At the May monthly meeting, the Township Committee adopted a package of seven resolutions providing additional notice and clarity related to land use proposals in the Township in addition to advocating for impactful reforms at the state-level. The initiative codifies the Township Committee’s redevelopment policy by providing additional opportunities for public input and requiring notice beyond what is required by the state.
Like many communities across New Jersey, Morris Township continues to see a high volume of commercial land use applications for properties throughout the Township as well as in municipalities in contact with our border. In passing these resolutions, the Township Committee:
Codifies best practices governing redevelopment proposals to provide residents with clarity on the process and more substantive information from the outset. Specifically, the new policy includes a requirement for prospective redevelopers to provide concept plans for public review before Township professionals begin drafting proposed Redevelopment Plans for the governing body’s review in order to provide residents the opportunity to provide comment during the initial stages of a proposal. Specifically, redevelopment proposals must follow the guidelines below:
- Public information session to be held prior to the introduction of a Redevelopment Plan
- Notice to residents in the area of a redevelopment site to be postmarked at least 21 days prior to a first hearing
- Notice to be made to residents in surrounding neighborhoods, not just the immediate vicinity of a proposed redevelopment site
- Announcement of the public hearing of a Redevelopment Project to be made through a Municipal Messenger email in addition to being posted on the Township website and social media channels
- Educational materials as well as a document of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to be provided to residents to review upon public notice
- Governing body to carry to a subsequent hearing the final vote on a proposed redevelopment plan ordinance, providing all committee members sufficient time to consider resident feedback.
- Requires information on land use proposals being reviewed by the Township’s Board of Adjustment and Planning Board, which are more strictly governed by state statute, be posted to the Township website in advance of a first hearing
- Uses the Township Committee’s policies as a benchmark to advocate for much-needed reforms at the state-level to provide increased transparency and opportunity for public input
- Advocates for the state to require cross-municipality collaboration as it relates to development directly on shared borders with other municipalities
Resolutions 111-21 through 117-21 were passed unanimously by the Township Committee as introduced by the Legislation Standing Committee, chaired by Deputy Mayor Mark Gyorfy, in consultation with Committeewoman Cathy Wilson and Township professionals.
To learn more, view the meeting recording here.