December 03rd, 2016
Historic Preservation takes big steps forward.
Thanks to conscientious members of the Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Board, Montclair now has a much stronger guideline for protective procedures in place than the previous 1993 document. This however still means vigilance from residents is required to see that elected officials continue to appoint board members who represent most residents’ wishes and interests and follow this approved framework. The Council appoints the board members except in the case of the HPC which are now appointed by the mayors in State of New Jersey. Mayors are considered to be more interested in development and state legislation generally favors development.
The planning board recently approved the newly written Historic Preservation Element for the Master Plan. The Land Use and Circulation Element was approved last year. This was an extensive effort by members of the Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Board and town Planning Department staff working with a consulting firm to strengthened protective procedures for our town’s historic assets. The following is taken from the Element’s Introductory text to explain more.
The 2016 HP Element advances the many benefits of historic preservation. Historic preservation is the identification, evaluation, and protection of significant historic and archaeological resources. It is an essential tool by which a community bolsters sustainability and achieves broader environmental, social, and economic goals. It promotes the conservation of environmental resources through the retention of existing structures and infrastructure. It creates vibrant downtowns that draw tourism and cultural institutions. It fosters public appreciation and investment in neighborhoods and in the broader community. It also stimulates the local economy through the growth of heritage tourism and the creation of jobs associated with the rehabilitation and revitalization of historic structures. Historic preservation substantially contributes to the quality of life and economic vitality of the Township of Montclair.
This HP Element advances the historic preservation standards and guidelines established by federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The 2016 HP Element builds on these past achievements and envisions the future for historic preservation in the Township. As guided by the MLUL, the HP Element:
1.Provides a framework for protecting historic resources in the preservation, development, and redevelopment of Montclair.
2.Identifies the ordinances, laws, and planning documents and policies that impact and guide historic preservation in Montclair.
3.Identifies the location and significance of the Township’s historic sites and districts.
4.Communicates the standards used to assess the significance of historic resources.
5.Provides a historic preservation goal, a set of preservation objectives and recommendations, and a prioritized action plan for achieving these goals and objectives.
6.Reflects public engagement and participation in the development of the preservation goals and objectives.
Here is a link to the townsite HPC page to view the current document which will still receive some edits.
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