Town's Label St study ignores state policy guidelines for redevelopment: “Preserve and Enhance Areas with Historic, Cultural, Scenic, Open Space and Recreational Value”:
Notes below about the township’s Label Street study was done to seek designation so 3 story zoning can be ignored. See previous notice above on this page.
The Township’s March study for the Label Street area cites the “New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan” (2001), and highlights 6 of that plan’s 11 Policy Objectives, which the Township study considers most relevant to Label Street Redevelopment. But it fails to mention Policy Objective 9, which stipulates the importance of historic preservation. We believe this is highly relevant to any redevelopment of the Label Street area.
The Township study points out that in the State plan, Essex County is classified as a Metropolitan Planning Area PA1, and cited several of the 11 Policy Objectives for such an area. It neglected to mention:
Policy Objective 9: Historic Preservation: “Encourage the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic or significant buildings, Historic and Cultural Sites, neighborhoods and districts in ways that will not compromise either the historic resource or the area’s ability to redevelop. Coordinate historic preservation with tourism efforts.” (Print Page 191/ Digital Page 225) Here is the State study: https://nj.gov/state/planning/assets/docs/2001-state-plan/stateplan030101.pdf
More broadly, on a Statewide basis, going beyond just Metropolitan Planning Area PA1, the State plan cites 8 overall “Statewide Goals, Strategies and Policies.” Goal 7 is “Preserve and Enhance Areas with Historic, Cultural, Scenic, Open Space and Recreational Value”:
Goal 7’s Strategy: “Enhance, preserve and use historic, cultural, scenic, open space and recreational assets by collaborative planning, design, investment and management techniques. Locate and design development and redevelopment and supporting infrastructure to improve access to and protect these sites. Support the important role of the arts in contributing to community life and civic beauty.” (Page 87)
Goal 7’s Vision for Historic Preservation: “In 2020, historic sites and districts are given special recognition in their communities and are integrated into local zoning and development strategies. Seeking to maximize the unique character of their communities, nearly all municipalities in New Jersey have enacted ordinances recognizing the value of local history and providing limited protection of historic resources. In addition, these communities have conducted surveys to identify and map the location of sites, landmarks and districts as part of the master plan process. Utilizing the state’s building code that enables economically viable rehabilitation of historic properties, builders and developers embrace the ideals of conserving resources by revitalizing existing neighborhoods. Creative use of building codes now encourages the retention of the historic fabric of our communities. Development projects around the state provide for archeological investigations and on-site public observation, enhancing the understanding of our past and increasing the awareness of the current cultural diversity of the state.” (Page 87)
The State plan also outlines 19 Statewide Policy Categories. No. 9 is “Historic, Cultural and Scenic Resources” (Page 144):
“Protect, enhance, and where appropriate rehabilitate historic, cultural and scenic resources by identifying, evaluating and registering significant historic, cultural and scenic landscapes, districts, structures, buildings, objects and sites and ensuring that new growth and development is compatible with historic, cultural and scenic values.”
Also, Statewide Policy Category No. 19 is “Design,” (Page 174), which includes as a subcategory Policy 10:
“Respecting Local Context and its Vernacular: Acknowledge and incorporate local history, climate, ecology, topography, building materials, building practices and local scale into the design of the built environment and the protection of the natural environment, where practicable and cost-effective.” (Page 178)
And Policy 19/Adaptive Reuse:
“Design and construct buildings in a way that will facilitate their adaptive reuse.” (Page 180)
Based on the “New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan,” the State strongly recognizes the importance of historic preservation in such projects. Any consideration of redevelopment for the Label Street area should also embrace historic preservation and seek ways to enhance the historic industrial structures in the study area.
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