From the Township of South Orange Village:
The South Orange Master Plan is underway with the unveiling of a dedicated website meant to inform residents about the various elements of a plan, the leadership teams and volunteers who will be leading the charge, ways the community can participate through surveys and events, and the timeline to completion. The community is encouraged to visit the new website designed 4Elbows at SOMasterPlan.com, join the Facebook page at facebook.com/SOMasterPlan, and use the official Twitter hashtag #SOMasterPlan.
Although there have been periodic re-examinations and new elements introduced, a comprehensive Master Plan for South Orange has not been undertaken since the late 1970s. According to the website, this initiative serves as a broad level policy document that is the “blueprint that depicts current land uses and guides decisions for both growth and conservation.” Its elements will focus on land use, civic life, community form and design, mobility, historic preservation, recreation and open space, along with health and sustainability.
“We’re leveraging our greatest asset for this initiative and that’s our community,” said Village President Sheena Collum who serves on the Management Committee. “We have over 130 community volunteers on the front line of delivering a 21st century Master Plan who were trained and are now hosting meetings, facilitating house parties and conversations, and will be pushing out information as it becomes available through various communication channels. We set out to deliver the most inclusive and collaborative approach and I am confident we will deliver on this commitment.”
According to the website, the Visioning Phase will last approximately 6 months which will be followed immediately by a Drafting Phase led by technical professionals with an expected completion and final adoption by the end of 2019.
“We’re not going to rush this process because it’s too important in light of the greatest challenges facing our village – the high cost of living, developing affordable housing, ensuring our seniors have opportunities to age in place, and being practical about development and project viability while generating new revenue,” said Collum. “It’s also incumbent upon us to be strong stewards of our Village’s history and how we want the future to look for next generation of residents and the services and community assets they too will enjoy. With the right mix of strategies and creative thinking – we can create a true destination.”