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Special Meeting of the Zoning Board Tops the Week Ahead

Board of Education meeting, special meeting of the Zoning Board and Gibbs Fundraiser dominate the week ahead.

All New Milford public schools will be closed Monday for Rosh Hashanah.

NOTE: The meeting of the Planning Board scheduled for Tuesday at 7:30pm has been cancelled. 

On Wednesday, there will be a regular meeting of the Board of Education. The meeting will be in the Media Center of New Milford High School at 7 pm.

Also on Wednesday is the special meeting of the Zoning Board devoted entirely to the hearing of the site plan application for the United Water Company property. The meeting will begin at 7pm in the Council Chambers of Borough Hall. 

At the last special meeting on August 23, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"public-continues-questioning-hekemian-engineer"} -->, Michael Dipple, Hekemian's engineering expert, was recalled to answer questions from the public. During that meeting, Dipple also faced further questioning by members of  5th grade fundraising committee is hosting a

Concerned Parent 1 September 17, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Ulises, this is not River Edge or Oradell. Trust me those 2 towns are a big step up from New Milford. The school systems are better, the price of homes is more per sq ft, the taxes are higher. You can't compare apples to oranges. I hate to break the news to you, but from what I have heard talking with the mayor and council is that the Shoprite, field, and bank are going to be built and there is nothing that the SOD can do to stop it. Everynight I read the posts about the United water property and the name calling and fighting is so sad. I too agree that overdevelopment is a bad thing but enough is enough already.
Ulises September 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Concerned Parent 1, there is still time to turn this around so we're not going to stop. Oradell is getting involved. I'm at a River Edge M&C meeting as I write to you in hopes to get their support. Those towns are only a step above because they plan better than we do, and that's what we lack at Boro Hall.
TommyIce September 18, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Concerned Parent I am a concerned citizen. Do you have a problem with 4 to 7 people making a decision of this magnitude all by themselves? It doesn't have to be developed. Perhaps the property values in Oradell and River Edge are so because their towns are attractive, tranquil and desired. You (collective--not you personally) want to live in an urban jungle then go to Hackensack. Oh wait, they have open space too. Hmmm. Fancy that. Why are some people so dead set against having some open space and tranquility in this town?
TommyIce September 18, 2012 at 01:54 AM
How many trees and where are they located? Surely not those majestic Sycamores that stand like sentinels before our beautiful high school. Maybe instead of knocking them down, they can convince the DARE officer to go outside and maintain some safety for those children. Or at least write some Jaywalking tickets. Why not make some revenue while we're at it?
Mary McElroy September 18, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Ulises, I'd like to say "thank you" for all the time & attention that you and the other very active members of SOD have put into fighting this development. I find the comments from "Concerned Parent 1" condesening and rude. There's another motive at play here & it's transparent if you've read other posts by this person.
Ulises September 18, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Mary, thank you for your support! Btw, our meeting with River Edge's Mayor and Council went really well tonight. Hopefully, they'll support us like Oradell is.
Ulises September 18, 2012 at 05:15 PM
TommyIce, I think at least two Sycamore trees will be knocked down by the school, per a study or recommnedation made by the county. The study was conducted after a recent accident in front of the HS this year. I feel we could have saved the trees and better signage around the school would have worked or ask the Board of Ed for some input, but the council is acting on this because they felt it will avoid getting sued if this happens again (it'll happen again once that ShopRite is built and traffic becomes a nightmare - so say goodbye now to the rest of the trees by the HS because they'll eventually be knocked down as more students get hit when ShopRite's traffic spikes). I think this it's just the beinging of the change we're going to experience once this ShopRite goes up. Practically all the Sycamores will be gone by the United Water Property along River Road (in total over 260 differnt trees will be knocked down), all of this so we could can see the big ShopRite signs. The center of town is a perfect location for all our commerce but the powers that be would perfer to urbanize the northend of town too without fighting for what most in town want, which is a STOP to OVERDEVELOPMENT (no backbone nor vision at boro hall, none).
Ulises September 18, 2012 at 05:16 PM
TommyIce, I think at least two Sycamore trees will be knocked down by the school, per a study or recommendation made by the county. The study was conducted after a recent accident in front of the HS this year. I feel we could have saved the trees and better signage around the school would have worked or ask the Board of Ed for some input, but the council is acting on this because they felt it will avoid getting sued if this happens again (it'll happen again once that ShopRite is built and traffic becomes a nightmare - so say goodbye now to the rest of the trees by the HS because they'll eventually be knocked down as more students get hit when ShopRite's traffic spikes). I think this it's just the beginning of the change we're going to experience once this ShopRite goes up. Practically all the Sycamores will be gone by the United Water Property along River Road (in total over 260 different trees will be knocked down), all of this so we could can see the big ShopRite signs. The center of town is a perfect location for all our commerce but the powers that be would prefer to urbanize the northend of town too, without fighting for what most in town want, which is a STOP to OVERDEVELOPMENT (no backbone nor vision at Boro Hall, none).
