Home » HB Planning Board commences Master Plan reexamination

HB Planning Board commences Master Plan reexamination

by Aaron Twitchell

The April meeting of the Hopewell Borough Planning Board was brief but productive on Wednesday, April 3.

After the approval of March’s meeting minutes, the Board moved swiftly through several vouchers all of which were approved unanimously. Next, the Board announced that one item on the agenda would be postponed: a Completeness Review and Public Hearing for a Bulk Variance application set forth by a resident on W. Prospect St. That hearing should take place in May.

The bulk of the discussion for the rest of the meeting centered around the Board’s explanation of its Master Plan reexamination and a small number of public comments made by Borough residents.

Regarding the Master Plan, which must be reexamined every ten years, the Board described its priorities as the following:

  • Addressing the rising popularity of Accessory Dwelling Units, AirBnBs, and “private equity owners”
  • Formalizing revised regulations on outdoor dining
  • Updated parking ordinances
  • Recommendations on Dark Sky initiatives

The Planning Board must conclude its reexamination of the Master Plan by the end of this year.

During the public comment period, one resident encouraged the Planning Board to envision good plans for “other roads” in the Borough besides East/West Broad St. and Princeton Avenue. Heidi Wilenius, speaking as a member of Council, echoed the importance of maintaining a broad purview of the town when revising the Master Plan. She expressed hopes for Seminary Avenue and that the Board would take the recommendations of the Economic Development Committee—which she heads—into consideration. For example, including the committee’s Formula Business Restrictions in the master plan would help preserve the “unique character” of the Borough and prevent larger chains and franchises from setting up shop.

Finally, a W. Broad Street resident. inquired about updating storm water management policies that have impacted her property. After being told to “talk to [her] neighbors”, the Board added that the stormwater plan is currently under review.

The meeting adjourned just before 8pm.

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