Impact of Hekemian Development on Community

SOD examines Hekemian engineer on noise pollution and flooding; Oradell and Bergenfield residents turn out in support.

and principal of L2A Land Design in Englewood, returned to answer questions that centered on noise pollution and flooding posed by members of and residents of Bergenfield and Oradell. 

SOD Environmental Chair, John Rutledge, questioned Dipple about the level of noise that the construction site will generate over the course of the approximately two years the project will take to complete. Specifically, Rutledge wanted to know what the effect of the noise would be on the high school students who will be seated only 80 feet away from the residential portion of the development. 

Dipple said that although the sequence of construction has not been planned as of yet, the noise would be "typical construction noise that will be confined to the site."

"It's not a quantifiable question, but I don't think anyone will be displaced," Dipple said. 

When questioned by , about whether the noise of the proposed 70,500 sq. ft. supermarket's compactors will adhere to the municipal noise ordinance (no machinery before 7am and after 10pm) Dipple said that the trash compactors may run before 7 am and after 10 pm, but it would comply with the state standards for noise.    

Dipple clarified that the compactors are fully enclosed and that the trash goes in from inside the store where it's compacted and picked up by a truck that carts it away. 

A large part of the questioning was reserved for flooding. When questioned by SOD members Anna Leone and Ulises Cabrera about the validity of relying on a DEP flood map from 1980, Dipple responded that the 1980 map is the state regulatory map and the one that he is required to use in determining his calculations.

"If a state map is available we are required to use it," Dipple said.

Repeatedly throughout the questioning, Dipple stated that he relied on the 1980 state map because that is the one he is beholden to use until the state updates it. When asked what his position was on whether the flooding has had an impact on the property when developed, he responded, "There are strict rules about developing on the 'flood fringe' and that is why a flood hazard area permit must be obtained."

He further explained that under New Jersey state law, if there is any physical disturbance to any area near the flood zone the developer is subject to regulations and needs a flood hazard area permit, before construction can proceed.  

Dipple said the site is engineered for a 100 year storm event, meaning that the site is designed to handle 8.3 inches of water in a 24-hour period.

Responding to concerns residents had regarding flooding, Dipple answered that although he agrees that over the course of years overdevelopment may have played a part in exacerbating flooding in residential areas, it is his position that the adoption of the storm water management rule in 2004 has served not only to educate people about the effects of development in flood prone areas, but also enacted stringent laws designed to establish control on how development occurs in these areas. 

Columbia Street resident Sharon Hillmer questioned Dipple as to whether the water detention drains will increase the amount of runoff into the river. Dipple responded that the storm water management rules allow for no increase in the amount of runoff from the site because the state requires him to lower it.

Dipple added that the site must comply with sewage plans for sanitary and storm water drainage determined by the borough of New Milford and the Bergen County Utilities Authority as well as the state.

Attorney for the applicant, Antimo DelVecchio requested that in addition to the August 23 special meeting, the board consider adding a second special meeting in August devoted solely to the hearing of the United Water property development. DelVecchio said that the pace of the hearing has been idled by the amount and length of questioning by the public. 

The board agreed to take it under consideration, but made no determination as of the adjournment of the meeting.

The next regular meeting of the Zoning Board will be held on Tuesday, August 14 at 7:30 pm in the council chambers of .


