After attending the Planning Board Meeting last night the following contentions be made.
Let us return again to the EcolScience, Inc. Environmental Consulting dated February 15, 2012. Let us also be reminded this paid for by RDR developer consulting is an assessment slanted toward their proposal not a report of environmental impacts as a result of what will happen relevant to assessments of impacts and their development. Courts have held that proposed mitigation is relevant to determination of impacts. RDR and Parsipanny Planning Board have not discussed nor revealed just or reasonable compensation for the destruction of the landscape, only that its impacts will not be harsh or displeasing to the immediate community or to the region. All that is left now is the approval of the Town-Council and the stamp of approval for the NJDEP.
Two important facts present in the report however were not mentioned by Sneikus’s assumptions and reasoning about rezoning the property. 1. Waterview Tract borders on a Wetland and this border varies in distance from the actual wetland according to the boundary of property. EcolScience Report: “Based on our field investigation, no wetlands were identified within the subject property. Wetlands were identified in association with the off-site stream”. 2. The letter goes on; then we have this false assessment in relation to the subject property. EcolScience Report: “Furthermore, no indicators of wetland hydrology were observed within the property”. Why is this false? Because the Rutgers Study concluded in 2006 that this area of waterview Park office complex was important to the ecologic functions of maintaining a healthy watershed in water quality and recharge objectives. Mr. Sneikus based his land use assessment assumptions on information obtained in 2004. This conveniently leaves the Rutgers Study out of the property’s assessment as for preventing loss of biodiversity and deterioration by accumulative effects on the aquifer and Troy Brook Wetlands value and functions in maintaining hydrologic balance. Sneikus solves this problem by simply stating; there is no problem with water supply. (This is also not correct). In further contention to the false statement; “no indicators of wetland hydrology were observed within the property”, EcolScience Report: “However the Department (NJDEP) has determined that part of the above referenced property occurs within a transition area of buffer as designated in NJAC 7:7A-61”. So then there is wetland hydrology on the property. Transition zones and or Buffers, the natural, undeveloped area surrounding a wetland are a crucial part of the wetland system and must be protected along with the wetland”.
Mr. Sneikus ;how will RDR compensate for variations to accommodate wetland boundaries over time due to hydrologic or climatologic effects; 50-feet; 65-feet, 300-feet?
Then we have this interesting information concerning the status of the wetland being designated Category two; non-trout watercourse. EcolScience Report; No habitat for threatened or endangered species has been mapped by the New Jersey Landscape Project for the troy Brook tributary. This clearly states that the classification of the wetland may not be correct. No study or mapping was performed, does not mean no threatened or endangered species exist, but that we don’t know if they do. However the importance of the wetlands of the Troy Brook Complex cannot be excluded as a critical environmental asset in stormwater runoff or protection of water quality and recharge. Sneikus conclusions have this property existing as no other purpose than additional retail space. He ignores completely the value of the maintenance and recognition of its hydrologic ecological environmental long term values. Even if endangered species were not discovered its value as explained in the Rutgers Report puts it on a different plain than “market values”. The more we learn about wetlands the more valuable they become. Would not the aesthetic value and the quality of open space protected as a known wetland transition zone and aquifer recharge area be more valuable in a human sense of place and community than some market value speculation?
Sneikus assessment of the new retail space as something good or better for the area is also misplaced. No factoring in of the already developed dead space that is no longer being used and now exist only as impervious surface and a detriment to environmental health and quality. How can one not factor in already existing Brown Space and the potential for this development to wind up as addition Brown developed dead space of impervious surface? Sneikus sees this RDR proposal as smart development. This can only be true in his mind and in the shallowest depths of reason.
Sneikus and the Planning Board seem to believe and have the ability to inflict their narrow views of what community and property can and will value according to market and corporate demands. RDR was wrong is assuming this community would be interested in their endeavor and RDR was wrong in picking this particular Block Lot which benefits us all as an extension of Troy Brook Wetlands system, providing long term economic benefits of aquifer and water quality protections for future generations, sense of place and home and saving an original American Landscape from impractical over development. Mr. Sneikus please resign and spend your time shopping in one of the many, many malls available to you. Perhaps all you gentlemen can shop together and save on gas and curtail traffic congestion.