FOR PROPOSALS FROM PLANNING FIRMS
MUNICIPAL MASTER PLANNING AND VISIONING
The City of Englewood encompasses 3,168 acres or 4.95 square miles. The City is located in the eastern section of Bergen County, New Jersey. It is approximately one mile west of the Hudson River and two miles east of Hackensack, the center of Bergen County government. Having two major highway systems transverse across the City, State Route 4 and Interstate Highway 80/95, and located just minutes from New York City, Englewood is in a central location that has attracted interest in redevelopment in the past ten years.
Figure 1: Aerial Photograph – City of Englewood
Englewood is in an enviable position in that it serves as a commercial hub for many of the Northern Valley towns and has an active and successful downtown. During the past decade, the city has prospered and emerged as a model of downtown revitalization. The concentration of restaurants and shops has made downtown Englewood a commercial magnet in Bergen County. The city has strong residential neighborhoods with a variety of housing types and distinguished buildings from every era since Dutch colonial settlement. The proximity to New York City and historic residential neighborhoods makes Englewood one of the most attractive communities in the metropolitan area. The city boasts a diverse population, a major cultural center, the John Harms Theater, and some large recreational facilities, notably MacKay Park. It also has an impressive track record in stimulating economic development, rehabilitating housing, and revitalizing blighted areas. It is no surprise to her fiercely loyal residents that Englewood has emerged as a model city and that national and state organizations have recognized her as an urban success story.
But Englewood also faces serious challenges. The recession has threatened the long term viability of some of the downtown, the municipal budget is extremely limited in the near future, and new redevelopment projects have altered some of the historic patterns of industrial, commercial and residential land use. The public school system does not yet meet our aspirations. Parking and traffic problems downtown may be a sign of success, but they threaten to keep people away and threaten the intimacy and ease of life treasured by residents. The town is overly reliant on residential property taxes to support education and other critical municipal services.
As a result of substantial changes both in Englewood and in advanced planning ideas over the past decade, the Planning Board deemed it necessary to rewrite the city’s master plan. The previous master plan was completed in 2010 but it was not as comprehensive as the current Planning Board would like it to be and it left many critical planning issues unresolved. One of these issues involves a large school building on the edge of the downtown that is now owned by the City and must be redeveloped in a manner that supports the downtown and the town as a whole. Several neighborhoods are in need of comprehensive planning and zoning because they have little or no consistent character. The downtown itself is suffering from vacancies and the relationship between zoning, land uses, and the long term planning must also be examined.
In recent years it has become painfully apparent that the citizens of Englewood have strong convictions about the future of their town and believe in the value and importance of planning but also have strongly divergent positions about the City’s future. For example there is strong support for a Community Center and strong opposition to the costs associated with such a center; two completely antagonistic viewpoints. The preparation of a new master plan presents an opportunity to engage the public in the planning process and to translate the shared vision of the community into a set of land use and design controls.
It is for the reasons stated above that the City, through its Planning Board, wishes to engage a Planning Firm to develop forums with community groups as well as the community as a whole and begin to develop a comprehensive plan generated through City wide visioning sessions and consensus building and based on a shared vision for the future.
The City of Englewood (“City”) is a municipality governed by special legislation approving its charter on October 4, 1978 (Chapter 123 of the Laws of 1978). The City issues this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) from qualified planning firms that wish to provide planning services to the Planning Board of the City in its preparation of a municipal master plan pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-28. The last Master Plan of the City was adopted by the Planning Board on November 24, 2009, but is in need of revision in a number of Plan Elements. The successful firm must have significant experience in drafting and advocating in public venues municipal master plans. The employee(s) that the firm designates to serve in this capacity must be New Jersey licensed Professional Planner(s).
A copy of this Request for Proposals will be available for download on the City’s website: www.cityofenglewood.org.
Professional Information and Qualifications
1. Name of Firm;
2. Address of principal place of business and all other offices and corresponding telephone and fax numbers. Please note specifically which planners will be assigned to work with the City;
3. Description of planners’ educations, experiences, qualifications, number of years with the firm and a description of their experience with projects similar to those described above;
4. Experience related to providing planning services to public entities, specifically planning or zoning boards;
5. At least four (4) references, three (3) of which must have knowledge of your service to public entities;
6. Examples of municipal master plans prepared by your firm in the past five (5) years, particularly those municipalities that undertook town wide visioning and consensus building sessions.
7. Description of the firm’s ability to provide the services in a timely fashion (including staffing, familiarity and location of key staff);
8. Cost details, including the hourly rates of each of the individuals who will perform the services and the time estimates for each individual, all expenses, and total cost of “not to exceed” amount;
9. Any other information that the interested firm deems relevant.
The selection criteria used in awarding a contract or agreement for professional services as described herein shall include:
1. Qualifications of the individuals who will perform the tasks and the amounts of their respective participation;
2. Experience and references;
3. Ability to perform the task in a timely fashion, including staffing and familiarity with the subject matter; and
4. Cost competitiveness.
The successful Firm will be required to comply with the following:
1. N.J.S.A. 10:5-31 et. Seq. and N.J.A.C. 17:27) Affirmative Action Requirements.
2. N.J. Prevailing Wage Requirements. (If Applicable)
3. Non-Collusion - Anti-kickback requirement.
4. P.L. 1977, c.33, Ownership Disclosure requirements.
5. Business Registration Certificate.
6. Englewood Ord. No. 07-31 Authorizing Withholding of “No-Bid” Contracts from Political Contributors (restricting “pay-to-play”) pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.5 and 20.8.
The Planning Board reserves the right to reject any and all proposals that substantially or materially deviate from the specifications and other required documents, and further reserves the right to waive minor irregularities and immaterial variances and formalities in the proposals.
This Request for Proposals is not governed by the Local Public Contracts Law as it is a contract for “professional services”, which are excluded from the formal requirements of the Local Public Contracts Law as set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5(1)(a)(i).
Please submit one original and nine (9) copies of the submission on or before 12:00 PM on Friday, September 30, 2011.
Proposals must be mailed or hand-delivered to:
Lauren Vande Varst, RMC
Englewood City Hall
2-10 N. Van Brunt Street
Englewood, NJ 07631
On the outside of the submission, it must state:
City of Englewood Request for Proposals From Planning Firms Interested in Preparation of Master Plan for the City of Englewood.