miriam pickett September 18, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Dear Concerned Parent:: you are right. This is not Oradell or River Edge. Each one of these towns has its own ambience and sense of community. I think its very sad that you are so sure we can't do anything to stop this from happening. In the almost 5 months of SODS existence we have alerted NM residents and they have heard our call. Come to BOA meeting and see your neighbors stand up and question the so-called experts that the developer has paid to stretch the truth, or in some cases out and out lie to make the case for this catastrophe. You will be surprised by the intelligence and passion you will witness. We have already had a huge impact on this situation. The developer is talking compromise (which we do not support). One Councilman has changed his public stance and the mayor is scrambling to get herself out of the hole she has dug. United we make a difference. I'm glad you represent a silent minority in our lovely town. Do you think by taking down 261 trees and increasing flooding, traffic and pollution your property value will go up?
Concerned Parent 1 September 19, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Tommy ice, the 4to 7 people who you mention we're elected by the town to represent us. It's called democracy! We all can't get what we want all of the time. If you don't like the decisions they make don't vote for them in the next election. As far as property values go, River Edge and Oradell property values are higher because they have better school systems. Open space is such a small factor. It is just a convienent excuse but with out any real merit. The fact that so many of the SOD members are only opposed to the United Water property and not the Field of dreams development project makes me wonder. Seems a little hypocritical! How you could be against one development project and not the other is absurd.
Concerned Parent 1 September 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Mary, condescending and rude??? Are you kidding me? You monopolize the Patch like it was your own personal blog. Why does it always seem that your posts turn into a personal attack against everyone you disagree with? Are the points you try to make so weak that they cannot stand on their own merit. Is that why you always seem to have to go negative and turn to name calling? While I disagree with many people on the Patch at least the majority of them can have a civilized discussion without resorting to name calling like a bratty child on the playground who cannot get her way. Hopefully any further comments will be more civil and less personal.
Concerned Parent 1 September 19, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Miriam, I'm sorry that you disagree with me. As I have said in other posts I find the fact that so many SOD members are against the United Water project and for the so called ffield of dreams project hypocritical. Prove me wrong that the SOD organization is not a bunch of hypocrites, passionate as they may be and publicly come out against the field of dreams.
Concerned Parent 1 September 19, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Prove me wrong, I hope you do.
Ulises September 19, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Concerned Parent 1, SOD has one mission statement and it only pertains to the United Water property, see for yourself; www.sodnow.org. We need to stay focus to our mission. The field of dreams is up for a vote, so if you don't want it don't vote for it. Go to the meeting at the high school tomorrow and let them know, it starts at 7 pm. Please don't call SOD members hyprocrites because we clearly stated what our intentions were from day one. If there's was a ShopRite being built by the middle school, I think you'd be making a good argument but there's not, so you're comparing apples to oranges, plus name calling.
Michelle September 19, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Angry Parent 1, don’t you think it’s kind of natural to name-call when you’re upset? Let’s take you for example, you get a teensy bit upset, and it’s the first thing you resort to. There’s not too much of a difference between a bratty child and a knucklehead is there? Yet you’re downing SOD for name-calling, and calling people hypocrites. I hate to say it but you’re looking like the bratty child here having a bit of a tantrum and monopolizing these comments because Mary called you out. I did what Mary said and checked out your posts. You’re knocking the New Milford school system, Danielle Shanley, Ray Dorso, SOD, field of dreamers…. That’s not exactly positive. I don’t know Ray Dorso, but Danielle Shanley is a top-notch individual, and so is Mary McElroy. Why are you double-daring people to take a stand against the field of dreams? What’s it to you? SOD doesn’t have to prove you wrong, you’ve already done that yourself.
james September 20, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Actually I agree with you Concerned Parent 1. It is hypocritical and one reason I haven't gone to any meetings or put a sign on my lawn. It was SOD information that has changed my mind on the Water Company development but the fact that some of its members seem to think development that is advantageous for their purposes is okay was a turn off to belonging to SOD.
james September 20, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Ullises as you can see I disagree with you about it being hypocritical. Development is development. I would bet if the M & C came out against the Field of Dreams..hypocritical would be a term used on them and quite rightfully. I hope you succeed with stopping the development just as I hope most come out and vote against the FOD. Too bad the people who didn't want the FOD had the same amount of time to organize as SOD. As I said though good luck to you and your fight.
