Rezoning United Water Property (Letter to the Editor)
Councilmen Diego Robalino and Dominic Colucci explain the vote to rezone.
By Councilman Diego Robalino and Councilman Dominic Colucci
As a matter of public interest, we’d like to inform New Milford residents that at the Mayor and Council meeting this past September 10, a bipartisan decision was made to have the borough planner draft an ordinance to consider rezoning the United Water property that is currently being heard at the Zoning Board. This was not an easy decision and took many months of consideration. Although this topic has been ongoing for a decade, it has been on the front burner for the past two years.
This Council is well aware of the number one issue in this economy, taxes! Even a $75.00 tax increase can push a resident to financial strain. That is the issue we toiled over while discussing the possible avenues in purchasing this property. These attempts became futile, and we accepted the fact that the rightful owner is within its right to sell their property to the highest bidder. This governing body cannot force this party from developing their land for profit. However, we have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of our residents.
The majority of New Milford residents is against Hekemian building a complex of 220 apartments directly across the street from our high school. The schools in our district are already overcrowded, not to mention the devastating effects of increased traffic and other issues that a development of this nature entails.
We now have a unique opportunity to step in and grasp control in the decision making process of a new concept while this pending proposal continues its course at the Zoning Board. These are steps that must be taken by a responsible Council in anticipation of legal battles that could drain taxpayer funds if we are not proactive. These appeals will ultimately be decided by a county court where New Milford will have no say in that decision. It is a risk too high to take to simply cross our arms and let others decide what they might consider is best for our town.
Thank you for your continued support.