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 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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Lori Barton September 22, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Ulises, I think you've said it all! Recent studies have shown that the fewer trees and green areas in a community, the lower the property values. That doesn't mean your taxes go down, you just pay a higher tax rate. Look at the tax rate in common ties with smaller lots, less open space, and fewer trees and you will understand. Allowing a ShopRite Strip Mall will only increase your taxes and decrease your quality of life.
TommyIce September 22, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Mark that current ShopRite is on a stretch of River Road that is much wider than where it wants to relocate to. Not to mention, River Road is the only way to get to it now. Where it wants to be will increase traffic on Main Street, River Road, Milford and Demarest Avenues and all those child-filled side streets off of those main roads. Now for the school across the street. It's a private school that has no where near the enrollment that the high school does. The children in the Armenian school do not have to cross any road to get to their athletic field. It also has off-street parking for drop off/pickup.
TommyIce September 22, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Quality of Life. Interesting phrase. I heard every one of the council members use it at their "victory" speeches. How they loved the quality of life in NM. How much the boro means to them. How they wanted to preserve that "quality of life." My how times change. How people change. What changed these people?
concerned resident too September 24, 2012 at 08:08 AM
Right on Mark!!! Deliveries to supermarkets are made before children are even at school. If you are worried about high school students crossing a street...that's just sad , and maybe parents should re educate their children on how to cross a street...jeez...when my kids were 5 i taught them how to cross a street, they are 22,24 and 27 now, and they have never had a problem. And I would hardly say that a super Shoprite will bring people to New Milford from all over Bergen County...maybe A few towns but that's it. In case you haven't noticed there are large supermarkets all over Bergen County.
Ulises September 24, 2012 at 11:29 AM
concerned resident too, that's my point too. Since there are large ShopRites all over Bergen County as you stated, if Inserra leaves there are still many more to select from so we don't need this mega ShopRite Strip Mall along the Hackensack River, that will generate an abundance of traffic right across the street from the senior citizen center. Or do you think we shouldn't worry about the seniors too?


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