Remote Meetings of Land Use Boards & Commissions

Introduction

Given the current COVID-19 public health emergency, the Township of Montclair is making accommodations to protect members of the public, land use boards/commissions, board/commission professionals as well as applicants and their representatives, while continuing the operations of these public bodies.  The use of technology is essential to maintain operations.  This page summarizes the procedures for participating in remote land use board meetings.  If you encounter any issues, please reach out to Department staff who will be available to assist throughout the process by phone and by email as provided below:

Participating in the Meeting 

Members of the public are invited to attend and participate in all remote meetings.  The following additional accommodations, per guidance from the Department of Community Affairs Division of Local Government Services, will be made:

Access to Application Materials & Plans

All filed application materials are published online on the Department’s Pending Land Use Applications page available at: https://montclairnjusa.org/pendinglanduseapplications.  This includes all application materials, plans, professional reports and other items associated with the application.  In addition, such items will be shared on-screen during Board/Commission meetings. 

If any member of the public is interested in receiving a copy of the plans directly, please contact Department staff:

Information on Connecting to Meetings & Agendas

The Department will publish remote connection information, including computer, telephone, TV34/YouTube connections, on the Agenda for each Board/Commission and in the public notice for each meeting.  The public notice will be published as usual in the Star Ledger and/or the Montclair Times.

The Department has created short links to the Agenda page for each Board/Commission as follows:

Planning Board: https://montclairnjusa.org/planningboard

Zoning Board: https://montclairnjusa.org/zoningboard

Historic Preservation Commission: https://montclairnjusa.org/hpc

Links to join the meeting by computer and the access telephone numbers will be provided on these agenda pages and will be updated for each meeting.

Advanced Submission and Posting of Applicant Exhibits & Witnesses

The Department will require all exhibits be submitted by applicants by 4:00 pm at least two days in advance of the meeting.  Upon receipt, department staff will publish received exhibits to the Department’s Pending Land Use Applications page available at:

https://montclairnjusa.org/pendinglanduseapplications

In addition, Department staff will coordinate with the applicants to review scheduled witness testimony and publish the order of testimony during the meeting to allow the public to better follow the order of proceedings.

Conducting the Public Hearing

Members of the public are encouraged to inform the Secretary of the Boards/Commission in advance of the meeting if they plan to ask questions or comments.  While it is understood that questions or comments will arise during the meeting, if a member of the public knows of their intention to speak before the meeting this advance notice will ensure staff will engage the questioner or commenter.  Please email or call the Board or Commission secretary if you intend to speak:

The remote meeting will open 15 minutes prior to the official meeting start time, at 7:15pm.  This 15-minute period will allow staff to identify those members of the public who are participating in the meeting.  The “Participant List” in the meeting will list all attendees at the meeting.  Providing names will assist staff and Board/Commission members in communicating with the public and facilitating receipt of any questions or comments.

  • Members of the public connecting by computer will enter their name upon connection to the meeting; this is the name that will appear in the Participant List.
  • Members of the public connecting by phone will be asked to provide their name upon entering the meeting. Department staff will then update the Participant List from “Call-In User” to the attendee’s name.

Participating by Computer

All Board and Commission meetings will be conducted using WebEx, the service providing remote meeting technology for the Department.  When participating by computer, participants will connect to the meeting and be able to see all materials/documents under discussion on their screen.  Participants will have the option to connect by audio either through their computer or through their phone.  All public participants will have their lines muted, until it is time for public questions or comments.  

During the meeting, public members participating by phone can advise Department staff they would like to ask a question or make a comment by selecting the “Raise Hand” icon next to their name in the Participant List; to access the Participant List

In addition, members participating by computer can use the “Chat” box to write a question or comment to the Department staff, 

WebEx has published a quick start guide for users that is available at the link below:

Get Started with Cisco WebEx Meetings for Attendees

Participating by Phone & Montclair TV34

Members of the public without access to a computer may participate in the remote meeting by phone and watching live on TV34.  TV34 is broadcast on Comcast Cable channel 34 and Verizon Fios channel 34.  The TV34 broadcast is also simulcast live on the Montclair Government YouTube channel.  TV34 will share the same WebEx broadcast as seen on a computer, allowing for equal access to the meeting.  Participants will be able to see all materials/documents under discussion on the TV34 broadcast.

To further participate in the meeting by audio, these participants will dial the conference number and connect to the meeting using the provided meeting number.  After being placed into the meeting, the public caller will be asked to provide their name.  All members of the public, including those joining by computer will be placed on mute until it is time to ask questions or make comments.  During questions and comments, each public participant by phone will have their line unmuted (an audible dual beep tone will be heard) and the caller will be asked if they have any questions or comments.  Following their question or comment, the line will again be muted.

Full Recording of the Proceedings

All meetings of the land use boards/commissions will continue to be fully recorded and available for playback on both the Township website and the Montclair Government YouTube channel.  The Board and Commission pages with the videos are linked below: