New Name and Resolve for Don't Rezone Waterview

The group, now a nonprofit called Citizens for Health, Safety and Welfare, is targeting Council to stop development proposal.

There's a new name and an expanded fight for the citizen's group opposed to the proposed plan to put a mixed-use development on Waterview Plaza including a Whole Foods Market, a big box retailer and a townhome community. Don't Rezone Waterview is now known as Citizens for Health, Safety and Welfare.

President David Kaplan said the onetime grassroots effort involving citizens of Parsippany and Mountain Lakes is gearing up for a renewed fight now that the Planning Board passed the issue along to the Township Council for consideration.

"We went from Don't Rezone Watervew, which was a grassroots, loosely organized effort to a more formal organization," he said, adding that the group is amassing firepower to allow them to stand toe to toe with developer RD Realty's team.

"We're now an official 501(c)3 nonprofit group. Ww have a board of directors and officers and an attorney. And we are in the process of interviewing and retaining experts, specifically a planner and a traffic consultant."

CHSW is now a new and official member of the environmentally minded Highlands Coalition, Kaplan said, noting that the organization is also providing the Parsippany group with counsel to fight the Watervew development.

Additionally, the group, which has colorful Don't Rezone Waterview signs all over the township, plans to create updated signage. Kaplan said the group's Don't Rezone Waterview website now redirects to a new site.

"We're working on several fundraisers because we need money to pay for these experts," he said. "We're going to cover the Mountain Lakes perspective and the Parsippany perspective. The idea is to generate a lot of money on our cause."

All of the hard work and revamping is to get the group ready to take on the Town Council and convince its members not to approve changing Waterview's current Planned Office Development zone to make 26.6 acres of the 132-acre site into an overlay zone that permits mixed-use.

CHSW opposes the plan because of environmental concerns and to protect quality of life for people who live closest to what they characterize as a "coming strip mall" and for all in Parsippany and adjacent municipalities.

During the Parsippany Planning Board's consideration of the matter, which it recommended to the Town Council in mid-February, Don't Rezone Waterview members packed Planning Board meetings at Town Hall, finally showing up in numbers that violated the Par-Troy fire code and forcing the hearings to move to Parsippany High School.

And Kaplan warns that the next Town Council meeting, scheduled for March 12 at Town Hall, could suffer a similar fate.

"We encourage as many people as possible to come to the next council meeting, because we were told Waterview will be on the agenda," he said. "I've emailed the mayor and the town clerk, and right now the meeting is still scheduled for Town Hall, but they may change the location to the high school.

"I would hope so, so they can accommodate all the people concerned about the issue. Town Hall won't be able to hold the number of people who've turned out against Waterview development at the last three Planning Board meetings."

