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Changes Proposed for Parsippany Zoning Laws

The professional planner for the township's Planning Board presented information on the proposed amendments to the Township Council.

A series of proposed amendments to ordinances governing zoning regulations in Parsippany were introduced before the Township Council at its Tuesday night meeting.

Edward Snieckus, a planner from Burgis Associates who serves as the professional planner for the Parsippany Planning Board, gave the council a presentation on what changes may be coming to laws governing district maps, highway development, land use and site plans, and open space.

Snieckus told the council that the six amendments come from the township's master plan, which he said was re-examined in 2010 and 2011. 

"Some of these recommendations came up actually from the Zoning Board of Adjustment during certain cases that they were seeing," he said. "We wanted to make sure we were addressing certain issues."

A major issue is the concept of mixed-use development in the township, projects that involve residential and commerical use. 

"There are certain zones that allow mixed uses," he said, "but the criteria for the mixed use is entirely too much for the criteria to be a practical solution. ... We're making our recommendations to make adjustments to some of those zones."

Another amendment, Snieckus said, would allow educational and vocational training entities in some non-residential zones.

Another would allow certain types of drive-thru structures in some commercial areas, such as the one at the Walgreens pharmacy, which last week opened its new Parsippany location at Route 46 and Baldwin Road.

Some of the proposed changes would clear up ambiguities in regulations and clarify procedural matters for developers, such as when the town's zoning officer gets notice of committee approvals to minor site plans that have been approved.

"It really should be the zoning officer that makes those sorts of procedural changes," Snieckus said.

The council unanimously okayed the proposed ordinance amendments. As it was their first reading, per municipal ordinance, they only had their names read into the record during the meeting. Details of the proposed changes have not yet been published on the municipal website.

It is expected that the full text of each of the seven proposals will be released prior to their public hearing and second reading, which is scheduled for Nov. 27.

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