With two licensed landscape architects (LLA) among its currently appointed members, the Ewing Environmental Commission offers advice to the Ewing Township Planning Board (which includes an EEC representative as a voting member) during its site review process. This practice began in 2010 and is authorized under New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law which allows Environmental Commissions with Environmental Resource Inventories (ERI) a statuatory right to review a copy of every application for development and report back to Planning and Zoning Boards on potential environmental impacts.
This review helps to ensure that developers meet all requirements of the town’s land use ordinances, as well as county, state and federal regulations. It also ensures that the proposed development provides for basic services, such as potable water supply, sewage disposal, and roads, and that any onsite or offsite impacts are mitigated. It also offers the opportunity to assess immediate and secondary impacts, such as storm water runoff, flooding and cultural features.
In addition, the environmental review can add valuable insights into the review process and help protect environmental resources from the negative impacts of development. Using the objective environmental information in the ERI as a basis for evaluating development applications, an Environmental Commission can advise the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment on the potential degradation of natural resources and the expensive environmental problems, such as flooding, soil erosion, and violations of state and federal regulations which could result.
Site Plan Review
- EEC site review members receive copies of developer plans submitted to the Construction office in the pre-application process.
- They walk the site as part of the review process and offer written analysis and recommendations for landscaping, plant selection, wetlands, existing tree preservation, tree protection and replacement, storm-water management, grading and aesthetic suggestions are all made in the review of their plan. This gives developers the benefit of getting expert advice from the Township because of EEC participation in the development process.