Applicants who are contemplating a future proposal of their property can submit a concept plan to the Planning Board, a no fee opportunity to describe their project on an informal basis with the Board at a workshop. The Planning Board Secretary should be contacted first in order to be placed on the Work Session agenda.
We are glad that you are here and we hope to benefit from your attendance and your input. This bulletin outlines the procedures which the Municipal Land Use Law required the Planning Board to follow.
Our printed agenda is available before all our meetings. It is posted in Borough Hall in the foyer at least 48 hours before the meeting and is also advertised in the local newspaper. For further information regarding agendas, please feel free to contact Karen Becker, the Planning Board Secretary at (973) 838-7200 ext. 219.
Checklists for determining completeness of an application for the development land use ordinance are available at the Planning Board Secretary's office at One Ace Road, Butler, NJ from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM.
Planning Board Instructions are available online for applicants who require a hearing.
Full review of applications and all official business of the Planning Board is conducted at the Public Hearing. The Chairperson conducts the meeting as a Judge might and the Board is comparable to a jury who will vote on a final decision.
When an application is announced by the Chairperson, the applicant comes forward, introduces him/herself, affirms that their testimony will be truthful (in which they are sworn in) and then explains the nature of the application. He/she will then give testimony. If there are witnesses, they will also be sworn in and give testimony. If the applicant is represented by an attorney, the attorney presents the application and the order of witnesses. The applicant provides testimony themselves and by other witnesses that they may wish to bring to support their application.
Following the testimony of each witness, the Board will ask questions and seek clarifications needed for an informed vote. The Chairperson will then ask if there are any questions of the witness by the Board and the Board professionals. This will take place after each witness. This time is designated for questions of each witnesses testimony and comments by the Board. Once the Board has completed this process, the Chairperson will open the meeting to the public.
During the public participation portion of the meeting, if the public has a question or comment, they must raise their hand. When the Chairperson recognizes them, they will stand, walk to the microphone and will be sworn in by the Board Attorney. They must state their name and address and ask their questions. The public is generally limited to five (5) minutes per person to ensure adequate time for all speakers for all applications that night. Circumstances to a particular application may differ and any time extensions or speaking will be adjusted by the Chairperson. The applicant also had the right to cross-examine any members of the public who speak, either for or against the application. Statements from the public should be supportable and not hearsay such as petitions and wishes.
The Chairperson has the right to close the public portion of a hearing if he feels that the audience is unruly or is making comments that are not relevant to the case.
Some applications may take more than one meeting to complete. If this occurs, the Planning Board will continue the hearing to a future meeting date that will be announced at the hearing. Because the applicant does not need to notify the public about a future meeting, please listen for the verbal announcement of future or rescheduled meetings. You can always confirm a continuation or rescheduling by calling the Planning Board Secretary (973) 838-7200 ext. 219 during Borough Hall Office hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
A record of the Public Hearing is tape recorded and a Recording Secretary is also present. So when you speak, please speak slowly and clearly. All witnesses must state their names and spell them and their addresses. Only the Chairperson may decide who speaks at a given time. Comments from the audience are not allowed.
When you follow the above procedure, your input will have maximum impact for the Boards deliberations. Please be reminded that all applications are judged on their individual merits. The Board cannot predetermine the outcome of an application.
We hope your participation will be effective and satisfying. Thank you for coming out and participating in the Municipal Land Use process.