HomeHaddonfield NewsShaping the borough's future

Shaping the borough’s future

Residents will get chance to offer feedback on updated master plan

Emily Liu/The Sun
A joint meeting of the Haddonfield zoning and planning boards focused on how the update is progressing.

It’s been 40 years since Haddonfield last updated its master plan in 1984, and to keep current, the borough is in the process of revamping it.

To do so, officials have brought in the engineering firm Pennoni Associates to spearhead the feedback process and create a new master plan with a vision for the future of Haddonfield. A meeting last month on the issue was led by associates of Pennoni, who presented results from surveys last year to the borough’s planning and zoning boards.

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Stan Slachetka, special projects planning leader at Pennoni, explained the connection.

“There’s a direct relationship between the master plan and the town zoning-plan needs,” he said. “The master plan sets the vision, and the zoning ordinance implements that vision through the ordinances and development regulations.”

Pennoni’s overview explained where the company is in the updating process; why Haddonfield is doing so; how the plan would be structured; and the four focus areas, which took up a majority of the time at the meeting.

Those areas are resilience, housing diversity, downtown economic vitality and circulation. Resiliency refers to making the borough stronger against the impacts of climate change, housing diversity looks at diversifying housing types that exist in town, economic vitality refers to continued vibrancy in the downtown area and circulation refes to keeping people safe as they move around the borough.

The focus areas were based on feedback from residents on what they wanted to see in Haddonfield.

With regard to resilience, a number of planning and zoning board members and representatives of the community who gave their input in the initial surveys acknowledged flooding issues in the borough.

Slachetka explained that the master plan would help address such issues by presenting the vision of what resilience looks like in terms of building designs. Later ordinances would reflect that vision by creating standards and requirements.

“What we want to do is establish some minimum standards or requirements to improve resiliency from the climate,” he noted.

That could mean, for example, requiring green infrastructure to be used in future developments, Slachetka added. The vision from the master plan will not change the structure of the town overnight, but sets a standard for future development.

Residents are encouraged to participate in the Tuesday, March 26, meeting to offer input and help create the master plan.

“As the mayor was saying, we want to get as much of the views of the community as possible, as wide a range of views, opinions and perspectives from all facets of the community. because it helps establish a consensus for the vision that is expressed in the community’s master plan,” Slachetka pointed out.

“We want that vision to be accepted and sustained over a period of time, and the way that we do that is to encourage broad-based community engagement.”

A survey is expected to go out shortly after the March 26 meeting to better refine the process. To stay up to date, follow the Borough of Haddonfield Facebook page.


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