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Planning Board Encourages Businesses to Incorporate Landscaping Along Main Corridors

The township Planning Board approved the full master plan re-examination report, a guiding document on land use and development goals

The township Planning Board approved the full master plan re-examination report, a guiding document on land use and development goals, after agreeing on its final element — landscaping along the main corridors of Lacey.

“It encourages landscaping of frontage of properties on Route 9 and Lacey Road,” Board Engineer Bruce Jacobs said.

When Lacey Road was widened, much of the greenery was removed, he said, and since then, landscaping has been avoided. This final element is meant to “spruce up” the main corridors of Lacey Township.

“They can be in a formal setting with street trees or they can cluster them so there will be better views of the existing building or signs,” he said.

The trees can vary in height so if they are placed under utility poles or wires, smaller trees can be planted, he said.

Over the last year or so the Planning Board has been encouraging applicants to include landscaping in its plans.

“Now there’s more teeth behind it,” he said.

Businesses that are already established are not required to add landscaping but are encouraged to do so, Jacobs said.

“We’re trying to make it business friendly,” he said. The recommendation is “affordable.”

“I guess what we’re trying to do is make it easier to plant trees,” Chairman Steven Kennis said.

Another proposal was to allow Lacey Township banner signs hang from streetlights along Route 9 and Lacey Road. The proposed signs were shaped as a sailboat or a rectangle and could be generic or promote Lacey Township events, he said.

While the signs could be easily placed along Route 9, on Lacey Road, the signs would have to hang over private property. Because there is no shoulder along Lacey Road, the signs cannot hang over the roadway.

The Planning Board accepted these proposals, completing its master plan re-examination.

Other master plan suggestions that were approved in July included:

  • Update the plan for age-restricted housing in commercial zones along the Route 9 and Lacey Road corridors and RO-100 zone of Manchester Avenue to allow townhouses, apartments and condos.
  • Allow mixed-use buildings along Lacey Road and Route 9 such as apartments on top of buildings and duplexes between Lacey Road and Western Boulevard on Manchester Avenue.
  • Develop an ordinance for wireless telecommunication equipment, solar and wind energy.
  • Re-evaluate the intersection of Route 9 and Taylor Lane.
  • Evaluate and restrict parking on side streets along Lacey Road to reduce the number of accidents.
  • Adopt and incorporate New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Complete Street Policy, which requires future roadway improvement projects to include safe accommodations for all users including bicyclists and pedestrians. This would include sidewalks and bikeways along Lacey’s major streets.
  • Update the recreation element by developing an appendix listing all of Lacey’s different recreational facilities. This hasn’t been updated since 1991.
  • Work with the Department of Environmental Protection for municipal access plans to different waterways in town.
  • Work with the Department of Public Works to locate a place to develop a lacrosse field.
  • Add the existing recycling plan ordinance.
  • Work on a shade tree ordinance and landscaping along the Lacey Road and Route 9 corridors and update sign ordinance.
  • Rezone the property owned by Jersey Central Power and Light so it is zoned properly for a new generation facility.

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