The is in the midst of creating ‘Sustainable Economic Development Plan,’ which officials say is aimed at fostering the growth of the economic sector of the community.
According to representatives from township planner Maser Associates, the development plan attempts to determine ways to increase the local tax base, provide new employment opportunities, and improve “the overall economic and social sustainability of a community.”
The plan is being put together using $20,000 in grants approved by the New Jersey Highlands Council this March.
The Council describes the intent of the Development Plan as a document that can, “ensure long-term, sustainable economic viability, not short-term economic activity,” Darlene Jay of Maser Consulting, said. “Thus, economic growth should be accommodated in a manner that takes careful advantage of the unique and valuable built and natural resources of the [t]ownship.”
According to Jay, the development plan will be particularly useful in Mahwah. “This is an important concept in a municipality with more than 7,600 acres of County and State parkland, 20 historical homes and structures, three archeological/prehistoric sites and two historic districts,” she said. “The challenge is finding the balance between capitalizing upon and protecting these community assets.”
Developing the plan takes a four-phase process, Jay said: research on Mahwah’s present economic conditions, soliciting community input, a public workshop and creation of the document.
The township is currently in the second phase, and is offering two different surveys in order to get feedback about possible future developments.
One survey is for residents, or “consumers,” and asks questions about their shopping habits in Mahwah. Questions ask for the advantages and disadvantages to shopping in Mahwah, what type of entertainment options consumers would like to see in Mahwah, and their perceptions of shopping options on Franklin Turnpike vs. Route 17.
One survey is for township business owners, and asks about their business practices. Questions include the strengths and weaknesses of doing business in Mahwah, how many customers each business has, and describing the growth pattern of the business.
The township is asking residents and business owners to take their respective surveys and “submit” the online survey for consideration.
Take the consumer survey here.
Take the business owner survey here.