LACEY – Land use, and how to get approval from the state, was on the minds of Township Committee members at a recent meeting.
The township created a Plan Endorsement Citizens Advisory Committee to help guide the committee toward getting its plan endorsed by the state.
Plan endorsement is a complicated process that takes a long time, but municipalities see the benefits at the end. Essentially, officials would create a plan for how they want to see the town develop. If the state agrees with the plan, the state will provide assistance. This assistance could be technical experts or even funding.
The members of the citizens committee will be volunteers and will serve without pay or benefits. Each member represents a different need in town.
The members will be Gary Quinn from the Township Committee, Josephine Whitleigh as a member of the planning board, Christopher Dasti as a member of the economic development commission, and Charles Kennis and James Knoeller Jr. as members of the public, although they have both held positions on local boards in their careers.
In related news, Committeeman Steven Kennis, who is related to Charles Kennis, said he met with the State Planning Commission working toward a town center designation. He made the trip with Business Administrator Veronica Laureigh, Director Of Community Development Christopher Reid, and Quinn.
According to the state, town centers are being emphasized in order to get municipalities to grow business along central roadways. This would combat suburban sprawl, point traffic toward roads that can handle it, and preserve outer areas. Often, the state will allow a town to build denser construction on these town centers, in exchange for protecting other areas that are untouched.
Kennis said Lacey’s goal in this is to increase the commercial corridors of Lacey Road and Route 9.