Planning Board review of Hopewell Borough master plan to resume this fall

ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF

Meetings for Hopewell Borough’s comprehensive review of its Master Plan are expected to resume this upcoming fall, as the Planning Board continues to seek public input on development within the borough.

The Planning Board effort to engage the public for input on planning and development in borough began earlier this year. Board members held the first meeting in a series of master plan re-examination meetings on Jan. 27.

“I’d hoped to be further along with the reexamination review by this point in the year. A big volume of complicated applications has delayed the process,” Planning Board Chairman Peter Macholdt said.

Following the volume of applications experienced this year, members of the Planning Board will have a slight break from applications as they enter into the fall with the August Planning Board meeting having been cancelled.

“I have cancelled our August Planning Board meeting to give our folks a bit of respite before heading into the fall. I anticipate picking up the re-examination work in September,” Macholdt said.

The Master Plan re-examination allows the public, board members and professional staff to discuss broader issues regarding development within the borough, such as zoning.

The reason for the meetings and the re-examination arose after Planning Board meetings in late 2020 addressing, at the time, an originally proposed commercial retail and restaurant project application at the Castoro property on East Broad Street.

In those meetings, residents had expressed to members of the Planning Board that a public dialogue was needed to talk more broadly about planning issues in the borough, outside of public hearings for applications.

The first re-examination meeting in late January would be an informational session, which featured a brief presentation by Borough Planner Joanna Slagle. Slagle detailed municipal planning, the Master Plan and the re-examination process.

Additionally, a range of topics were also discussed from planning issues facing the borough to requests to cover the various zones (e.g. residential and business/residential zones) to the development of a vision for Broad Street.

All relevant document materials and slides will be posted on the township website www.hopewellboro-nj.us, under Master Plan, as the re-examination process moves forward.