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Lori Barton July 31, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Ms. Pierce, are you aware that approvals have already been granted for ShopRite to rebuild a beautiful new store in their existing location? THAT is what New Milford needs, not a grotesque development on the only open space left in this community. We don't need the pollution, higher taxes, flooding, crowded schools, and overburdened emergency services that this development will bring.
AML July 31, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Your statement that "we have nothing in town" is deeply insulting to the wonderful store & business owners that we do have in town. We have money wonderful places to eat, several pizza shops for a small town & several coffee shops. I am not going to name all of the businesses, but are you for real? We have Dunkin Donuts & 7 Eleven chain stores where you can grab a cup of coffee. Are you so totally ignorant that you fail to see these establishments? Boutiques, no less! Take a ride to Westwood, or, Ridewood, or, any other small town to see the empty storefronts previously occupied by boutiques. Are you so out of touch with reailty & today's economic situation? If you think that New Milford has nothing to offer to its residents, then I suggest that you pack up your bags before the flood waters reach your home & seek higher ground in another town which has the fancy stores that you so desire. If I were you I would be totally embarrassed to enter any establishment in NM Ms. Pierce!
AML July 31, 2012 at 09:50 PM
John DeSantis August 01, 2012 at 12:14 AM
What a beautiful old building the high school is. The architecture of the building reflects a different and simpler time in our history. The old sycamores along River Rd. just add to the character of that part of town. It is easy to drive by and no longer notice what a pleasent place it truly is to send our children to learn. We simply take it for granted. The people of New Milford have found themselves at a crossroads. The actions that our governing body, be it the Mayor and Council, or the Zoning and Planning boards take now, concerning the UW property, will have extraordinary consequences for the remainder of New Milford's existence. If we allow this development to proceed, the only people who will benifit are a very few already very wealthy people. On the other hand, we have an opportunity to create a park like environment next to the school that would preserve and enhance the character of New Milford for many generations to come. If we pursue this endeavor correctly we can accomplish the task with no cost to the New Milford Tax payers. The only way that this can occur is if the governing body of New Milford wishes it so. Our first task is to persuade the members of the governing body to be on the side of environmental protection and the preservation of New Milford's character. Our second task is to replace those who will not be persuaded.
miriam pickett August 01, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Well said John.
Barbara August 01, 2012 at 02:28 AM
AML, nice posts. John, to the point!
mildred pierce August 01, 2012 at 04:53 PM
"dont need the pollution?" dont need the traffic? very negative, very angry people. Look around, and see birth baths polluted, ponds pulleted, etc. AML, I see you take your business out of NM....don't complain abouth the teachers, why do we need so many supirentendants? go were the money goes, if you like mosquitos and nats, keep the trees, All of you need to take a deep breath. As far as "packing my Bags, AML?" I'am very comfortable, Hekemian, will be a huge improvement. Restaurants??if you like processed food. MP
A.S.Otero August 01, 2012 at 05:32 PM
The only thing positive I can say at this point, is that as far as I can tell there seems to be very little support of this project from the people that have been vocalizing their opinions on this forum!! On another note, Mr. Dipple testified that in his opinion over-development in decades past HAS played a role in the current flooding situations we've been facing. However, when asked if "common sense" was used in the planning of this project, he answered in the negative, saying that "accepted industry standards" were used. What I'd like to know is what were the industry standards used, and more importantly WHEN they were developed. It would make sense that if the same industry standards that have been used in decades past are still in use, you'll end up with the same results.
Lori Barton August 02, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Some clarifications: New Milford has ONE superintendent, no asst superintendent. We have fantastic teachers but if this project goes through, we will need MANY more and probably an asst superintendent. If we already have polluted ponds and bird baths, just think how much worse it will be. And what about the wildlife already on that property? The only wildlife that new development will house will be rats. We are not negative, we are realistic! The lyrics to Joni Mitchell's song say it all: "You pave Paradise and put up a parking lot."
AML August 02, 2012 at 05:21 PM
I did not complain about the teachers, nor, did I say that I take my business elsewhere. I guess you buy your shoes, clothes, and go to all of your doctors in New Milford????? I guess you spend every single solitary penny in New Milford. What do bird baths have to do with this proposal? You are not in touch with reality. We have Romans, we have Jersey Guys, we have Pancho restaurants all in New Milford, Those are only a handful of names! They do not serve processed foods. I cannot believe that you live in town & that you now absolutely nothing about our town. Come out of your hole, walk around town, & learn a couple of things. Go to the town meetings & show your face. For your information, fancy restaurants & boutiques are not part of the plan for the United Water property. P.S. You should be embarrassed for insulting all of the restaurant owners in town by your unrealistic comment.
Kevin Wright August 04, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Forgive my ignorance (if such be the case), because I am not a lawyer, but wouldn't it be unwise or at least counterproductive for the Mayor and Council to express an opinion, one way or another, in any matter that they might have to impartially review on appeal from the Zoning Board? Please correct me, if I am wrong.
Ulises August 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Mr. Wright, you are correct our M&C's opinions our counterproductive. The Mayor, who's also the heads of the Planning Board, revealed her intentions, to my friend Barbara, to develop this site with this massive ShopRite. The Council President, Howard Berner, admits ignoring the Riverkeeper's down payment to keep this land as open space and told the Bergen Record rezoning this property is a compromise with the developers. These officials, and our prior Mayor Debari (who changed our Master Plan, particularly this lot), are very counterproductive in so many ways - they put their interest over everyone else's.
