Franklin Lakes September 16, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 9 Board approves environmental resources inventory by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes Planning Board has agreed to include the borough’s environmental resources inventory in the borough’s master plan. The ERI was recently presented to the planning board by Tom Lambrix, chairman of the borough’s environmental commission, which was formed in 2008 by Mayor Maura DeNicola. Lambrix recommended the ERI be adopted into the borough’s master plan, and the planning board agreed to do so by resolution. The ERI is a comprehensive compilation of text, maps and geographical information system data that fully describes the borough’s key environmental resources. The inventory presents factual information concerning these resources, and provides information and guidance on their protection, preservation, and conservation. The executive summary of the 114page, four section document points out that the ERI’s primary objective is the accurate presentation of resource space and statistical information in a framework that assists the borough in future planning decisions. In this context, the ERI is intended to serve as a foundation for the borough’s master plan and provide critical data to be used in the crafting of resource conservation measures and the development of related ordinances. The ERI also includes an interactive GIS interface to improve the ease of its use in the assessment of environmental resource protection initiatives and planning and development related impact analysis. The ERI also provides several recommendations to further the environmental goals of the community. The document states that this information is intended to educate, guide, and benefit those interested in the long-term protection, management, and preservation of the resources of the borough, including the mayor and borough council, planning board, zoning board, environmental commission, shade tree commission, other borough committees, residents, and prospective land developers. The document states that the borough contains many valuable environmental and cultural resources including historical homes and businesses, public water supply wells, streams, lakes and ponds, recreational areas, wildlife habitats, forest, wetlands, floodplains, and scenic roadways. It points out that a comprehensive understanding of the borough’s environmental resources will facilitate more informed decisions regarding planning activities, environmental impact analyses, open space acquisition and preservation efforts, and other activities that may have an impact on those resources. Some specific findings in the ERI indicate that the borough is comprised of 6,304 acres, with the largest land use being developed urban lands and highway corridors, which cover 4,268 acres, or 67.7 percent of the community. Forests are the second most dominant land type, with 1,231 acres, or 19.5 percent. Wetlands are the third dominant land type, with 464.3 acres, or 7.4 percent. Water bodies, such as lakes, ponds, and streams account for 287 acres, or 4.6 percent, and agricultural lands total 21 acres or 0.33 percent. Approximately 33 acres, or 0.53 percent of the community, were identified as barren lands in 2002, which often refers to land undergoing development. The ERI describes the borough’s climate as continental and receives 45-46 inches of precipitation each year. Winter temperatures average 28-32 degrees Fahrenheit, with summer temperatures averaging 69-73. According to the U.S. Census and the Bergen County Department of Planning, the population of the borough was recorded as 10,422 people in 2000. In 2007, the borough had an estimated population of 11,576 people within 3,322 households. From 1990 to 2000, the borough’s population grew by 5.6 percent, and the housing stock grew by 8.8 percent, while the county increased by 7.1 percent. With an area of 10 square miles, this represents a population density of 1,103 per square mile in 2007. The ERI points out that the borough saw tremendous growth from 1950 to 1970, with recorded population increases of 60 to 128 percent. But with much of the borough already developed, its growth stabilized with population increases ranging downward from 16 to11 percent from the 1980s. The Franklin Lakes Library is hosting its second annual “A Day in the Life of Franklin Lakes” photo contest. The contest is open to all Franklin Lakes residents and people who work in Franklin Lakes. Photos should capture what is loved and treasured in Franklin Lakes. Entries may be mailed or dropped off at the library or e-mailed with the entry form Entries sought for contest to: Photos will be compiled into a photo book to be published in April 2010. Prizes will be awarded to the best in juniors, young adult, adult, and best “digitally modified” photos. Entry forms are available at the library. All entries must be received by Nov. 25. 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