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Shade Tree Commission Comments on Hekemian Revisions

Revisions to Hekemian's proposed development of the United Water property includes the removal of Sycamore trees that line River Road.

During Monday's meeting of the Zoning Board, Steve Perrone, chairman of New Milford's Shade Tree Commission, questioned Michael Dipple, engineer and principal of L2A Land Design in Englewood, regarding the proposed removal of long standing Sycamore trees along River Road to accomodate the proposed development of the United Water propery.

Specifically, Perrone questioned the addition of the left turn lanes that will necessitate the widening of River Road. According to Dipple, this widening will result in the need to remove a number of the Sycamore trees that currently line River Road.

Perrone informed Dipple the trees marked for removal were Heritage trees, and protected under borough ordinance.

Borough ordinance defines heritage trees as "any tree with trunk diameter of thirty-six inches or more measured three feet above ground level; of a particular historical significance specifically designated by official action of the Borough or over 50 years of age."

Borough ordinance 26-A states that no tree shall be removed without approval of the Shade Tree Commission. Specifically, the ordinance states, "No tree may be removed in any commercial buffer area, or right of way, without approval from the Shade Tree Commission."

Antimo "Andy" DelVecchio, attorney for the applicant, questioned Perrone's authority to speak on behalf of the Commission, going so far as to ask where the meeting authorizing Perrone to speak on their behalf was noticed. 

"I called each member of the commission," Perrone told DelVecchio. "And they gave me permission to speak on their behalf."

Acting Chairperson Ronald Stokes informed Dipple that the Shade Tree Commission had concerns about how many borough trees the widening of the roads would affect. DelVecchio said that the landscape plan will be submitted for the Commission to review.

David Bednarcik November 21, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I'm glad that there is more resistance to this over development in New Milford!
Mizz Flanagan November 22, 2012 at 07:45 AM
Jimmy in all reality, who cares who is on the shade tree commission...can you ever see the bigger picture beyond your microscopic glasses of simply republician and democrate....point IS...this is our hometown..my parents were hardworking immigrants from Ireland, we lived in the Bronx they worked the buses, dug the graveyards and worked so so hard to save for a house in "the suburbs" for their three daughters, we were raised to take pride in what we had, where we came from and what it took to get there....we moved to new Milford in 1977. I love this town, proud to be raised here, have many friends from here and an endless childhood memories....the thought of my neighbors..my friends homes being flooded unnecessarily, cutting down the trees on our quiet lined streets, seeing a four story building go up...makes me wonder what my parents did it all for? Next thing there will be proposals for a new sign (as I am learning there are big time meetings for that too) "Welcome to the City of New Milford"...Maybe Pelham and Riverdale are looking more attractive now after all....
TommyIce November 22, 2012 at 03:32 PM
So Jimmy are you saying that DeBari orchestrated this so that the republicans would win a few years back based on their stances of never developing the water company property, then they would flip like pancakes to support ramming a monster of a development down the townspeople's throats. So much so, that the electorate would revolt and replace said Republicans with new Democratic shills so that they could then flip, also like pancakes, to screw over the residents and finish DeBari's wet dream of our very own Pottersville? Wow! If that's how it happened, why then isn't DeBari working in the White House for Obama? Because that is pure Chicago-style games. Where's our George Bailey? Where are our Woodward & Bernstein? Where is our "DeepThroat"?
tony g2010 November 22, 2012 at 04:17 PM
This goes back to the fact that the republican majority did not bring the offer to buy the property to the forefront and let the citizens decide on whether or not it was too expensive for the town to buy. At least the mayor, collucci and robolino have been consistent. Berner came off as flipping on the issue and rebsch did not state his position. I believe the votes that putrino and Ashley got were more votes against Berner and rebsch than anything. When DeBari becomes mayor next election, and he will, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Ulises November 23, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Jimmy, Mizz Flanagan summed it up best and she's right why do make this into a Republican & Democrat issue? The NM Republican Club sent mix messages this election cycle. Their candidates were against the UW development while their other members, including our Mayor, knocked on voters doors telling them this development is a done deal and ridiculed a tiny group of concerned citizens called SOD, which did not help Howard and Peter. They gave it to the Democrats, it's really that simple. For the record, I too was against this development, like so many more in town were, way before the birth of SOD. SOD may not have deep pockets, as you pointed out, but we have the tenacity to fight this battle to the very end, no matter what the odds are, and we're doing it with support from Republicans, Democrats and Independents. SOD!
Mizz Flanagan November 23, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Jimmy, to start, you're not the first person I've WOW'd & believe me you'll not be the last..now the important stuff,( I see you deleted one of your comments here to a Laurie) In one of the many meetings I've attended when Mr Collucci spoke he said he went door to door asking folks about the UV development & his pitch (to your average New Milfordite) went a little something like this..."Hey I"m here to inform you the property (in question) is in consideration to be developed, if it is your taxes will go up...so what say you, are you for this or not?"....There are many ways to skin a cat...I have humbly spoken at many board meetings...problem is I am not a lawyer so i don't speek the jargon to jump thru the loopholes .. I am not an engineer so I cannot aptly question the accuracy of catch basins... I am not a political member so I don't have to take a side to get something else to do something else... I am just a girl who knows what is right..where will that get me, I don't know Jimmy, up at 3:30 am after my son wakens with a cough and I can't get back to sleep, it gets me on the patch still fighting the good fight...if that cannot wow anybody, WAIT UNTIL: trees are cut down; roads cut up; furniture is floating down the street; snarled traffic; car accidents; crowded schools, the apartment building, the pouring of concrete & more homes flooded & what would WOW me the most ..to see the bank accounts of Dipple, Hekemien.Kensey, Delveccio..etc if the deal gets said & done.
Mizz Flanagan November 23, 2012 at 05:28 AM
And oh to CLARIFY, when Colucci claimed he went door to door this was BEFORE UW had sold the property to Hekemien, it was to be developed by the town for recreation...etc...as it was turned down (perhaps due to the sales pitch) it was sold to Hekemien...the town had an opportunity to purchase this land back and failed to do do...these are our elected officials.... now it is up to "us" concerned townspeople and some with intelligence in office to salvage the last open space left in this town......I implore you, my neighbors and friends to get involved.
TommyIce November 23, 2012 at 01:29 PM
David and Goliath. All that has to be done to take down this development is hitting them with a well placed stone. Doesn't have to be a big stone. Just has to hit their vulnerable spot. Paris and Achilles. Again, a vulnerable spot on the biggest, baddest. Brought down by a well placed arrow. Instead of fighting about which party (Democrat or Republican) is full of BS or more righteous, perhaps we should be concentrating on finding Heikemian's armor chink and exploiting that weakness.

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