GOD BLESS AMERICA and the attorneys that work law in this country.
This meeting did not go as long as the October 2nd meeting, and the meeting was much calmer without the drama of the developer’s attorney, Kate, throwing hissy fits over everything and the residents getting all worked up and throwing out public comment. After the meeting, and having some time to review the meeting tape, I suspect that Kate was fully aware of what they were going to get hit with at this meeting and thus had the time to compose herself before the meeting. (read October 2nd meeting notes, she was out of control!)
We (the community) have been presenting item after item to the BoS regarding the plans defects and regarding the safety of the community. Our community funded municipality attorney, Stephen Price, spent a lot of time reviewing these items against our SALDO and our ordinances. He came up with two major issues and contacted Dan Becker (our township’s municipality attorney) to review those items.
We had been working with LTL (engineering firm) to verify the items we were finding wrong in the plans and we passed all that information along to Stephen. Prior to the meeting, Stephen called Dan and presented Dan with the information we had put together. I understand they talked about these items at length on the phone.
When we could not convince our township to listen, our attorney did! (Thank you to everyone that has contributed to funding the attorneys, we could not have gotten this far without the attorneys!!!)
When we arrived at the meeting, sitting at the front table with Dan Becker was John Weber from LTL. We silently cheered!
The meeting began with the developer reviewing the four items from last month. They disagree with our assessment that traffic is a problem and that was confirmed by KCE (the township engineering firm). KCE said in their traffic review, the intersection can handle the additional traffic.
Our trial attorney, Rob Pinel, stated, “Just because something can be, does not mean it should be.”
I concur. This intersection has issues already, and adding the additional traffic is going to compound it greatly.
KCE went on the state in their review letter that all aspects of the plans meet the township ordinances. Really? because we have another engineering firm who says otherwise.
I have to clearly state at this time that we have watched the incompetence, nonprofessionalism and outright lack of interest at the meetings for way too long. (one KCE engineer attended the meeting on Oct 2nd and fell asleep with his head on his hand. Yes, that is true!) We – the residents of Greenwich Township – need to reach out to the BoS and demand that KCE be removed and a different engineering firm, one that is actually interested in what we are doing and one that will research on our behalf, be hired.
KCE is ridiculous.
So at that time, Dan Becker introduced John Weber and let him run over the items that he found. Because his firm is diligent and worked very hard for us.
- Rhoades Rd is still a safety issue and the BoS was not satisfied with the three means of fixing that problem that the developer presented at the meeting. We are not interested in tearing out resident properties so you can widen the road. We are not interested in changing the emergence of Rhoades Rd from Rt 737 to Old 22. And we are certainly not interested in adding a second stop sign, moving the existing stop and creating a total nightmare on the south bound Rt 737 into the Krumsville Intersection.
- We will not accept the emergency access road as it sits. We are holding the developer to the2015 ICC Fire Code. We can do that as our current fire code is open to interpretation.
- Hey, developer. Did you know that our ordinances prevent a structure within 50 feet of a water source?
- Retaining walls are most definitely structures and our ordinances do not allow for structures within the setback. Your current plans have the walls well within in the setback AND those retaining walls may be causing undue damage to the adjoining property.
- We are still not accepting your traffic study numbers. You sure do need to get a tenant on line so you can show us who and what will be in this warehouse. At this time, no amount of conjecture on traffic volumes is going to be accepted.
- Oh, and by the way, Dan is concerned on this one ….speaking of tenants … we do not think you have enough parking for cars and trucks on this property. You say you will upgrade the parking at the time you get a tenant and discover there isn’t enough parking, but we may not grant you the ability to change your plans to build bigger parking at that time.
Kate did have one little temper tantrum when we brought up the ordinance about the water source. She stated that she is sure there are plenty of structures near water sources in our township and we were treating them differently. Rob Pinel stated, “They are probably grandfathered in.” She shut up.
They argued the emergency access and the township stood firm. They will not accept it as it is.
They argued the retaining walls and said they can redo the design using a more narrow wall that will not affect the setback.
They offered a couple solutions for Rhoades Rd which actually made a couple of the people in he audience and one BoS member chuckle. Reaching for straws? Yes, yes they are.
- Make Rhoades Rd one way (already been there and that’s been denied)
- (This one cracks me up) Move the current stop sign on the south bound 737 closer to the intersection with a stop line, add a second stop sign on the south bound 737 before Rhoades Rd and a “Do Not Block Intersection” sign. (WHAT?!?!?!)
- Take down the hedge to open Line Of Sight. (LOS isn’t the issue in the intersection, turning radius is the issue because the buildings are too close to the road … HELLO! Duh?)
- Use the existing state right-of-way or purchase people’s yards along Rt 737 to widen the road leading into the intersection for turning radius (hey, we’re not selling and note that there is concrete water retention wall west on the southbound Rt 737 which channels rain and snow-melt off the road and into the open water culvert. Are you planning to redesign the entire intersection???)
The township stood firm. Kate asked for a brief ten minute, private meeting, with her client, the developer. That meeting actually lasted 23 minutes. I know, I was watching the clock!
They came back and asked for a 30 day extension to review all these items. Because they had only received the LTL letter that day, they were granted the 30 day extension.
And so, we wait another month to get a final vote on the warehouse plans.
In other news, the township (FINALLY) has their new website up and running.
This is going to help a lot going forward in keeping information out to the public.