Byram to aid state in developing new Highlands regulations

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    BYRAM-The Highland's Council recently asked Byram for help in developing a master plan to protect critical natural resources within region. Although the program will ultimately encompass 88 different municipalities, only seven, Byram being one of them, will be involved in the drafting of the plan. The program developed from this joint effort will eventually be turned into a regulatory vehicle for the entire state. According to the director of planning for the program, Steve Balzano, Byram presents the same complex issues that need to be addressed in a statewide master plan. Bazano recently went before the Byram township council to ask for the municipality's participation. "We chose Byram because we can utilize what has already been done. There are lake community issues, maintenance programs and how effective they are, what changes are needed," said Balzano. "We want to look at the town center concept and look at a compact efficient design. What is effective storm water management? Increased environmental sensibilities? We want to look at innovative concepts starting from a clean state." Currently the Department of Environmental Protection regulates development in the environmentally sensitive areas. New, permanent regulations will be developed from the master plan through this project. "We want to make sure that the state's efforts are well grounded," said Balzano. "We want to use Byram as a test." Other communities have been targeted for inclusion include in Washington Borough and Greenwich Township in Warren County, two in Passaic County and two in Morris County. Byram is the only municipality chosen to participate in Sussex County.