GREEN BROOK, NJ – The Township of Green Brook last month announced it has launched a study to explore the possibilities of establishing a town center that would provide a lively, walkable and inviting spot for both residents and visitors.
The Village Center Re-Zoning Project study will focus on the township’s existing Village Commercial District – the area along Washington Avenue from the Route 22 corridor to the Dunellen border, and along Greenbrook Road from Park Avenue to the former Green Brook Swim Club. This area is currently zoned for a mix of commercial and residential uses.
According to Mayor Patrick Boccio, a walkable downtown was envisioned in Green Brook’s 2012 Strategic Plan and the aforementioned planning study is made possible through the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority’s (NJTPA) competitive Planning for Emerging Centers program; Green Brook was one of four North Jersey communities selected to participate.
“The Emerging Centers grant will enable Green Brook to take a fresh look at its Village Commercial Zone,” said Boccio. “It will allow these planning professionals to gather valuable resident input and help the township incorporate that input into updated zoning in an effort to revitalize this area of town.”
This program provides technical assistance to municipalities for transit-supportive and pedestrian-oriented development and redevelopment. The NJTPA has selected Group Melvin Design to undertake the study, which includes reviewing current zoning rules and suggest revisions to improve the existing Village Commercial District.
The goal of the study, said the mayor, is to identify policies that will help the township realize a mixed-use town center with improved pedestrian and bicycle mobility and increased access to public transportation. Additionally, Boccio said the study will look at ways to bolster economic development and capitalize on existing assets in the district, including transportation linkages in the areas adjacent to and within the Village Commercial District, especially relating to bus service along Route 22 and the Dunellen train station.
“Public involvement is key to this planning study. There will be a series of public engagement sessions where community members will help create a vision for a town center,” said Boccio.
The study will be guided by a committee of municipal officials, residents, and business and community leaders. Public outreach sessions will begin in the spring.
Updates and information about the study will be posted on the township’s website at www.greenbrooktwp.org.
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