Ulises September 20, 2012 at 02:39 PM
james, thank you, but you're caught up on the name, SOD or Stop-Over-Development, and missing the mission that most in town support. Please keep in mind, for every FoD supporter in SOD there's one against. You're lucky, at least you have a referendum vote and SOD, or the town, doesn't (by vote, I'm referring to a referendum to purchase or use eminent domain on the UW property). Therefore, SOD members are not hypocrites but a focus group with one mission, plus FoD and SOD are two separate groups in town. I still believe, there's a way to purchase this land and we've reached out to environmental groups that are willing to work with us, as long as the M&C favor open space, which most are not (mainly, Subrizi , Robalino and Colucci – and Duffie seems to be in their camp too). Here’s how the environmental groups may work with us and the one we met with was very receptive to this thought. The land by the existing HS field, make that open space and in time it’ll become woods returning it to it's natural state. The UW property by the HS becomes the real FoD, with real sod, along with a real park (this will increase our property values, while a ShopRite/Strip mall will lower our values because of all that comes with that additional traffic by our HS). This should be plan “B” for FoD if they lose their referendum vote… BTW, james, we’re now delivery SOD lawn signs so if you change your mind please contact us at SODNOW@yahoo.com or www.SODNOW.org.
Darlene September 20, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I wasn't able to make the FoD meeting last night, but doesn't the referendum call for it to be built at the Middle School? If so, we are building, or rather, improving, a field where a field already exists. Recreation is big in this town and it is a quality of life issue so to me, it's very different from building a massive ShopRite in an undeveloped parcel of land in a residential section of town right next to our high school. And speaking of building where building already exists, that's precisely what ShopRite should do - rebuild where they are already located.
james September 20, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Thanks Ullises. I guess the vote against FoD is for the best for everyone then.That way SOD can get those who are against FoD behind them and work towards making the UW property what it should be all along the real FoD. I see that as a good reason to advise people to vote NO on the referendum. I'll give you a call once the vote is over.
james September 20, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Darlene you are still destroying the quality of life for those who live in that area. You are not addressing the fact that if the fields are improved then you also have to add buildings for equipment and all the traffic etc for games and visitors to the fields. You have been to games by the HS haven't you? You also do not address the fact that the field are not for EVERY sport is it? As I said hypocrite isn't a bad choice of word when you honestly view both issues.
Darlene September 20, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Impacting "quality of life", I would think, to an undetermined extent. "Destroying" is a pretty strong word. As I said, I missed the meeting so I cannot speak to the specific plans for the FoD site, but having to play our Opening Day football games at Hasbrouck Heights because ALL of the New Milford fields were flooded and unusable is something New Milford needs to address. There is also a difference between being impacted by something once a week as opposed to on a daily 24/7 basis.
james September 21, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Darlene you must have missed more then one meeting or at the very least you are trying to minimize the honest impact of the FoD to that neighborhood. My children grew up in this town and played nearly every sport in some capcity. Will these teams be practicing somewhere else? Will there not be scrimmages or make up games? Or are you saying only one sport will use these fields? It seems no one in support of FoD wants to answer the question regarding the use of the field by which sport? Are ALL the sports utilizing this FoD or will we be maintaining the fields by the HS as well as this new field? Also, a small note Darlene, as someone who went to school in a surrounding town and who has been aware of sports in Bergen County for approximately 40 plus years, NM is not the only HS that has had to have an opening game moved due to field conditions and some did not even involve flooding. As they say stuff happens. I assure you the opening game being moved should not be the most important part of the HS experience although some seem to place sports as the do all and end all of the HS experience.
Mary McElroy September 21, 2012 at 05:10 AM
James, it doesn't seem like you attend the BOE meeting last night. Kevin Boswell spent the first 45 minutes going over the conceptual plan & answering questions from the audience. He addressed layout, lighting, drainage, safety, additional parking & costs. He gave examples of fields in bergen county-numerous that are in residentail areas. The plan calls for turfing 4 acres of the 5 1/2 acre site & having a combo soccer/football field, 1 baseball field & 2 softball field & walking path around the entire perimeter. He also included everything else that would be needed-bleachers, concessions,etc. All are HS accredited but work for rec programs as well. In terms of who will be using this field that's a question that you need to address to the M&C and BOE. You must realize that no parent involved with this project or who served on the field committe would be able to answer that 100%. There are people who are paid in this town to coordinate these activities and they are the appropriate source. Obviously, it's most certaintly the future home for HS football & Junior football games. I can't see how the HS football team would practice there because that would conflict with boy's HS soccer which is already there. Girl's softball is also already there & hopefully they'll finally have a decent field and not get bumped because of problems like they did last year. As for where Jr. football will practice, we are currently behind Boro Hall but we've just lost our portable lights which cont'
