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Administrator to Head Cinnaminson's Newly Formed Department

Cinnaminson established a department of community development? What does it do?

 

Township Administrator Frank Locantore will now head up Cinnaminson’s newly formed department of community development—created to help streamline land use issues for township residents and business owners.

And now, site plan reviews, waivers and other issues will be much easier for potential business owners here, the deputy mayor said.

This is done “in the interest of accommodating businesses,” Deputy Mayor Anthony Minniti said. He called the site plan process “grueling.”

Instead of potential tenants bringing site plans to the township for initial review, Locantore will visit the site and use a checklist to make sure land use issues conform to township standards.

See an example of the checklist to the right.

These two changes are contingent upon township committee approval. The changes will be introduced at the Jan. 7 reorganization meeting.

The changes to the new department of community development are twofold. Township committee plans to do away with the site plan review advisory board, a group started earlier this year to go over site plans. This board included planning and zoning boards’ secretary Patricia Rucci, township engineer Fred Turek and Locantore.

Minniti said this process added “structure” and “consistency.”

However, there still wasn’t a central person to contact regarding land use issues. With the department of community development, and Locantore as the director, land use issues can start with him and be filtered down to the other major township players, including Rucci, Turek, zoning official John Marshall, and others.

"In one way shape or form, [business owners] are going to touch every aspect of municpal government—it’s a team effort," Locantore said.

The checklist mostly deals with aesthetics, Minniti said.

“The administrator can look at it and make judgments,” he added. “He has the latitude to make those recommendations—and be in contact with others.”

Having Locantore use a checklist also alleviates the concern of Turek—whose name was discussed as the department of community development director—being too busy. Committeeman William “Ben” Young expresses a concern during two township committee meetings about Turek’s extra duties if he took on the director role.

Turek is the township’s superintendent of public works and township engineer.

"What we’re looking for is a way to continue to become as user friendly as possible for the business community—" Locantore said, "to make Cinnaminson a sought after community."

The township solicitor amended the previous ordinance and township committee voted for those amendments earlier this week. The new ordinance will be introduced at January’s reorganization meeting.

If that is approved, the site plan review advisory board will disband Jan. 31. Everything is operating normally until this new ordinance potentially takes effect. 

There is no cost to the township for his department and Locantore will not be paid for his directorship. 

bobnj1 December 20, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Seems like the checklist can be made available to anyone ahead of time for those who need it and forego another salary imposed on the township....I assume this is a paid position for Locantore??
Bill C December 20, 2012 at 03:12 PM
does thes change have a cost to the township ?
Christina Paciolla (Editor) December 20, 2012 at 05:28 PM
No cost to the township and not a paid position for Locantore. I will put that line in my story.
bobnj1 December 20, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Good that there is no cost here, but a rather "out-there" idea would be to simplify the site plan process itself. Mayor Minniti called the site plan process "grueling", so how about putting some heads together to simplify it? A beneficial change to the process would help make our Twp even more business friendly.
Ric December 21, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Not right now. But just wait for some weeks after the committee is formed. Additional responsibilities always get raises. That holds true in the private and public sectors. It takes time to negotiate the new salary. It would have been nice to hear zoning board officer John Marshall's thoughts on this new board. He has been with the township for many years and he is a hard worker. We seldom hear from anyone in the township except for our DM. Do not get me wrong, I am grateful that the DM is so often available for comment on township things for us Patchers but it would be nice, if possible, to hear thoughts from other people in our township government. It would make for a much more well-rounded discussion for both us and the township.
Cindy Pierson December 21, 2012 at 04:09 AM
I was at the twp meeting Monday night, and there was no mention of eliminating the advisory board. The solicitor in attendance did a very nice job of explaining the items on the consent agenda before they were voted on, and this topic was not included - so I'm unclear about "The township solicitor amended the previous ordinance and township committee voted for those amendments earlier this week" - was this done in closed session? I would have thought that would have warranted the public being told that action would be taken after the committee came out of closed session so that we could have been present for any votes.
Christina Paciolla (Editor) December 21, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Ric—you bring up a good point when you say you'd like to hear from more or different township officials. The reason DM Anthony Minniti is interviewed so much is because he's the director of economic development and many, many stories are about that. Also, he brought up this issue to township committee, therefore he was interviewed. I understand what you mean about asking Mr. Marshall. But I would also have to interview Ms. Rucci, Mr. Turek, planning board members, etc. I obviously have no objections to that but when writing a news story, you interview the major players. Too many voices doesn't lend itself to a completely objective, cohesive story. But I like your suggestion and in the future, will take it into consideration.
Cindy Pierson December 21, 2012 at 04:26 AM
I'm looking forward to having this explained at the next meeting - from here it looks like the only changes will be the name from site plan review advisory board to department of communitydeveloment, and the removal of Turek, Rucci and Marshall from this stage of the process, leaving only Locantore as the whole department. Could this have something to do with the vote on the application for a community development grant? If so, that should have been explained clearly, since public comments on consent agenda items come before the consent agenda. It's hard to comment on things that are not clearly stated or defined before we can comment.
John January 03, 2013 at 01:26 AM
welcome to government.......its like this all over the place.....next its going to be another tax hike, oh what a relief it is.....what is market value, some one has to tell me

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