burgis has been working with the Board on the Chai Lifeline’s variance request to allow for their retreat facility to operate in a residentially zoned area on Ramapo Valley Road.
After three years of ongoing testimony, the Zoning Board of Adjustment voted 5-1 to deny the request this May.
Board Attorney Ben Cascio updated the board Wednesday on his progress drafting a resolution on the zoning board’s denial of the variance requested by Chai Lifeline.
He explained that he was circulating it to the members of the zoning board to make certain that no details were omitted, and the wording he was choosing to make clear the position of the zoning board on the matter was incontrovertible.
Cascio said he was awaiting an opinion on his draft resolution from Burgis before he submits the final resolution to be put on the record, to close this matter.
Board Chairman Charles Rabolli said he hoped the board’s resolution would be an ultimately conclusive statement on the matter from its perspective.
As for the third major project Burgis was involved with, the retooling of the township’s Master Plan, which has not been comprehensively reworked since 1989, Campion said the planner is still expected to submit his draft of the new plan in August.
“Burgis should deliver the plan in August, and we will work on it with Maser from then on,” Campion said.