In advance of tonight's work session, New Milford's grass roots group , Stop Over Development, sent notice to the Mayor and Council today asking that they join forces with SOD by taking a public stand against the development of the United Water property.
whose president is developer Peter Hekemian, is currently before the Zoning Board seeking variance approval to construct a 70,500 sq. ft. supermarket, 4300 sq. ft. bank and a 221 unit multi-family housing complex that will include an affordable housing component, along with a 428-space multi-level parking garage and a pool on the 13.6 acre United Water property.
In their notice, SOD also requests that the Mayor and Council hold off on rezoning the property to allow the Zoning Board to continue to hear the application to its completion and render its decision.
Below is the notice that SOD sent to the Mayor and Council in its entirety:
To the New Milford Mayor and Council:
New Milford is at a crossroads and you have the responsibility of choosing the right path for the future of our community. You can choose the road that leads to commercial development, overcrowded schools, polluted air and increased flooding for our most vulnerable neighborhoods. Or, you can join SOD in opposing this development and any future development of the United Water property currently under attack.
As you know SOD has made an enormous impression on the residents of New Milford. We have become the voice of the people in fighting against a determined developer who does not have the best interests of our community in mind. We are not alone in this fight. We have made alliances with other communities, including Oradell, Hillsdale, Westwood and Cranford.We strongly urge you not to vote to rezone this property. If you feel the property must be rezoned, then wait until after the Board of Adjustment reaches a decision on this application. Let them do the job they were appointed to do. Tonight we will present you with petitions that were signed by hundreds of New Milford residents urging you not to take this step.
We believe it is time for you, the elected representatives of New Milford, to take a public stand, display our sign and work with us to guarantee future generations that they will not be choked by commercial development caused by a lack of trying to keep this site for the community’s use as its citizens see fit. Other communities are battling for the right to have the say in deciding what is the proper use of land resources in their towns. Their elected officials have taken the leadership role in the battles that are raging throughout Northern New Jersey.
Join with us. We can win if we are united in our purpose.
SOD Executive Committee
Lori Barton, Ulises Cabrera, John DeSantis, Rosemary Fuhrman, Michael Gadaleta, Anna Leone, Miriam Pickett, John Rutledge
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