VALENCIA — The borough is on the cusp of enacting the first zoning ordinance in its 121-year history.
The push for zoning comes as Valencia sees a rapid expansion of commercial and residential development, said council Vice President Shanon McKenna.
Zoning is a way to balance the needs of residents with the rights and interests of area developers and business owners, McKenna said.
“There's a lot of development around and, obviously, there's been development in our community as well with the expansion of Saint Barnabas and other businesses,” McKenna said. “We thought it was time to have something in place, so that there are some guidelines.”
The proposed ordinance would cordon off sections of the borough and preserve them as residential areas, while reserving the southwest portion for commercial development.
McKenna said officials have worked to write zoning laws that not only protect the borough's small town feel, but also help businesses understand the best ways for them to grow in the borough.
“It'll give them a road map for where and how to build in our community,” McKenna said.
As a part of the drafting process, planning commissioners issued public response surveys to solicit residents' opinions on how the borough should look and be zoned.
“They wanted to keep that small town feel,” McKenna said. “At the same time, I do recognize fully that we need to have something in place for those businesses that want to expand and grow. We have to strike that balance.”
Borough council plans to vote on a proposed zoning ordinance on Monday following a public hearing during which residents can raise questions or concerns.