The Roselle Park Municipal Land Use Board announced on July 20 that it will be doing away with the public comment portion of its meetings starting in September. The move takes away the public’s ability to speak on land use topics outside of those for which a hearing is held. -NJFOG
The Roselle Park News
August 15, 2015
by Saul Qersdyn
(Full article here.)
After years of having a public comment portion at the Municipal Land Use Board (MLUB), Chairman Loren Harms announced at the July 20th meeting that the Board, starting in September, will be doing away with the section that allows residents to speak during their meetings on any general land use topic. This public comment is separate from a public hearing for specific applications presented before the MLUB, which will remain but those who speak will be restricted to providing comment or asking questions only on an application being presented.
“What we’re going to start doing, starting in September, this will no longer take place – the public portion,” stated Chairman Harms, “We’ve checked. All municipalities, all municipal land [use boards] within the area here in Union County, nobody has it. This way it’ll just speed up the particular meeting [so] that’s where we’re going to go.”
A review of Planning Board as well as Zoning Board Of Adjustments agenda and minutes for various municipalities in Union County show that, in fact, at least nine of them actually have a public comment portion that is separate from public hearings for applications: Clark, Cranford, Fanwood, Garwood, Kenilworth, Plainfield, Scotch Plains, Roselle, and Springfield.
Roselle Park, unlike other municipalities, combined its Planning Board and the Zoning Board Of Adjustments into one Municipal Land Use Board. Ever since they were separate meetings, members of the public could speak on various general topics. The practice continued until the announcement made last month. At MLUB meetings, at most, usually two members of the public speak during the public comment portion.
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