“They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot. ~Joni Mitchell
It feels like an everyday fight here in Jersey. Our remaining open spaces are constantly under assault. Paving paradise to put up a parking lot. From a decades-old fishing club space, to preserving open space in Princeton, to attempting to keep a community garden from being paved, it is an ongoing battle and you need to be ever watchful.
Many think the central point of power in a town is the town council. I am here to say not true. If you want to know where the true power lies, it is with a town’s planning commission. They have the ability to decide if an area can be as an area “in need of redevelopment.”
So why am I telling you all this? Stick with me.
My latest worry is for the approximately 1,000 acres of the former Hercules site in Kenvil, a neighborhood of Roxbury. There is currently a plan in front of the planning board to develop the site, which calls for low-income housing and (you guessed it) warehouses.
Now let’s forget for a moment this will add tons of traffic to an already tight area. We are talking about taking down hundreds of acres of mature trees and open space. All in the name of “progress” and “ratables.”
I am going to attend the planning meeting on January 18th and I urge everyone that lives in the area to attend as well. Regardless of how you feel about this particular proposal, we as citizens have a right, and even more so a duty, to stay informed as to how these commissions plan the future of our local communities.
And you can believe I have a statement prepared.
Be vigilant. Don’t like a proposal in your community? Attend a meeting and make your voice heard.
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