A community’s Master Plan is a planning document developed by the Planning Board in accordance with the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law and is used as a guide for the use of land in our township and for the protection of our community. Montville is currently undertaking a comprehensive review and rewrite of the Township Plan, last done in l993, and to make sure it is a meaningful document that truly guides zoning and land use in the community, we need your input.
The Planning Board encourages you to comment not only on the Goals and Objectives contained within, but on future documents and articles posted here. We need you our resident involved in this important planning task in planning the future of our community.
Once the Planning Board finalizes the Goals & Objectives, we will then proceed to individual studies of land use and zoning to achieve them (i.e. re-examine our regulations on the size of a home or perhaps review development on pre-existing non conforming lots).
Please review these documents and give us your comments by E-mail, regular mail, or in person by attending the Planning Board’s meeting on September 24, 2009 at 7:30PM at which we plan to discuss comments received on the Goals and Objectives.
The master plan is the keystone of municipal planning and possibly the most important tool available to direct and guide the use of land in our community. The Planning Board is the only land use authority empowered with the legal responsibility for preparing and, after public hearing, adopting or amending a master plan. The Planning Board recently adopted are-examination report to address the State of New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Laws (MLUL) dictating this document be reviewed every six years. By addressing this, the Board can now use their energies towards providing a comprehensive review and analysis of the community in planning for the community’s future.
Master planning is an effective way to manage changes that occur naturally as the economy changes, new regulatory and governmental constraints are imposed, technology expands and demographics shift. The master planning process is one that has to be well thought about before you embark on it and as much objective information as possible be gathered to complete a history and current status of the community’s issues. The value of a master plan is mulit-fold: it provides the overall picture of where our township is, what problems need to be corrected, and what changes will occur as we move into the future
The Master Plan document when completed in early 2010 will detail the intent for future development in the community, setting out reasons for recommended policies and standard, and identifying where and how development should occur and will only be completed after a complete and exhaustive analysis of the community’s physical,economic and social conditions is made. The Planning Board will be working and meeting with many of the community’s agencies, committees, boards and department heads and will have open public meetings looking for our residents to participate. Their feeling is the wider you can cast your net in terms of gathering information, the better the master plan is as a complete comprehensive guide that satisfies and addresses the goals and objectives of all areas of our community. In the midst of the entire information gathering, we will go for the gold in creating a vision. This vision will guide us in maintaining quality of life issues so important to our residents.
The Master Plan when completed will enable the township to respond to, and set priorities among, different levels of community needs. This can only be accomplished by listening to the needs of users, and the benefit is that users understand that they've been heard and their needs met. A Master Plan provides consensus and gives a direction that people buy into. If there is a rational process behind the goals of the project, then people get on board with it.
Finally, understand that the master plan is a living document. You can't make a master plan and have it cast in stone forever. What we are doing now is making those adjustments to the prior master plan of years past to respond to the needs goals and visions of today’s and tomorrows and to achieve the vision we all want for Montville, keeping an open mind to the vision stretching beyond the version of what we may have.
After this major planning task is completed (again sometime early 2010) the town will move forward with implementing this vision, updating and addressing the municipal ordinance to make sure this vision is adaptable for the future and will continue to work closely with all so we can complete this visioning process.
Remember the master plan is a living document, a tool to raise challenges to planning ideas perceived as detrimental to the township. It also serves a number of purposes, but mostly it will provide an overall picture of where the community is, where it is going, while allowing for effective and efficient ways to manage change while setting priorities. Remember a master plan is not just a ‘good idea’ … it’s a must have for every community.
And remember a Master Plan document is the foundation and a proposed structure of a community’s future. The zoning ordinances, the official map, and the subdivision and site plan review ordinances are its implementation tools. Know that a master plan gives a community the legal basis to control development in the municipality which is accomplished through the adoption of development ordinances that are designed to implement the Master Plan's recommendations. With these thoughts, know that after our Master Plan is adopted by the Planning Board, we intend to update the Township’s zoning codes and development regulations to achieve compliance with the goals and objectives our Montville resident wants in our community. The Planning Board is anticipating these tasks are also complete by mid 2010.
A Master Plan Review Committee, consisting of the Township’s planner, Joseph Burgis, AICP, and members of the Planning Board, was formed to begin the exhausting and
detailed collection of data and to focus on all of the areas the Planning Board will need to review as part of this process. The subcommittee meet at 6:00PM before the Regular meeting of the Planning Board held the second Thursday of each month (check calendars to confirm). The subcommittee intends on soliciting your input in the future to work with them on defining existing and projected problems in order to provide suggested solutions for resolving them. Adopted minutes of the Master Plan subcommittee are available on this website. If you need further information, feel free to contact our Principal Planner, Ryan Conklin.