Connecting the dots from early 2011 to late 2016 (with changes still in the works) makes a pretty strong argument for undertaking improvements to our processes around zoning and development, and in particular with regards to the use of public land assets.
While this project was discussed by many Township officials going back to the 1990s, the first public input was sought in 2012 after the site had been declared in need of rehabilitation (2011). Early in 2012 input was collected from the public at two meetings which was subsequently used by the planning firm to develop zoning for the site. A review of that original public input however, shows little or no connection to the zoning document as prepared and approved, and a comparison to the Clarus Maplewood project itself has even lower correlation.
This can be contrasted with an assortment of concerns and complaints that were shared at meetings, on the street, and on-line during the 2013 – 2016 period as the proposal and process unfolded–including comments on two petitions. One was in 2013, and the second was in 2015.
Development decisions that impact so broadly in our community ought not end up in a place that no one envisioned or intended. This is the most important takeaway from the experience, and one we hope to bring to all future discussions on land-use–especially public land-use–in our Township. We are scratching the surface with some initial ideas in our “Reflections and Renewal” menu area.
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This site chronicles the five year public process leading to the construction of Clarus Maplewood. We recently re-arranged it to provide easier access chronologically and by topic area. Check out the changes here.