Planning Board - MASTER PLAN
(ENGLEWOOD) – Englewood Mayor Frank Huttle III and the city’s Planning Board will officially present a proposed, new master plan to the public for its review and discussion at the Planning Board meeting on Jan. 23, capping off an extensive process that incorporated unprecedented community input to create a rich and enduring blueprint for the city’s future.
“From day-one our goal has been to create a community-driven process so that the end result would truly incorporate the needs and wants of our residents,” said Huttle. “The new plan fuses old with new by preserving our history and enhancing our existing strengths while keeping an eye towards the future and the best ways to promote smart development.”
Since beginning the planning process in 2012, Huttle hosted several community meetings and pop-up workshops where input from more than 1,000 residents was gathered. A team of experienced consultants – Brown & Keener, a division of RBA, Regional Plan Association, and Urban Partners – went to work incorporating this input into a comprehensive plan that establishes a proactive approach to managing future development, preserving community character and guiding public and private investments.
The resulting plan is the product of on-the-ground research and a robust public process guided by two committees – the Municipal Advisory Group comprised of various city officials and the Stakeholder Committee comprised of business, civic, religious and community organization representatives.
The new plan incorporates a number of key elements, or “turning points,” that will significantly boost the quality of life in the five-square mile city:
-Reactivation of the Northern Branch light rail line by NJTransit with three stops in Englewood to improve commuter options and enhance residential and business development;
-Enhance the vibrancy of the downtown through a mix of retail, residential, health care and offices with a focus on over-the-shop downtown living;
-Revitalize Englewood South by investing in the public realm and rezoning the area to mixed-use industrial to encourage entrepreneurship;
-Upgrade the existing city-wide community center programming as a current alternative to a possible future facility;
-Preserve residential neighborhoods through the creation of a Historic Commission to help retain and enhance residential character and preserve unique structures citywide;
-Enhance public spaces and city gateways by building upon the recent improvements at Depot Square, creating bike lanes and jogging paths within the city and along the proposed light rail line and targeting the western gateway to the city as a potential site for a new city hall and community center; and
-Treating planning as a civic exercise by making sure that the extensive public input that was gathered for this new plan is incorporated into future updates of the Master Plan.
The plan also provides policies and recommendations for future development strategies, economic incentives and land use controls that support and strengthen the city’s neighborhoods and commerce. These policies are organized around the following five major themes and their accompanying vision statements:
-Destination Downtown: Cultivate a unique, vibrant, livable, and walkable mixed‐use downtown with diverse retail, services, and housing opportunities for all.
-Englewood South: These blocks, traditionally devoted to manufacturing and commerce, will evolve into a vibrant, attractive, entrepreneurial district and employment center. Streetscape improvements, investments in branding and way-finding, and improved business facades and signs, will create an attractive environment that celebrates Englewood industry and attracts investment.
-My Neighborhood: Ensure safe, healthy, and attractive neighborhoods that are well‐connected and that have an abundance of accessible community amenities and services.
-Our Town: Offer a diverse variety of community amenities for Englewood residents of all ages and cultures in easily‐accessible and well‐maintained facilities.
-Mobility: Maximize the benefits of existing transit and anticipate the benefits of proposed transit improvements by planning for development opportunities, smooth traffic circulation, and parking.
Included within the Master Plan is the Land Use Plan, which will guide future growth and change in the city by recommending appropriate land use policies, densities and design tools to encourage healthy growth while protecting the unique character of the community.
“Englewood has long been considered a jewel of the region because of our diverse population and our vibrant mix of downtown shops, restaurants, cultural and entertainment offerings and lush housing stock. Ultimately, our plan is to build on our city’s rich history and diversity, as well as our proximity to New York City, while targeting specific areas for growth that will bolster our long-term economic prospects,” added Huttle.
Huttle also noted that while the 2009 master plan was relying on demographics from the nearly decade-old census conducted in 2000, the new plan better incorporates the city’s rich diversity by using the latest data from the 2010 Census.
Huttle will formally present the Master Plan to the Englewood Planning Board for approval at its next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 8 pm in the Municipal Courtroom. Full details and copies of the Master Plan will be available electronically on englewoodone.com and cityofenglewood.com and hard copies will be available in the Englewood Public Library.
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As you probably have heard, the City of Englewood is updating its Master Plan for 2013 which will set objectives and the policies that will shape Englewood’s future. After a series of general public meetings and meetings with specific constituencies, the professional project team (Brown & Keener and Regional Plan Association) has been hard at work developing the vision and finer points of the Master Plan.
On March 21, 2013, from 1PM to 8PM, the project team will host a Pop-Up Workshop to present the Englewood Vision and Master Plan to be held at 14 West Palisade Avenue (formerly Chico’s clothing store) in downtown Englewood. At the storefront, visitors will be able to stop by any time during “shop hours” and take part in hands-on exercises to weigh-in on the Plan. Materials and presentations will showcase what a future Englewood could look like under the recommendations of the Master Plan.
