Berkeley Township has engaged in a “Visioning Process” to promote intensive development in Bayville. Only here can you See Berkeley’s map. Why is more development being pushed by Berkeley Township? Watch the MONEY FLOW. Also: Read the Sordid History of Berkeley Township’s involvement with K. Hovnanian in the NJ Pulverizing site (Fisher’s Pit). Some Good News: Good Luck Point Conserved
& Open Space Funding Passed.
May 15, 2003
Save Barnegat Bay Objects to Proposed Overdevelopment
Berkeley Township’s “Vision Statement”, which details Berkeley Township’s and planner Schoor DePalma’s proposal for intensively developing the Bayville area can now be viewed exclusively on Save Barnegat Bay’s website, www.savebarnegatbay.org.
Save Barnegat bay obtained the digital “Vision Statement” map under the Open Public Records Act and has posted it on the Internet. The map is not posted on Berkeley Township’s website nor is it posted elsewhere on the Internet.
“Once you log onto dev.savebarnegatbay.org and have a look at this map, you’ll see why the township and Schoor DePalma have been keeping it off the Internet,” said Willie deCamp, President of Save Barnegat Bay. “The plan is very pro-development in a township in which the voters are all looking for an end to overdevelopment.”
The plan calls for creating a large “Town Center” across Route 9 from Pine Beach. Save Barnegat Bay objects to intensively developing this area and believes that the public would be far more supportive of restoring the site for nature and for recreation.
“It is highly illogical to propose a high density “Town Center” in the one area that is not now intensely developed,” said deCamp. “That is not sound planning. It is taking the only significant remaining location where open space could be restored and handing it over to developers.”
Under Schoor DePalma’s proposal, Gladney Avenue, which is the continuation of Motor Road, would be extended across the New Jersey Pulverizing site, also known as Fisher’s Pit, to connect with Western Boulevard. Save Barnegat Bay objects to this extension of Western Boulevard because it would bring massive development into both the New Jersey Pulverizing site, which is the Fisher’s Pit gravel mining site, and the Pinewald section. The Western Boulevard extension would also bring even more traffic onto Route 9, which is already overburdened.
The New Jersey Pulverizing site sand and gravel mine is highly suitable for natural restoration due to a high water table and the presence of endangered and declining species. It is also a good location for creating ball fields without increasing development in an already overcrowded area.
Save Barnegat Bay does support the notion in the “Vision Statement” of creating nodes of redevelopment along Route 9, because this would increase the feeling of neighborhoods without promoting extensive development.
“All we are asking is that the township give the people what they want, which is less development,” said deCamp. “The “Vision Statement” represents a real breakdown of democracy in Berkeley Township.
Save Barnegat Bay has questioned the motives of the planning firm of Schoor DePalma, which is the major private contributor to the Democratic Party in Berkeley Township, and which the group says stands to benefit financially if there is more development in Berkeley. Save Barnegat Bay has posted a spreadsheet cataloging political contributions by those doing business with Berkeley Township.
The group is especially critical of the fact that Schoor DePalma and the township waited until midway through the “Visioning Process” to reveal to the public that the intent of the process was to obtain “Town Center” approval from the State Planning Commission as well as to obtain bulk CAFRA approvals under the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s “Sector Permitting” program.
“Save Barnegat Bay and many others would have participated more extensively in this process if Schoor DePalma and Berkeley Township had been honest about its overall plan in the initial phases of this process,” said deCamp.
Citizens of Berkeley Township who object to the further intensive development of Bayville should express themselves by writing the NJ State Planning Commission, PO Box 204, Trenton, NJ 08625-0204, and by attending a Township Council Meeting to express their opposition to the “Vision Statement”.
Also: Read the Sordid History of Berkeley Township’s involvement with K. Hovnanian in the New Jersey Pulverizing site (Fisher’s Pit).
Some Good News: