Conservation · Morris County · New Jersey · Outdoors · Preservation

Hercules Proposal Meeting on March 1st

I regularly post about the importance of preserving our historic spaces in New Jersey. From historic Morristown to the Battle of Trenton, we understand why we need to fight for these important locations.

Well, the same can be said about our open spaces.

We are lovingly known as “The Garden State.” During the 80s, however, a new motto emerged (although tongue-in-cheek); “The Mall State.” Well, now you might call us “The Warehouse State.”

For some reason, businesses building warehouses have set their eyes on our beautiful state. Acres and acres of land is being flattened and warehouses are going up at a frantic pace. As an added bonus, these warehouses bring giant trucks onto local roads. Over the years I have witnessed many a tractor trailer take out a traffic light because they couldn’t make the turn down a narrow street. They are loud and are hardly emission-friendly.

Rendering of proposed warehouses submitted to the planning commission for development at the former Hercules site in Kenvil
Rendering of proposed warehouses submitted to the planning commission for development at the former Hercules site in Kenvil.
(Source: Hartz Mountain Industries)

For quite awhile the large tract of land of the former Hercules Powder Plant in Kenvil, a neighborhood of Roxbury, has been in the cross-hairs for development. And the hunter is Hartz Mountain Industries.

Hartz Mountain is seeking approval to build five warehouses, totaling 2.5 million square feet, in the middle of the site as well as an affordable housing complex. Roxbury had to rezone a 13-acre parcel on Hercules Road to meet the low-income housing requirement put forth by the state. The company wants to purchase approximately 800 acres of the 1,000 total acres at the location. According to their website, “only approximately 213 acres will be developed by Hartz for commercial use, and in excess of approximately 500 acres will be preserved as open space.”

The company also claims they will build several sports fields for public use.

I’ll be honest, I don’t believe one word of it.

If they were going to only develop 200 acres, why do they need to purchase 800 acres? Why the hard PR-campaign complete with a website and an onsite presentation back in October? Why the bully-like behavior of a public official, who also lives here, gives a personal opinion?

I attended the planning meeting in January with my prepared statement in hand to voice my opposition to the project. Unfortunately, I was unable to have my say because the interested parties left the meeting prior to the public comment period. They needed to be on hand. I was told to hang on to my comment and attend the meeting on March 1, 2023 where there will be an opportunity to make a statement.

I made a note of the date and I am going to attend. If you live in the community, have concerns about the project, or just want to know what is going on, I suggest you attend the Planning Board Meeting at the Roxbury Municipal Building on Rt. 46 this upcoming Wednesday evening. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. and I plan on staying until the bitter end to hear everything presented and make sure I have my voice heard.


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