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The League of Women Voters Lend Voice To Master Plan

As Fair Lawn undertakes the drafting of a new master plan, the League of Women Voters learn the importance of the master plan in guiding a community into the future.

Todd Malkin, Chairman of the Planning Board's Master Plan Subcommittee, met with Fair Lawn's League of Women Voters at the Maurice M. Pine Public Library Wednesday to review the importance of a master plan in guiding a community into the future.

The League of Women Voters is not only concerned with voting issues--it is a multi-issue organization that takes positions on a wide variety of topics ranging from voting to the environment.

According to Fair Lawn's League of Women Voters President, Ilene Kahn, "We asked Todd to talk about the master plan because the League is interested in the issues of development and overdevelopment."

Now that the Planning Board has begun the process of updating the town's master plan, a process that state law dictates must be done by a municipality every 10 years, the League of Women Voters invited Malkin to their meeting to provide information about the importance of a master plan in a community so that they can take an active role in the process.

"A master plan is a document that guides the development of the community," Malkin said.

Using McBride Industrial Park as an example, Malkin said that the land use needs of a community change as time passes and the economy shifts.

"50 to 60 years ago when Mc Bride was built, there was heavy industry that just doesn't exist today," Malkin told the group.

He explained that the master plan identifies these areas and constructs a plan for a different use that will attract new businesses.

Malkin emphasized that all land use ordinances and zoning are derived from the master plan.

"The master plan sets the framework for how the town will developed into the future," Malkin said.

The committee has selected Taylor Design and Boswell Engineering as the consortium responsible for designing the new master plan.

"We chose them because they are familiar with the town and they can hit the ground running and address the borough's concerns," Malkin said. They also came in as the low bidder, according to Malkin.

Malkin informed the audience that there will be four public hearings on the master plan with the community input a valuable part of the process.

"The public is very involved in this process," Malkin said.

According to Malkin, the first of the four hearings will most likely take place in January.

According to one of its members, the League "agitated" for Fair Lawn to have a master plan when they first started.

The next Planning Board meeting will be Monday, Nov. 19 at 6:00 pm.

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