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Lack of Sidewalks a 'Hot Topic,' Could Require Change to Master Plan

Zoning board awaits recommendations from town engineer and planning consultant before discussing issue further.

James Marinello, left, and Deane Driscoll were unanimously appointed to chairman and vice-chairman, respectively.
James Marinello, left, and Deane Driscoll were unanimously appointed to chairman and vice-chairman, respectively.

The Montville Zoning Board appointed a chairman and vice chairman for the new year at their Thursday night meeting.

James Marinello and Deane Driscoll were unanimously appointed to chairman and vice-chairman, respectively. The board also voted on the following zoning positions:

  • Attorney—Bruce Ackerman, Esq. Pashman Stein, Hackensack
  • Planning Consultant—Joseph Burgis, PP, Burgis & Associates, Westfield
  • Engineer—Stanley Omland, PE, Omland Engineering, Cedar Knolls, NJ

Kurt Dinkelmeyer brought up the issue of certain township neighborhoods that don’t have sidewalks and how to address them.

That could possibly require a revision to the master plan, said Jane Mowles-Rodriguez, recording secretary.

Marinello suggested that the board wait for a future meeting for when the board planner could come and give his input. Burgis and Omland were not present at Thursday’s meeting because no applicants were required to be present.

“It’s a hot topic,” said Marinello. “I think (Burgis) will be able to give us some of the history on what the planning board and township committee were thinking when they imposed those requirements in the master plan and the ordinance.”

Marinello added to possibly “take this up in March with our planner and give him some time to think about it and if he has a recommendation. Then we’ll discuss it and either adopt the recommendation to be sent to the planning board or not.”

The issue was tabled until a future meeting at which Burgis and Omland would be present. 

Eric R. Luna January 17, 2014 at 09:48 AM
Why bother adding more sidewalks in Montville - my experience in town has been that people walk everywhere BUT the sidewalks. Some days it is like a slalom course in the streets dodging joggers, walkers, garbage cans and bicyclists.
EMG January 17, 2014 at 11:54 AM
Don't add sidewalks - and don't charge us for busing our kids to school - walking to school isn't an option for my kids yet I pay $700 a year to have them bussed - I thought that was what my ever increasing taxes were for
Renee Chirico January 19, 2014 at 05:00 PM
I also pay $700 for the bus. If I allowed my children to walk the 2+ miles to school, they would be walking along busy roads with NO sidewalks - a HAZARDOUS ROUTE. NJ Statute 18A:39-1.5. calls for adoption of policy regarding transportation of students who walk along hazardous routes, which would require courtesy busing. Montville Township: would you care to explain your policy???
Dan Grant January 27, 2014 at 12:19 PM
Here is why you pay it or have your kids walk or drive them. For over 60 years ALL children were transported as a matter of policy because almost every walking route was unsafe. We had a referendum on Courtesy Busing in the 90's and most reasonable people passed that referendum by a large majority. Then the issue was brought up in 2004-2005 by PTO's in Pine Brook who felt their Children were somehow being slighted by the fact that children in Towaco, Montville and some areas of Pine Brook were safely transported to School. The Board of Ed didn’t have the nerve to deal with those parents so they put the question on the Ballot. That Public Question failed so for the first time in the History of the Township Courtesy Busing ended. The law allowed the Township Committee to overturn that vote of the people for one year. I put the Motion on and it passed. I caught heck for doing that but it gave the Township and Board of Ed a chance to come up with a system that could return some form of busing. They never did. I paid for it in my next election. That is why you are paying these extra fees or arranging to get your kids to school yourself. BTW My kids are in their 40’s.

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