Resident Warns of Threat from Rezoning Waterview
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All things in life have limits; not knowing when these limits have been reached will be detrimental to any way of life.
A community’s quality will be offset by a quantity of some imbalance. In Parsippany's case, imbalance is caused by overdevelopment and development for the sake of no necessary or desirable need.
Imbalance can also result from a property owner who wishes to maximize his profits through a developer who is not the least concerned with the fact that the town has many properties already developed and abandoned landscapes already converted from earth to impervious surface, from organic life to dead inorganic space.
Why spread the disease of sprawl with its negative results, more traffic, more air pollution, more noise, more litter, more trash—more imbalance?
The state of New Jersey already says that this type development is “undesirable” and conflicts with all attempts of its Master Plan and concurrence of this plan through its municipalities.
The Waterview development proposal brings even more imbalance to the table and endangers Parsippany’s’ place in the Highlands watershed. It appears our Planning Board and perhaps our Town-Council feel, without citizen referendum, that our community should not participate in its conformance or to choose without referendum “basic” rather than "full” conformance in aspects of obligations toward recognition and protections of watershed resources or assessments.
The focus of RD Realty's plan, the Waterview tract, illustrates the threat we face.
The block 421 lot 29, the 26.6 acres targeted in the developer's plan, is a unique and critical component of our remaining undeveloped landscapes and fits criteria for aspects to be recognized and reassessed for future and present benefits to the community and the watershed. This area is forested, sloped and in close proximity to wetlands and their transition zones of the Troy Brook watershed. If we apply the “voluntary” Highlands Council planning assessment checklist, we would see how special this block lot is to the Highlands watershed topography and geology.
The developer feels the waters of the Troy Brook are not of the quality to deserve special status and its assumptions that “no impacts will occur” in any areas of recognized wetland status ignore our aquifer completely.
This last wooded lot of remaining “mature/successional upland forest communities” now stands at a moral crossroads because it is the last such feature of our landscape along Route 46. However this is not just a block lot, but a “living organic life giving natural capital resource, already working for us in its present state and if put to a voter referendum given its special status as part of the Highlands, it may remain protected forever and perhaps left as it should be, completely undeveloped.
At the very least a referendum would protect it from the Planning Board and Town Council's attempt at rezoning it.
This landscape cannot and must not become a status symbol for private property over community. It must not be taken like the hunter who proudly boasts that he killed the last wolf, panther or bear in some forest.
Waterview must not fall in the name of “we agree not to agree.”