Kenneth Kaplan March 07, 2013 at 02:58 PM
New name, same game. Why not call the group what it is, the local Parsippany chapter of NIMBY? It is a small vociferous group trying to deny the rest of the community a Whole Foods store. This new name tries to convey that they are fighting this fight for our mutual welfare. They are not. The irony is that after this project is built, and it will be, they will not feel any of the feared negative impact they are railing about now and will enjoy the new stores as much as residents who don't live as close to the site.
LA March 07, 2013 at 03:39 PM
here here!
Robert S March 07, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Kaplan - We are sorry that you are living behind ShopRite/Home Depot slums. You are happy that your house price is not as appreciated as ours!
Your Neighbor March 07, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Deb Ritter March 07, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Amen Robert S. Raise your standards Kenneth Kaplan! Not everyone wants to nestle up next to asphalt parking lots, strip malls and the shpping traffic. There is enough vacant space throughout the township for Whole Foods.
Renee March 07, 2013 at 08:09 PM
"Deny the rest of the community a Whole Foods"....talk about problems (really?). To me, that came across as spoiled. There is a Whole Foods 10 miles from town hall (Madison). And let's not forget the other two that are less than 15 miles away (Montclair, West Orange). Those that can afford WF, can afford the 10 mile drive. Additionally, with so many recent main stream organic options, items found in WF could be found at many other local grocery stores, health food stores and farmers markets, under the 10 miles that it would take to drive to the existing WF. I wish people wouldn't be so short sighted and focus only on the WF aspect of this. There is also a big box store and condos. We're not in a shortage of those either. There are so many other location options for a WF (since WF seems to be what so many people focus on with this topic), without paving over 25 acres.
NJ EMT March 07, 2013 at 09:33 PM
"Deny"? Funny word to use. I don't see how anyone is being DENIED anything. You do realize that its not ONE store, its 26-acre tract to include an unnamed 137,000-square-foot "department" store, a 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market, one stand-alone 12,900-square-foot retail building capable of handling "drive-thru" lanes and a total of 900 parking spaces on the south end of property. In addition the plan calls for a separate complex consisting of 72 three-story townhome units on the north end of the tract. I live very close to the proposed area and I am also against it. There are many with concerns over buffering, density, noise pollution, light pollution, traffic. Its quite obvious that when traffic builds people will ultimately find shortcuts and those shortcuts will be through our neighborhoods every day. In addition to just the plaza construction, they also want to construct an auxiliary lane for making right turns, two lane roads for ingress and egress, and the widening of left-turn lanes If you want to go to WholeFoods, Theres quite a few in NJ, Madison, Montclair, Edgewater, Paramus, West Orange, Vauxhall, and the list goes on. You have also seemed to ignore the fact that there are already 5 grocery stores and ONE pending (the old Walgreens) in the 3.6 mile stretch from Shoprite on 46 to Waterview Blvd. What about the Doremus Cemetery thats on this property..How shallow of you to believe that this town is being DENIED when there is already SO MUCH available.
Frank Drebin March 07, 2013 at 09:37 PM
What is going to happen in 2-3 years when WholeFoods goes out of business? More vacant space to fill?
The All Seeing Eye March 07, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Whole Foods or no Foods my question is why is the Mayor fighting so hard to ruin our town and his three council stooges obeying his every demand ? Hmmmm could be a hefty donation to a losing campaign involved here.
William Paavola March 07, 2013 at 11:44 PM
The problem I have is that the facts get blurred. I would like to see a salient and complete presentation of the project without having to sit thru the planning board. Patch how about you run an article with the details and a site plan. Thanks.
Natalie Davis (Editor) March 07, 2013 at 11:53 PM
A site plan is not completed. The proposal is not yet in the site plan stage; it is next to be considered for adding an overlay to its current Planned Office Development zoning. We have run a number of stories featuring elements of the plan, including links to the DRW website, which has tons of information. When there is a set site plan, if this gets to that point, I'll deal with it then.
Annie March 08, 2013 at 01:22 AM
No one is denying the community of a Whole Foods store. There are plenty of EMPTY developed store spaces throughout the town that could easily fulfill the community's need for Whole Foods. It doesn't matter that it is Whole Foods, what matters is the unnecessary destruction of woodlands and on such a large scale density.
Edd Flammer March 08, 2013 at 04:16 AM
All this talk about protecting the wooded area and it effects on the watershed are a bit misplaced.The area is already zoned commercial, if that type of space was selling they could pave over the whole thing and drop and office tower in the spot. Why not use those fund raisers to try to buy the area as open space?
NHM March 08, 2013 at 05:15 AM
Before anyone touches a tree at Waterview the empty stores and lots on Rt. 46 need to be filled up. The area looks like a war zone. The Council needs to get their priorities straight. I don't know if money is changing hands somewhere but it sure smells like it.
NJ EMT March 08, 2013 at 02:36 PM
I agree with you 100% NHM! There are some many vacant retail properties on 46 alone! There are spaces in the New Rd strip mall, the MegaPet (STILL!!!) Empty Stores on Baldwin road that have been empty for awhile now, the Old Walgreens which, FYI is supposed to be ANOTHER grocery store!!!!! And now more spaces in the Parsippany Plaza where the Michaels used to be. Why would anyone think its a good idea to destroy and build when there is plenty available? I do not understand this.. at all.
Robert Simpson March 08, 2013 at 02:53 PM
There should be a list of properties that are targeted for open space. Where can we find the list?
Parsippany Taxpayer March 09, 2013 at 03:12 AM
It is all about money changing hands and kickbacks... Just another day of business as usual for the mayor... Keep in mind this clown we have for a mayor was back on the board in 2002 during the last scandal. I can't believe my neighbors would vote such a scumbag into office. Hopefully there is enough support to vote him and his crooked cronies out in the fall... He pitches he was born and raised here and is looking out for the community -- believe that and I have a bridge to sell you. Just like believing your taxes are going to go down from revenue is a big joke -- wait to you get the bill for the new schools, road construction, and added cost of additional transit time as you are stuck in even more traffic... Yep I bought the Parsippany is a great place to live hype but burned that shirt when I saw just how corrupt our officials are in this town.
Parsippany Taxpayer March 09, 2013 at 03:14 AM
Kaplan people like you are the reason 46 is such a mess in Parsippany -- keep recommending things that o nothing but depreciate the local community. Sounds like you work for the builder.
Rita March 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM
The property is either zoned for retail & residential or it is not. If not stick to the current zoning.


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