Ask your local candidate a question.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Blairstown Hires Township Planner

The Blairstown Land Use Board voted to offer the position of Township Planner to James T. Kyle, a principal at Kyle + McManus Associates of Hopewell. 

Board Chair Robert Law said Kyle brings more than 25 years of experience as a professional planner in the public and private sectors. Kyle has served as the planner in numerous North Jersey municipalities including Clinton, Flemington and Pohatcong, and as the planner for the Council on Affordable Housing issues for Alpha and Raritan. 

Roger Thomas, the Land Use Board attorney, said Kyle will work on an hourly basis, similar to the arrangements with other professionals and consultants contracted by municipalities. Thomas said his salary will be negotiated now that the offer has been made. 

Kyle opened his firm, Kyle + McManus Associates, in 2018, and before then managed his own firm for eight years. His resume indicates he has appeared as an expert before more than 200 planning, zoning and land use boards in New Jersey. 

Blairstown has not had a contracted planner in a number or years, Thomas said. 

While there are no major projects before the Land Use Board currently, the board did recently approve the construction of a 78,000-square-foot warehouse on Route 94, on the border with Knowlton Township. When considering larger projects such as a warehouse, the township can hire a planning consultant to represent the township’s interests at the applicant’s expense. 

Applications for warehouses and distribution centers have frequently been brought to town boards in several nearby communities in the past few years, and more recently, applications for cannabis cultivation are being submitted. An application in nearby Frelinghuysen has stirred up controversy. 

None are proposed for Blairstown, but numerous companies looking to start cannabis production in the Warren County region are looking for farmland. They have plenty of money and Blairstown has plenty of farmland. Do the math. 

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.