Dems Urge Freeholders: Extend Boundaries of Water Works Property to Include United Water Parcel
Duffie, Grant and Ashley send letter to Freeholders urging them to extend boundaries of county-owned Water Works property to include the United Water property and preserve entire area as open space.
New Milford's Democrats are urging the Bergen County Freeholders to consider extending the boundaries of the county-owned Water Works property to include United Water's 13-acre parcel, currently under contract for private sale with Hekemian, located directly across the street and add it to the county's inventory of open space.
In a letter dated Thursday, September 20, Councilwomen Randi Duffie and Hedy Grant, along with Councilman Austin Ashley, ask the Freeholders to preserve the historic nature of that area arguing that the development of this property would increase flooding; cause noise; air and light pollution; increase traffic beyond what New Milford's roads can support; increase calls for service to the police, fire department and ambulance corps; create road safety issues; strain already overcrowded schools; destroy wildlife; and place a financial burden on the taxpayer to support the associated costs of the development.
The Water Works is part of the county's extensive park system and is slated to receive $500,000 from the Open Space Trust Fund for repair funding.
With the clock ticking on the hearings of the proposed development of the United Water property before the zoning board of adjustment, and with the mayor and council considering the prospect of rezoning that property, Duffie, Grant and Ashley decided to turn to elected county officials hoping that the county could help find a way to preserve New Milford's "last largest tract of undeveloped land."
In the letter they say, "This development will destroy the historic neighborhood originally called Peetzburg and have a detrimental impact on neighboring Oradell and River Edge."
The mayor and council of Oradell are committed to fighting the development of the United Water property because of the negative impact they believe it will have on their roads and community. Representatives of SOD (Stop Over Development) recently attended a mayor and council meeting in River Edge seeking their support in fighting this development, as well.
"This property is not only important to the character of New Milford," Duffie, Grant and Ashley write, "It is also important to the character of Bergen County."
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