Harding Advisories/Notices

12/21/2020 - Planning Board Meeting December 21, 2020 - 7:30 pm


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that at 7:30 P.M. on Monday, December 21, 2020 the Harding Township Planning Board will hold a public hearing at an electronic meeting as permitted by law, on the proposed Harding Township Open Space and Recreation Plan Element.

TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that members of the public who wish to monitor and/or participate in these public meeting proceedings may register to join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device at:


TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that a copy of the draft Open Space and Recreation Plan Element will be linked into the December 21, 2020 Planning Board Agenda on the website, will be on file and will be available for public inspection during the hours of, 8:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, at the Municipal Building (Kirby Hall) at 21 Blue Mill Road in New Vernon, New Jersey.







            WHEREAS, the purpose of N.J.A.C. 5:39-1 et seq., Emergency Remote Meeting Protocol for Local Public Bodies, is to ensure that local public bodies can continue to conduct official business in an open and transparent manner whenever a declared emergency exists that prohibits physical attendance by members of the public; and


            WHEREAS, a “declared emergency” means a public health emergency pursuant to the Health Powers Act, N.J.S.A. 26:13-1 et seq., or a state of emergency, pursuant to P.L. 1942, c. 251 or both, or a state or local disaster emergency which has been declared by the Governor and is in effect; and


            WHEREAS, N.J.A.C. 5:39-1.3 permits a local public body to hold a remote public meeting to conduct public business during a declared emergency if the emergency reasonably prevents a local public body from safely conducting public business at a physical location with members of the public present; and


            WHEREAS, if during a declared emergency the Planning Board of the Township of Harding (the “Planning Board”) holds a physical meeting in a location where, pursuant to State/Federal guidelines meant to mitigate risk, capacity restrictions are required to reduce the number of individuals that can be present in a meeting, the Planning Board shall either:     

  1. Hold the public meeting at another location with adequate capacity for the reasonable expected attendance by the public; or

  2. Hold the public meeting as both an in-person and remote public meeting; and


            WHEREAS, a public meeting held solely in-person without a remote access alternative provided shall not prohibit members of the public from attending in person; and


            WHEREAS, adequate notice of a remote public meeting shall also include, in addition to the Open Public Meetings Act requirements of N.J.S.A. 10:4-8, clear and concise instructions for accessing the remote public meeting, the means for making public comment and how to access any public documents on the Township’s website in the manner set forth at N.J.A.C. 5:39-1.5; and


            WHEREAS, at the commencement of a remote public meeting the Chair or the Chair’s designee, or in his or her absence, the Secretary, shall announce publicly and shall cause to be entered into the minutes an accurate statement regarding adequate and electronic notice or an explanation of the reason or reasons such notice was not adequately provided as set forth in N.J.A.C. 5:39-1.5(g); and


            WHEREAS, prior to the commencement of a remote public meeting, the Planning Board shall make a copy of the agenda available to the public for download on the Township’s website and shall post a copy of same at the building where the meeting would otherwise be held, including posting of same at any designated and clearly delineated handicap accessible entrance to the building, by no later than 3:00 PM on the date of the meeting; and


            WHEREAS, the content of the electronic notice shall be posted on the main access door of the building where the public would routinely attend public meetings of the local public body in person and the notice must be viewable from the outside; and     

            WHEREAS, the electronic communications used for a remote public meeting shall have a function that allows the Planning Board to mute the audio of all members of the public, as well as allow members of the public to mute themselves, and same shall be announced at the beginning of every remote public meeting; and           

            WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:39-1, if the Planning Board holds a remote meeting to conduct public business, it shall use electronic communication technology routinely used in business settings that can be accessed by the public at no cost and with participant capacity consistent with the reasonable expectations of the Planning Board for the type of public meeting being held, and such participant capacity shall, at minimum, not be limited to fewer than 50 public participants (not including persons required to be present to conduct business at the meeting such as the Board members, Board professionals, and all members of the Applicant’s team); and


            WHEREAS, remote public meetings may be held by the Planning Board in a format as selected by the Planning Board, by means including, but not limited to, electronic communications platforms with video and audio or live streaming via the internet and shall, additionally, provide a telephonic conference line to allow members of the public to dial in by telephone to listen and to provide public comment; and


            WHEREAS, when the Planning Board holds a remote public meeting, it shall allow members of the public to ask    questions by audio or by audio and video if the meeting is being held over both; and


            WHEREAS, any remote public meeting where sworn testimony is being taken shall be broadcast by video, as well as audio, and all individuals giving sworn testimony, including members of the public making comments, shall appear by video; and


            WHEREAS, any presentation or documents that would otherwise be viewed by, or made available to, members of the public physically attending an in-person public meeting shall be made available on the internet website of the Township or made visible during the video broadcast of the remote public meeting; and


            WHEREAS, except for quasi-judicial hearings on land development applications or similar public hearings, in addition to making public comments at any remote public meeting, the Planning Board, in advance of the remote meeting shall allow public comments to be submitted to the Clerk by electronic mail and in written letter form by a reasonable deadline to be established and posted on the website in advance of the remote public meeting; and


            WHEREAS, except for quasi-judicial hearings on land development applications or similar public hearings, public comments submitted prior to the remote public meeting through electronic or regular mail shall be read aloud and addressed during the remote public meeting in a manner audible to all meeting participants and the public; and


            WHEREAS, a reasonable time limit shall be placed on the reading of individual written comments, all of which shall be read from the start until the established time limit is reached; and


            WHEREAS, in support of, and respect for, an open, fair and informed decision-making process, the Planning Board recognizes that civil, respectful and courteous discourse and behavior are conducive to the democratic and harmonious airing of concerns and decision making; and


            WHEREAS, in an effort to preserve the intent of open government and maintain a positive environment for citizen input and Planning Board decision making, policies and rules shall be established to promote civility and maintain decorum at in-person public meetings and remote public meetings in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:39-1.4(f)-(h); and


            WHEREAS, if a member of the public becomes disruptive during a remote public meeting, including during any period for public comment, the Chair or the Chair’s designee, or in their absence the Secretary, shall mute or continue muting, or direct appropriate staff to mute or continue muting, the disruptive member of the public and warn that continued disruption may result in the member of the public being prevented from speaking during the remote public meeting or removed from the remote public meeting; and


            WHEREAS, disruptive conduct at an in-person public meeting or remote public meeting includes sustained inappropriate behaviors including, but not necessarily limited to, shouting, interruption, and use of profanity; and


            WHEREAS, any member of the public who continues to act in a disruptive manner at a remote public meeting after receiving an initial warning, may be muted while other members of the public are allowed to proceed with their questions or comments; and


            WHEREAS, if time permits, the disruptive individual shall be allowed to speak after all other members of the public have been given the opportunity to make comment and, if the person still remains disruptive, the individual may be muted or kept on mute for the remainder of the remote public meeting, or removed from the remote public meeting;


            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Township of Harding that the standards and procedures for emergency remote meetings, as set forth in the recitals to this resolution and as codified in N.J.A.C. 5:39-1 et seq., are hereby confirmed, established and adopted in order to safeguard public participation in any in-person or remote public meeting in the Township of Harding and shall apply to all members of the public in attendance at any in-person public or remote public meeting in the Township of Harding;


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board Secretary is hereby authorized and directed to post copies of this resolution on the Harding Township web site and on the main public entrance door of the Municipal Building so as to be visible to the public from the outside.


Vote on Resolution


For the Resolution: Chipperson, Clew, Dietz, Edgar, Jones, Modi, Newlin & Saulnier.


Against the Resolution: None.


Certified to be a True Copy



       Lori Taglairino, Secretary