TommyIce August 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Mildred I've been in town my ENTIRE life--all 46 years of it. My family has been here since 1937. We had those things you speak of.....cafes, boutiques, coffee shops. Guess what happened? No one went to them. Most of them shut down in the 1990's. What has changed in those 15-20 that makes you believe "if you build it, they will come?" We are not living in a Kevin Costner movie. We are living in a town whose officials that were elected to represent are NOT representing the will of the people. Frankly, you have been the only person (other than our Mayor and Council) who has supported this. If it's such a hunky-dorey idea, where are the signs and groups of support?
Denise August 04, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Regarding mr Dipple's statement of students being approx 80 ft away from "the typical construction noise of the site" which one would think the students are going to hear. His answer being "that it is not a quantifiable question, in my mind I dont think his answer is too quantifiable.
Barbara August 05, 2012 at 10:57 AM
This proposed development will change New Milford forever! We all know the school system is a priority when people shop for a home. I would not choose to live in New Milford if the proposed development was right next to the high school. Let's use some common sense and not continue the mistakes of the past! Barbara
Barbara August 05, 2012 at 11:21 AM
No one is angry. Please look at the minutes from all of the meetings. All the residents have been lovely, engaged, intelligent. They do research before they speak. This is a very intelligent, organized, friendly group. Come meet them, you will like them very much. And some SOD members have suffered a great deal of loss, pain and suffering. Let us not forget that. They are fighting this because they don't want anyone else to live though the hell they have lived through with all the flooding and because it just does not make sense. And from this experience we should all be fighting this development. History is and important gauge when planning the future. Our history proves that building on this land will increase the loss, pain and suffering. It that what any of us wants?
Barbara August 05, 2012 at 11:23 AM
You can meet SOD at the New Milford Night out on August 7, 2012 behind the New Milford borough hall.
Barbara August 05, 2012 at 11:35 AM
The big question is, why are they being counterproductive? If there is a vision that will be great for our town, why hasn't it been publicized to get the residents to rally behind it? As a leader, I inform my team of my vision! I say, I have a dream.... And I get their feedback and incorporate it into the dream because I know I don't know how my initial dream may impact everything! Our Mayor and Council has a vision. II ask them to make it public. Get the residents feedback and then incorporate that feedback. If there is need for compromise on either ot both sides, discuss it. This is leadership at its best! Mayor Subrizi, what is your dream for New Milford?
Barbara August 05, 2012 at 11:41 AM
And if mistakes have been made, own them by admitting them and asking for support to correct the mistakes. Our Mayor and Council dedicate a great deal of their personal time to lead this town and I thank them very much for that. Please help us help you.
Kevin Wright August 05, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I think you missed the point of my question. I didn't say I thought their opinions are counterproductive (especially since I don't now what any of their opinions are), I simply asked if they could express an opinion, since they may be the the body to which any decision of the Zoning Board is appealed. What I'm asking is: Do applicants appeal Zoning Board decisions to the Mayor and Council? If so, then wouldn't it be counterproductive to the process to press these officials to take a stand prematurely?
Donna Colucci August 05, 2012 at 01:08 PM
of course you are correct Mr. Wright...
TommyIce August 05, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I'm not sure if they are being couter-productive or just ignorant in their stances but this I know. I attended the victory parties for quite a few of those "representing" us and the common thread through ALL of their speeches was the quality of life in New Milford. Why is it that not one of them, not one, can explain why this irreversible downward change in the quality of life for the residents of NM is good for NM. Why? All I hear in whispers is "ratables." Yes, it's true we are in a financial hole. M&C throw down the shovel and stop digging! Stop promoting half the police force to supervisory positions (we now have more chiefs than braves), stop spending money. How much do you expect the new firehouse (to be located in the old Shop-Rite) to cost? How many new firetrucks will need to be purchased? How much to construct a new building? What's going to happen to the two existing firehouses? We surely won't save enough on reducing the two fire chief and asst chief vehicles to one each to offset the costs of that folly. Not to mention that by putting the firehouse for a 3 mile long town at the last mile at the south end leaves the whole north end vulnerable; including the Debasubri-ville that will be built. Or are they getting their own EMS services?
Donna Colucci August 05, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Front Yard BBQ TODAY, 339 New Bridge Road, NM...Free hot dogs, hamburgers...Come with questions, stay for a bite, meet Council President Howard Berner and Council Candidate Peter Rebsch...12:30p.m. - 3:00p.m.
Nancy August 06, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Ms. Pierce, I'm not sure what you're trying to say, so confusing, We need trees, we need open land, what is it about this project that you don't understand. We're not angry just trying to do right for the people of New Milford.
Denise August 09, 2012 at 07:25 PM
What will be built? FD#1---Maybe a couple of townhomes like what happened to Berry's Inn. FD#2---a house Perhaps this will bring in even more children to the schools & High School.
Lori Barton August 10, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Do you want to know the impact this development will have on our community? I had the extreme pleasure today to chat with a lovely 90 year old New Milford resident who has lived in this community for around 70 years. She saw a letter of mine in the TwinBoro News and she called me to find out what she can do to help prevent this development from ruining her community. She plans on circulating petitions within the different organizations to which she belongs. At 90, she is apologetic that she can't do more but she adamantly refuses to sit idly by and let this abomination occur in HER town. Why is it that the only community members who don't get it are our elected officials?
mildred pierce September 25, 2012 at 03:20 PM
you are thinking inside the box, get out of the box.
mildred pierce September 25, 2012 at 03:25 PM
We have how many superintend"ts in town? and the receive a very generous salary, for what? do we need soooo many? that's were the money goes, and all those principals yes, since some of the protesters don't complain, but complain for the good of NM.
mildred pierce September 25, 2012 at 03:37 PM
wildlife? I love wildlife, not in a town...
mildred pierce September 25, 2012 at 03:37 PM


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