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Mahwah's Master Plan Will Change For First Time Since 1989

Township planner Joseph Burgis laid out an overview for the coming revision of the Mahwah Township Master Plan

Mahwah's Master Plan is getting a makeover.

Joseph Burgis, Township planner, explained to the Planning Board at Monday night's meeting an overview of the coming changes to the township’s Master Plan.

The Master Plan of any community, Burgis explained, is a contract in four components: 

  • The Land Use component, dividing the town into zones for commercial, residential, industrial, recreational and other usage.
  • The Circulation element, laying out vehicular and pedestrian movements throughout the municipality, as well as bike paths and needed improvements.
  • The Historical Preservation, which currently included a 50-page inventory, and is still being researched.
  • The Goals and Objectives, which Burgis called the “Heart of what a Master Plan should be.” This will include associated policy statements, and what sort of direction and goals are being encouraged for the township, and its future. 

The Master Plan, he said, sets the predicate for the municipality, while zoning ordinances regulate its implementation.

Mr. Burgis explained that over the next 2-3 months, he would be going over with the Planning Board elements such as the zoning along the Route 17 corridor; land use issues at Wyckoff Avenue, Edison Road and Leighton Place and the current light industrial zoning; Ramapo Valley Road at Island Road, and the Franklin Turnpike corridor, among other issues.

Mayor DaPuzzo made comments about mixed use and residential zoning, and that some of this can be a negative impact to the municipality’s tax base.

Burgis mentioned the significance of the Highlands Act, which is a law from 2004 that preserves open space, and affects Mahwah’s Master Plan. It plays a role in the granting of land use variances, and affects the required number of affordable housing units Mahwah must create. 

The comprehensive Master Plan has not been redone since 1989.  

Burgis requested the entire June 27 meeting of the Planning Board to go over elements of the Master Plan, as the board will make recommendations to the Town Council on this issue.  He expects that revisions to the Master Plan will be completed before the end of 2011.

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