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Downtown Standards Presented at Township Council Meeting

Bobbie Peer

Saturday, January 25, 2014 • 7:10pm

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Downtown Beautification Committee presented the proposed downtown streetscape standards to Mayor Joe Bruno and the Township Council at Thursday evening's council meeting.

Representatives from the Downtown Beautification Committee, Julie Lloyd and Rick Froio, asked the council to allow the committee to work with the town planner to create an ordinance for specific streetscape design going forward for businesses. The design detail will provide a more standardized look and feel for downtown with specific paver design, lamp post, bench, litter receptacle, planters, bike racks, signage and building colors and materials.

"The streetscape that we are recommending will create cohesiveness and charm that we all want to see in Berkeley Heights." said Lloyd.  "This will start in creating a home town feel and sense of pride in downtown Berkeley Heights."

Councilman Kevin Hall said, "In addition to working with the planner to make sure the ordinance is consistent with what the objective is, it is critical that the Planning Board engineer be aware of this." 

Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley has worked with Township Planner  Michael Mistretta, who has provided copies of the proposed standards to current applications that are sitting in front of the Planning Board.  "Currently, the businesses are not bound by this, but they are agreeing to work with us." said Kingsley, who is a member of the Downtown Beautification Committee.

Township Attorney Joe Sordillo advised the council that the proposed standards would need to be adopted as an ordinance before the Planning Board could require businesses to adhere to the standards. 

"It would be my recommendation that we engage Mistretta and company to work with the Downtown Beautification Committee to work on the ordinance," said Hall.   All council members were in favor of moving forward with working with the town planner to adopt an ordinance for the streetscape standards for downtown Berkeley Heights.  

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