Mahwah’s Master Plan is getting revamped. Monday night, the township’s planning board got a preview of some of the observations and suggestions Burgis Associates has made thus far when examining the current document, which has not been totally reworked since 1989.
The Master Plan outlines goals and objectives for the future of the township. Some specific areas considered include land use, sustainability, community facilities, utility service areas, and historic preservation areas.
Mayor John DaPuzzo pointed out that the current draft is a working document that will go through several revisions before it is presented to the public. At a previous meeting, the planning board said that once the plan is finalized, it will be available for public viewing, and commentary will be solicited.
“This draft will be fine tuned before we give it to the public. It is not anywhere near done,” DaPuzzo said.
Some of the initial observations and suggestions presented to the board by Burgis Planner Brigitte Bogart include:
- To continue to concentrate development in the Eastern portion of the township, and preserve the Western portion with open space, etc.
- The future redevelopment of the (particularly Eastern side) of Route 17 should include more safety and aesthetic considerations. The planner pointed out that the other side of 17, which has been mostly developed with business complexes, more so complies with this goal.
- Ramapo Valley Road and Island Road were intended to be developed by smaller service and commercial users, however merging lots have caused larger, more “intense” developments in the area. The planner recommended either changing the zoning regulations to reflect this, or look to reinstate the original intent with redevelopment.
- Enforce the “Number One Goal” of the Environmental Commission, which is to “promote land use policies that would encourage the township to be self-sufficient in terms of water usage.”
- Create a municipal-wide shuttle system between mass transit drop-off locations and larger/corporate facilities and buildings in Mahwah
- Create a municipal-wide bike and/or pedestrian trail system along the Ramapo River to connect it to commercial areas on Franklin Turnpike, and encourage residents to use “travel methods other than driving”
The board took copies of the draft home, and will email Bogart their concerns and suggestions. She will compile these, and make another presentation to the board at the September 12 meeting.