Why you may want to go to tonights Highlands Council Meeting

Last Thursday Night the planning board approved revising the Highlands Master Plan…


Tonight the Master Plan Revamp is on the agenda under “other business” and is item #7 http://www.highlandsnj.us/docs/Council/Agendas/2014/MCA-2014-03-19.pdf


Some potential arguments against reviewing the MP at this time would include:


1. No Money now..  (seriously, we really have to pick and choose what we spend money on, do we want to fix Borough hall or revise the Master plan?) At the last council meeting, it was announced we were in serious Bond debt and some of the money we *thought* we were getting to be reimbursed for i.e. trailers, fixing Borough Hall we weren’t, because we didn’t always qualify for things we thought we would, like we didn’t have flood insurance on municipal buildings.  The Council thought there  could be as much as a 10% tax increase. (So much for the 2% cap.. ) But hey, maybe that DeBlasio guy, you know one of the highest paid guys in Jersey that we gave his 6th municipal job to for Highlands CFO, will be able to pull something out of a hat.


2. Waiting for other projects to be complete that could potentially impact the content of Master Plan, such as Army Corp of Engineers, and the Rutgers Study.



So under the circumstances, do you think Highlands should be conservative with how they spend money?


  1. Yes, we need a master plan. This will attract businesses, deal with the issues concerning abandoned and condemned homes making way to rebuild or remove these properties and stimulate the tax base. If not guess who will be footing the bill… You!


    • we already have a Master Plan. We just don’t always adhere to it. So what should the priority be with the following projects: flooding, new borough hall, new police station, revamp Masterplan.


    • Katie, I think you’d be surprised if you read the Master Plan. It could probably use a little tweaking but there’s plenty in there to guide this town toward revitalization. Unfortunately the recommendations have pretty much been ignored for 10 years.


  2. How can you revise the Master Plan when the data base of demographics involved in the 2010 census has been blown out of the water by sandy? Don’t we need a new inventory base of housing and household population, etc first?


    • I remember several council meetings ago a former councilman expressing concern over the towns debt and lost revenue and about the town being merged with another town. He was totally blown off by the mayor and council.


  3. I’d rather the town do a reexamination. It’s less expensive and I’d be more amenable if we could get a grant to cover the cost.

    The current Master Plan doesn’t work because no one is adhering to it. The town didn’t do much in the way of flood mitigation for 10 years. The council has tried different zoning changes to Bay Ave but still no developers are coming in to town. Is that because we flood (& nothing significant done about it for 10 years), has the town/BID done a poor job of marketing our zoning changes to developers or is it a hostile business environment? Don’t even get me started on the lack of code enforcement which is mentioned as a problem five times in the current Master Plan.

    What is the bulk of the cost? Is it the studies and gathering of the statistics or is it to pay the planner to cross the t’s and dot the i’s and make sure everything in it is legal and according to the stat’s Municipal Land Use law? Can we bid out the planner’s role or will we once again award T&M with a no-bid contract? How can you possibly know if we’re getting the best bang for the buck if you don’t bid it out?

    If the council wants more resident participation they better get with the new millennium and start using the internet, social media and blast phone calls to announce these things instead of burying it on one of the worst laid out town web sites.


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