Township at Final Step for Sustainable Certification
The sustainable development ordinance would be the final thing needed in order to receive the certification in 2010.
Millburn-Short Hills officials are at the final step needed before the township can be certified as a sustainable community.
The Township Committee introduced a sustainable development ordinance during its meeting Tuesday night for first reading. The Planning Board and Township Committee have been working on the proposal since late last year, and it's not the first time the proposal has come forward. It was sent back to the Planning Board for further review in March.
Deputy Mayor Sandra Haimoff said very little has changed in the proposal. Township projects need to be LEED-certified at the silver level. The LEED standards are a sustainable development rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, and silver is the lowest level. What changed is it's a requirement for capital projects, so township officials have an easier time budgeting properly, Haimoff said.
There are no specific requirements for those bringing applications to the Planning Board, though. Instead, it's an educational process with a checklist to teach applicants on how to develop in a sustainable manner.
When approved, which could happen in August, the ordinance would mark the final step the Millburn Green Team needs to take in order to certify the township as a sustainable community.
Haimoff, who started the initiative to certify the township when she was mayor, said officials need to obtain 150 points in order to reach the first level of being a sustainable community. Certain points were assigned to the Green Challenge, establishing a rain garden and completing a green audit. The ordinance gives the township the final points needed.
"This just gets us to first base," Haimoff said. "We're still a long way from home plate."
The Green Team, which was formerly the Sustainable Millburn Committee, is already planning to meet the Sept. 15 deadline for the certification and the next steps. Haimoff said there is more to do and they want to do more. There is interest in a second Green Challenge, for example.
"The good thing is we set a goal and we reached it," she said. "Now we'll set another goal and reach that."
Sustainable Jersey also announced Friday 283 of New Jersey's 566 communities have registered to work to achieve the sustainable certification. In 2009, 34 communities were certified. The deadline for 2010 certifications is Sept. 15.