The Plan places particular emphasis on creating an even more lively downtown; a reimagined industrial district in South Englewood; enhanced neighborhoods whose character is preserved; improved access to community amenities; and better transportation connections throughout the city and to the region beyond. In addition to hands-on exercises, residents will be able to provide feedback in comment booklets provided on site.
The Vision and Master Plan was developed over a 9-month process through which nearly 600 Englewood residents and stakeholders participated in two public workshops to shape the recommendations found in the plan. Following the pop-up workshop, the Project Team will incorporate feedback into the Plan and present it to the city in April.
Many of you have been active participants in this process and I thank you for it. We would urge you to join us at this Pop Up Workshop as your voice should be heard. Attached below is a copy of the invitation for the Workshop (simply click on the link), please feel free to distribute it to your friends and neighbors via email.
If you should have any questions regarding the event or the Master Plan please feel free to contact me at City Hall at 201-871-6666 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to seeing you there!
Mayor Frank Huttle III
The City of Englewood is updating its Master Plan for 2013 which will set objectives and the policies that will shape Englewood’s future.
The new Master Plan will allow Englewood to maximize opportunities available to it based on its location and assets while also taking a proactive approach to avoiding some of the pitfalls that other towns have experienced. There is a webpage dedicated to the Master Plan.
You will find the most up-to-date information on the Plan on the link to the Master Plan page on the City’s website, which can be found at www.cityofenglewood.org.
Our first public hearing on the Master Plan will be held on Wednesday, June 27 at 7:00PM at the Community Baptist Church at 224 First Street in Englewood. We need participation from a large portion of Englewood’s diverse community. The more input received, the richer and more enduring the Master Plan will be. Please make plans to attend this important public meeting and urge your neighbors and fellow residents to attend.
Mayor Frank Huttle III
At the Planning Board Meeting on October 26, 2010, we revisited the Master Plan of 2009.
To begin the night, I had the honor of swearing in our newest Planning Board Member, Robin Klehr Avia, who I am pleased to say has joined our team.
We revisited the Master Plan for a number of reasons of which I mentioned during the work session:
* The Russell C. Major Liberty School and the John T. Wright Ice Arena were not extensively studied prior to the creation of the Master Plan last year. The newly available Preiss Study focuses on the adaptive reuse of these two real estate assets. Because these assets are clearly underutilized, the report extensively describes how they can be utilized to their full potential. It is important that the Planning Board and I examine this report carefully and review our options so that we can effectively discuss where to go next.
* The Northern Branch Corridor Project by NJTRANSIT is another issue that was not incorporated into the Master Plan. This Project, funded dually by the federal government and by the state, would create three additional light rail stations in Englewood and even more stations in other neighboring towns. The Project is currently in the Environmental Impact Phase, where it must be approved by the Federal Transit Administration before they move on to the next phase, in which representatives from NJTRANSIT would go from town to town to hold public hearings informing the public about the Project and also hearing the public’s concerns. The Planning Board and I must look at this Project to determine if it is feasible in the City of Englewood and whether or not we will support it.
* The idea of a Community Center was also briefly discussed as it has been brought up numerous times recently. Again, we need to discuss this idea more in depth.
* In addition, the 2010 Census is to come out in the near future which can have an impact on the Master Plan depending on how much demographics have changed in our City over the past ten years. The old Master Plan was based on 2000 numbers, and it is highly probable these numbers are significantly different and will thus change the way we look at ideas in the Master Plan.
We need City Planners that will know how to effectively organize the City and take public opinion into consideration. Planning Board Member Marian Imperatore agreed, also making a good point that we should spend the money getting a planning company to come into the City. If it is done this way, we would not have to spend so much money on smaller studies. Though the Preiss Study proves informative, we cannot afford to do little evaluations here and there; we must do it right the first time so that problems like this do not arise after the fact.
The Planning Board and I set up a new committee which would work with different planning firms to consider what was left out of the Master Plan last year and will eventually be funded by approval of the City Council. The volunteers appointed to the Committee are Lewis Baer, Curtis Cavenis, Jordan Comet, Marian Imperatore, and myself.
City planning is important. The Master Plan is something that requires visionary planning and a long hard look into the future. We have a lot of assets here in Englewood, and we should utilize all of these assets to the best of our abilities and make Englewood the best City there is.
The Planning Board, along with the Board of Adjustment, the Library Board, the Environmental Commission, and others represent the permanent boards and commissions that operate as part of the Englewood City Government. They directly oversee the department or subject matter to which they are designated and their importance to the daily lives of our citizens cannot be overstated. The planning board makes critical decisions related to physical building and construction what could be called the “look and feel” of Englewood. Specifically, the Board advises the Council as to the adoption of a municipal master plan, approves plans for specific sites, such as opening a retail store or office building and has the powers to grant one time changes in restrictions to accomplish building and development goals. The Planning Board consists of one non-elected municipal officer, one council member, six citizens, the Mayor and two alternates are appointed. The Council appoints its member to the Board and the Mayor appoints all other members. Terms of office are one to four years depending on the member’s position.