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A special meeting of the Planning Board of the Township of Roxbury was held on the above date at 7:00 p.m. with Chairman Scott Meyer presiding.  After a salute to the Flag, Mr. Meyer read the “Open Public Meetings Act”. 


BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:  Scott Meyer, Gary Behrens, Jim Rilee, Joseph Schwab, Charles Bautz, Lisa Voyce, Teresa DeVincentis, Larry Sweeney.


ABSENT:  Michael Shadiack


PROFESSIONAL STAFF PRESENT:  Tom Germinario, Russell Stern. 


Also present:  Lorraine Mullen for Dolores DeMasi, Board Secretary




Russell Stern introduced Frank Banisch, planning consultant, who prepared the reexamination report.  He said it is a requirement of the MLUL to review the master plan every six years.  There have been several master plan meetings over the past few years.  The process included invitations to developers interested in having properties considered for rezoning.  One of those properties was the Southwind property on Route 206.  We also met with developers interested in senior housing projects.  We identified things that need particular attention, and there are regulatory issues that need to be addressed.  Mr. Banisch will go over the goals and objectives as well. 


Mr. Banisch stated the reexamination requirement has been placed in the enabling legislation.  Every six years towns are called upon to reexamine their master plan, and if there have been significant changes, it calls on the town to make changes.  The report has a regimented structure.  It begins in each of a series of sections that identify the questions that we will be answering in the reexamination process.  When your land use regulations are being scrutinized and the efficacy that they ultimately have in regulating development in the community, it relates to how closely the goals of the master plan are tied to policies in the master plan and strategies in your ordinance that will get you where you want to get to. 


Mr. Meyer asked how we move forward with the general recommendations. 


Mr. Banisch stated some communities take on a task with a subcommittee of implementing specific portions of the master plan.  There are recommendations for changes to the master plan, and some other way-finding recommendations that there is an opportunity and a need to go into detail to come up with a solution. 


Mr. Stern said his recommendation would be to continue with the Master Plan committee meetings.  In 1998 we prioritized some issues.  In this report there are some priorities, but they are pretty clear.  One is the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan which needs to be completed.   We are also looking at the Buildout Study.   It would tell us the impacts that we will have to deal with as a result of development and a buildout of this community and would point out areas where, unless zoning is modified, that will have a considerable increase in development, residential and commercial.  There are also recommendations on specific zoning changes that can be addressed at this time.


Mr. Rilee said the Master Plan Committee has been making recommendations since the last reexamination.  We also help guide the Board to make decisions during the Planning Board process. 


Ms. Voyce said what has happened in this Township is that the Master Plan gets incorporated by everyone in town.  The Environmental Commission has done the Natural Resource Inventory, the Buildout Analysis, there is a trails commission, there is Highlands information in the report as well.  Having a full time professional planner and hiring a consultant like Mr. Banisch serves us very well.  I would encourage members of the Board to understand the planning in Roxbury doesn’t stop at these meetings.  There are a lot of opportunities to be involved.  It comes to life everyday in and out of the municipal building. 


Mr. Banisch said if you compare the 1998 goals with the 2005 goals, the general feeling is highly respectful of the quality of life in the community, and that growth needs to be managed.  The plan for this document is to clarify that the intention is to reduce the intensity of development.   There is concern about the impact of traffic on neighborhoods.  As we looked at the planning history, there has been a proactive effort on the part of the Planning Board.  On the first and second page there is a list of accomplishments that sprang from 1998 and the Planning Board’s suggestions in the reexamination report, including the 2000 Land Use Plan amendment, 2001 Open Space Plan Element, and a variety of recommendations that have been acted on by other bodies – water master plan, wellhead protection study, expanded historic district, 2001 Land Development Ordinance amendments, 2002 Natural Resources Inventory, Open Space program, rezoning of the northeastern part of the Township, development of a significant amount of affordable housing, redevelopment along the Route 46 corridor, improvements at the Horseshoe Lake complex, establishment of park and ride and planning for a future train station, focus on design in newer developments, establishment of tree replacement fund, establishment of traffic advisory committee.


Councilwoman Sandy Urgo, who was a former member of the Master Plan Committee, was invited to attend this workshop meeting.  She arrived at this time. 


Mr. Banisch said the next section of the report lists the goals in 1998. 


Ms. DeVincentis said any of the issues that led to the solutions listed in Section IV should be listed in Section I.


Mr. Banisch said the report goes on to list the recommendations involving development of new plan element changes to is regulations and items for further study.


Ms. Voyce said at the Highlands Council meeting this morning, COAH is considering a reexamination of the second round obligations, and if we feel they should be revised based on how the Highlands affect the township in terms of grown, they would like to hear from us as soon as possible.  If we feel our second round obligations should be revised, we need to get to them sooner rather than later.  


Mr. Banisch said there were a number of specific recommendations that altered the intensity of land use in the Township.  Two rural districts (3 acre and 5 acre) were either created or expanded. Other adjustments were made to other residential districts, generally to recognize environmental constraints.  There were also a number of non-residential zoning recommendations including creation of the LI/OR District and the PO/LI District.


Mr. Banisch went over the remainder of the draft report.


There was discussion on corrections and changes to the document recommended by Board members and Ms. Urgo.


Ms. DeVincentis left at 8:30 p.m.


After further discussion, it was determined any recommended changes should be submitted to Mr. Banisch by the end of the week, and a revised draft will be discussed at another work session on March 16, 2005.


The meeting was adjourned by motion at 10:00 p.m.


                                                            Dolores A. DeMasi, Secretary