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‘I want the town to tell us what we should be looking for’

Residents participate in master plan activities

One month after the special master plan meeting in February, representatives from Pennoni Associates returned to Borough Hall to lead Haddonfield community members and business owners in several activity stations to get feedback in narrowing down Master Plan recommendations on March 26.

The representatives presented the four focus areas of the Master Plan to a full room of around 50 people. The four focus areas, based on feedback from residents, included housing diversity, resilience, downtown economic vitality and circulation.

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“Everyone has a little bit [of] different activity,” said Matthew Wanamaker, director of Planning and Urban Design, as he explained some of the activities.

One station helped educate residents about the different kinds of housing that could be implemented in Haddonfield (with stickers where residents could vote for or against them), while others had maps and stickers to highlight areas of improvement for flooding and resiliency as well as circulation downtown.

” … I want the town to tell us what we should be looking for,” he said. “We’ve kind of narrowed the choices down based on what we’ve heard so far from past events and the surveys and we’re kind of refining it. We’re trying to keep it as open as possible.”

The master plan team will be taking the feedback from the community input meeting to create a more narrowly focused survey.

Pictured are some of the activities that were done. The activities primarily used colored stickers to gauge whether residents approved or disapproved of the suggestions with opportunities to give more feedback.

The opportunities to share their voices were welcomed by attendees who came out with a variety of focuses. A number of them were interested in the housing diversity issue.

One of the signs explained the range of housing types, which included duplex/twin homes, triplex homes, fourplex homes, town homes, courtyard buildings, cottage courts and accessory dwelling units.

Currently, Haddonfield is known for having a lot of single-family homes.

Resident Linda Armstead came out to represent the Preserving Black History project and to advocate for the preservation of historic homes in addition to advocating for housing diversity.

“It’s still hard for people to get housing,” Armstead acknowledged. “[For those] who are the middle-aged to young people you want them to come, it’s difficult for them to find housing in Haddonfield that they can afford, and these are people who do have good jobs.

“It’s real hard, so that’s why I’m out here to see how that’s going to be developed.”

For business owners Sean Conlon and Sienna Averett from Haddonfield Sound Music, their main concern was safety.

“Because our business is located in the business district here, a lot of students and families feel the need to take the car to our facility even if they live under a mile from where we are,” said Conlon. “So walking and biking are two major things that we feel the borough should focus on improving in their master plan.”

“I see so many kids risk their safety crossing the street or having to run across the street and cars not stopping for them at crosswalks,” said Avarett. “I just want it to be a lot safer for everybody involved but especially for the kids coming from school, it just needs to be safer for them.”

The master plan team will be reviewing the feedback and using it to create another survey with refined recommendations in the coming months.


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