Mary McElroy September 21, 2012 at 05:26 AM
were on loan from someone. We can't practice on our playing field because it's in such poor condition that it wouldn't hold up for both practices & games. Perhaps you're unaware of the constant problems that we've had with many fields & sports in town because there either were not as many kids playing sports or the flooding & conditions were not as bad when your kids were growing up. Do you think anyone would be complaining if we were talking about a game or two? I certainly wouldn't have invested a year & a half in this if that were the case. We're talking about chronic problems that can't keep being overlooked. I'm hoping that Mr. Boswell comes back and makes another presentation to the M&C with the info. he presented last night regarding this field.
Darlene September 21, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Mary - Thank you for responding. Based on the many questions thrown at me by James, it appeared to me that he hadn't attended the FoD meeting either, which seems odd for someone who feels their quality of life is about to be "destroyed" by it. Anyway.... James - Recreation is not age specific. My daughters started playing soccer and softball in kindergarten and are still a few years away from high school and the "high school experience" . If the FoD is done right, it will benefit the children of this town, their families and the town as well. How people living right next door to the middle school feel about may be, I understand, different, but at the very least, all of us would best be served by learning more facts and details about it which will go along way towards determining the answers to all of your questions. Hope to see you at the next meeting.
james September 21, 2012 at 03:19 PM
No I didn't attend that meeting so thank you for the information. I do hope that not only those who go to meetings are able to be informed. So many of us have already put in our time at BOE meetings etc and now like to hear about the meetings in other ways. We like to keep informed but like the young parents of today who were teens or working adults and had other life commitments and didn't attend the meetings we attended the roles have been reversed and we can only do so much. I was wondering what happens to track and all those events? I don't see that mentioned. As for the amount of children involved in sports I would say that yes that has grown exponentially since my children and those I know were involved. I also know how much commitment and time those old timers put into tarping and protecting and cleaning up the fields when those floods and other events occurred. There were a lot of preventive measures undertaken by the volunteer parents and I remember the juggling of schedules. As a matter of fact I had daughters who played on the geese ridden softball field and I remember how they were last on the totem pole for improvements. Yet they played and look fondly at those memories. Even back then I would have not wanted a "neighborhood" life disrupted for the sake of my child playing a sport in HS.
james September 21, 2012 at 03:28 PM
BTW...I do not live anywhere near the middle school. I know the area from my children going to the middle school and using the field years ago for softball. Darlene as you indicated you have children who aren't even in HS so I understand that since this is important to you and your family now you would be vested in going to the meetings. My feelings are that as a resident of this town I should be able to find out details from people like you who want the field in forums like this one. As I said I'm sure you didn't go to the meetings that were important to me back when that was the most important part of their lives and mine. So no you won't see me at those meetings and probably many others who still have the right to know details and voice their opinion. I'd calculate you to be in your mid to late 30's now so like you were perhaps watching a tv show, going out on a date, having a drink in your 20's and not attending BOE, FoD etc meetings back then I am now going out for dinner, watching a show and having a glass of wine relaxing in my backyard. The difference is that you had no stake in whatever decisions were made at that time while we who have lived it back then and now do. I hope you are able to continue to appraise those who have been in shoes in the future without us having to go to meetings.
james September 21, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Please excuse the grammatical, run on sentences and spelling errors above. I was in the process of three other activities while I wrote the reply. I hope you were still able to get the basics of what I was trying to say. Time for another errand. Beautiful days usually entail a great deal of work around the house which gives me pause to think that perhaps a move would be best in the long run. Retirement on a rocking chair on a porch sounds nice today. Have a good day all.
Darlene September 21, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I got the basics, James, I just respectfully disagree. But again, as you said, that's at least partially due to being at different places in our lives (although I'm a bit north of my 30's!). The fact is that I find it very difficult to attend ANY meetings - I'm a single Mom who works all day and then comes home to make dinner, help my girls with their homework (education comes first - always), taxi them to and from band, soccer, and cheerleading practice, then get them to bed at a decent hour. Then it's time for MY homework, e.g., laundry, dishes, etc. But these issues - both SOD and FoD are important to me so I try to stay tuned in via Patch and wherever else I can glean information from. The Patch is a great forum for sharing, so by all means, let's continue to do so! In the meantime, enjoy your glass of wine. Cheers :-)

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