Maplewood’s Master Plan

By mark-slade June 16, 2011

Planning Board Re-Examines Master Plan

Some exciting new recommendations could pave the way for hotel use on Dunnell, and pocket parks and ground-floor residential on Springfield Avenue.

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Pocket parks on Springfield Avenue? An above-grade crossing at the Maplewood Train Station? Hotels on Dunnell Road?
Nearing the end of a process that started last fall, the Maplewood Planning Board considered a re-examination report of the Town’s Master Plan at its regular meeting on June 14.
The draft report contains some dynamic recommendations that accommodate developments like those stated above, plus broader policy statements like community objectives to “promote strong cultural activities” and “promote and support stable racial integration throughout the Township.”
The State of New Jersey requires that municipalities re-examine their master plans every 10 years. Until recently, the law stated an re-examination every six years — hence the fact that Maplewood began re-examining its 2004 Master Plan in 2010.
The Township contracted with Phillips Preiss Grygiel LLC for $25,000 for the process. Starting with a call for public comments at the November 9, 2010 Planning Board meeting, Paul Grygiel had met with numerous stakeholders’ groups including the Springfield Avenue Partnership and Maplewood Village Alliance, in addition to holding four meetings with the Planning Board’s re-examination subcommittee (made up of Board members Tom Carlson, Jerry Ryan, Jim Nathenson and John Branigan).
The re-examination process also included extensive site visits throughout town. There was no special standalone public meeting held as part of the process; this is not required for a Master Plan re-examination, said Carlson, who is Chair of the Planning Board.
Grygiel — who happens to be a Maplewood resident — presented the draft re-examination document on Tuesday night. Grygiel took the Board and community members present through an overview of major points in the plan.

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