The 1500 unit “Greenbriar at Waretown” development proposal threatens to permanently diminish the township’s environment and quality of life.
Re: A massive development proposal in environmentally sensitive woods in Waretown.
Dear Waretown Resident,
US Home, Inc., has aapplied to build a 1496 residential unit retirement community with a golf course and a commercial development in the woods south of Wells Mills Road and east of the Garden State Parkway. Save Barnegat Bay is objecting to this proposal – called “Greenbriar at Waretown” – and we would like to tell you why.
This proposed development would be built near the point at which Waretown Creek emerges, pristine and clear, from the pines. If polluted stormwater or groundwater enters Waretown Creek, it will likely threaten the water quality and quantity required for pinelands plant and animal communities, including threatened pine barrens tree frogs. This huge development may also pose a threat to the water quality in Waretown’s swimming lake, as well as to the water quality of Barnegat Bay, which depends on clean water entering from its tributaries.
This project would be built on 951 acres of oak-pine forest. This land is known to be suitable habitat for threatened northern pine snakes, which are also known to nest on neighboring land.
“Greenbriar at Waretown” would diminish the quality of life of thousands of people by putting an unacceptable amount of traffic on Route 9 and on Wells Mills Road.
The local political leaders pushing “Greenbriar” have attempted to make it popular by stating that as a retirement community without schoolchildren it would lower taxes. Save Barnegat Bay believes that this assertion does not pass the test of common sense.
The population increase of approximately 40% that would result in Ocean Township if “Greenbriar” is developed would require a massive increase in services – possibly including a larger town hall (the capacity of the present meeting room is 84 persons); a larger police force and police station; a larger fire department with more equipment; increased emergency services; and increased services for seniors. In addition, the garbage will have to be collected and new roads will have to be maintained.
Many of the people who may move into this development may be from Waretown itself. When these people put their old houses up for sale, many of them will likely be purchased by families with schoolchildren, as has happened in neighboring communities. All of these factors will likely result in upward pressure on taxes.
The Future of Waretown
By bringing in 1496 new houses, Waretown will be handing over much of its political destiny to the residents of this new community. These senior residents will be good people, but they will vote their perceived self-interest – which may include trying to get other parts of town developed in order to “chase ratables”. They may also vote to turn down school budgets no matter how badly funding is needed. The effect that Berkeley Township’s retirement communities have had on people and nature in Bayville should be instructive.
Save Barnegat Bay is Contesting “Greenbriar”
In pursuit of our objections to this development, Save Barnegat Bay has appealed the Ocean Township Land Use Board’s approval of “Greenbriar” – which was rushed through in a single hearing. We are also working to convince the State of New Jersey to deny the CAFRA application for this development on environmental grounds.
We invite you to phone us at 732-830-3600 should you wish to discuss this subject further.
Willie deCamp, President
Save Barnegat Bay