On Saturday morning, July 14th, the Township committee and Planning Board hosted the second in a series of public meetings on the revision of the Master Plan and Land Use Ordinances. This meeting was different from the last in that it focused solely on the concerns of the public. Previously, the Zoning Review Committee had presented certain findings in a more controlled setting but at the July meeting, the public was given a blank slate and asked to share its concerns about the future of the township.
In the relaxed and open setting, residents spoke eloquently and passionately about their worries for the future of their community and what they like about it now. The meeting started in a large circle with participants randomly inking notes about particular issues that they felt deserved discussion. These notes were collected and combined into topics to be discussed at smaller group sessions.
There were seven group discussions with topics varying from stabilizing the tax base to fairness in zoning and affordable diverse housing. Each group discussion was assigned a location and time where participants could hear each other’s views. A note-taker was assigned to each group, and at the session’s close the notes were collected and have now been published into an informal report to the Zoning Review Committee. This report will be used as a reference point by the Zoning Review Committee in its ongoing work to revise the land use ordinances.