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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."

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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