What is the Master Plan Committee
The Master Plan Committee was formed by Mayor Guy Piserchia in 2014 to accelerate the progress towards completing the township’s Master plan
Given its normal workload of hearing applications and reviewing land use ordinances, the Planning Board as a body simply does not have time for the extraordinary amount of research and study that goes into preparing a comprehensive Master Plan.
The Master Plan Committee is specifically charged with creating a draft Master Plan for the Planning Board to consider, modify as needed, and then adopt.
The Master Plan Committee’s first Chairman was Planning Board member and former Township Committee member Guy Roshto. Through 2015, he guided the committee in revising the plan for the Valley Road commercial district and in creating the foundation for the entire Master Plan — the Land Use Element.
The Land Use Element of the Master Plan, one of two components the law requires every Master Plan to contain (the other is the Housing Element), describes “the existing and proposed location, extent and intensity of development of land ... [for]... residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, educational and other public and private purposes.”
A key objective of the Master Plan Committee in building the foundational Land Use Element was completing the first intensive re-examination in decades of zoning districts in Long Hill Township — a strong recommendation of the 2013 Master Plan Re-examination Report.
If you look at the existing Long Hill Township zoning map, what you see is a patchwork of varying lot sizes within residential zones and an equally incongruous mix of uses and bulk standards in commercial zones. Currently 39% of the homes in residential zones do not conform to their current zoning bulk requirements. This high percentage of non-conforming lots is detrimental to good planning practices.
The new Land Use Element will create more rational zoning to increase the percentage of conforming lots within their respective zones and thus significantly reduce the necessity for owners to get variance approval to develop their properties.
With the foundation in place, the goal of the Master Plan Committee under new chairman Tom Behr, is to finish the draft Master Plan to be presented to the Planning Board by the end of June. That effort includes broad engagement of the public in sharing their vision for Long Hill Township’s future development as described in this webpage.
Current Master Plan Committee Membership
Tom Behr (Chair), Board of Adjustment Chairman
David Hands, Planning Board Vice-Chairman
Patrick Jones, Planning Board
Brendan Rae, Township Committee
Dennis Sandow, Planning Board
Cyndi Kiefer, Planning & Zoning Board Coordinator
Kevin O’Brien, Board Planner
Alan Pfeil (ex officio) Planning Board Chairman