When the final tiebreaking vote came from Council President Brian Stanton, many in the audience leaped to their feet, clapping and cheering. Many of these happy residents were wearing shirts from the Citizens for Health, Safety & Welfare, a grassroots organization that started an opposing website has been vocal and active in urging the council to vote against the rezoning.
Parsippany resident and CHSW member John Beehler said after the meeting, “it’s nice to not torture the town anymore. It’s a relief that a lot of residents wanted. I don’t think people like to feel that their government is failing them. I’m glad for them (the officials) too because we can now move on and repair any damage that’s been done.”
“It’s nice when you feel like your politicians represent your interests,” added Beehler.“I’m absolutely thrilled to see this many people show up that are so passionate,” said Nancy du Tertre, a Mountain Lakes resident who is a member of CHSW. “At the beginning it was being ramrodded through. It’s great to see this thing being killed tonight.”
Stephen Arnold of Mountain Lakes sent an email to the council and mayor thanking them for “defeating the Overlay Re-Zoning on (the) Waterview Property” and that “‘Due process’ reached its proper conclusion, at least at this point. However, I realize that we're not ‘out of the woods’ yet, as the issue overall has not reached its final resolution.”
“This basic principle of community leadership was demonstrated by the Council Members who voted ‘No’ on on the Waterview Rezon(ing),” said Nick Homyak of Lake Hiawatha. “What is needed next is a moratorium on new development until our Brown Spaces are utilized and perhaps forever. Parsippanny has had enough and needs no more.” Homyak added that residents should join the NJ Highlands Conformity Plan, “which will educate our citizens concerning land use issues, preventing Developers like RDR from deceiving to us and inflicting financial costs to the township.”
Homyak also thanked Citizens 4SHW, which consists of a people alliance of Parsippany and Mountain Lakes.
One of the two votes in favor of it came from Councilman Michael dePierro, who said that the land will be developed and over the years, three different developers have come forward and each time, the proposal was worse than the last.
“I guarantee you, you are not going to like application No. 4,” he said, adding that he’s “afraid that if we vote this down” it may turn into low-income housing.
Homyak called out dePierro's statement.
“DePierro's reasoning for supporting RDR … it was as if he was punishing us for being persistent against developers and now finally it’s too late and people, you've gone far enough,” said Homyak. “This guy is a terrible civic leader he despises real people and ups the developers, which are large corporations of unknown credentials and money sources. He got to go.”