BTRA Update April 2003

Bloomfield Third Riverbank UpDate:

Let's set the record straight about the proposed developments at the Scientific Glass/Liongate site which includes Leo Realties' plan to build 124 townhouses and Desimone/Petrillo plan for 42 townhouses. Both of these projects have have been conditionally approved at the municipal level but with a long list of requirements. Many may think that municipal approvals mean that the developments are all but built. But this is simply not the case.

Although the planning board and a superior court judge approved the plans, the facts are that these are contaminated properties sitting in the middle of a flood plain. As a consequence, the applicants have many more hurdles to leap where this reality will undergo much closer scrutiny.

Fact Number 1: We have learned that the County Planning Board rejected both applications: The Desimone/Petrillo plan was rejected in December of 2001; the Leo project was just rejected in February of this year (2003).

Fact Number 2: We have just learned that on April 15, 2003 the Department of Environmental Protection rejected the Desimone/Petrillo application because it did not represent the proposed building site as being in a flood plain. Thus Desimone will need to revise his plan in order to get any approvals.

Just as we saw with this recent DEP rejection, as the applicants attempt to get permits and approvals at various county and state department levels, the defects noted by our expert hydrology engineer will be heard by people who understand the significance of his testimony.

The Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic still works at our side to ensure that the concerns about this site are thoroughly addressed at all levels of governmental oversite.

Our credo remains: a development built on this FEMA designated contaminated flood plain is not in the best interests of the residents and township of Bloomfield.

The BTRA seeks your continued support as we pursue all avenues available to safeguard our community. The concerns we have consistently shared with our friends and neighbors have not changed. And we work to ensure our concerns are heard by anyone involved with this project. Our vigilance continues.

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