MADISON/FLORHAM PARK, NJ - An organization that calls itself "Jets" is eschewing the use of a local airport and planning to build a helipad near residential neighborhoods instead.
A public hearing has been scheduled for May 30 in conjuncture with the Florham Park Planning Board agenda to discuss the New York Jets' proposal to build a helipad at 1 Jets Drive, near the NFL team's training facility, but actually off of its premises and on private property owned by the Rockefeller Group, a developer that leases the land to the Jets.
An application by Florham Park Helipad LLC to build the helipad will be heard at the board’s meeting on May 30.
"I'm not sure whether the helipad plans fall under the jurisdiction of approved plans for the development of the site," Madison Mayor Robert Conley told The Alternative Press. "It was not discussed between Madison and Florham Park, but if it was permissible within the language of the original plan, then it can (probably go forward)."
Madison and Florham Park annexed land from each other's municipalities with Open Space funds about eight years ago, Conley said. That predates the Jets' move from Long Island to Florham Park, where they set up their new training facililities five years ago.
"If the matter ends up in front of the proper board, then it was part of the development plan," Conley said.
An online petition launched by Madison Board of Education Vice-President Patrick Rowe cites concerns about noise and safety in the neighborhood, as well as the presence of nearby Morristown Airport, which would could accommodate the NFL team's air travel needs without building the helipad. Rowe is a Republican candidate for Borough Council.
"The fields where my daughters play softball and my home are both less than 1/2 a mile from the proposed heli-pad. We don't need or want the noise and potential danger of more local air traffic simply for the convenience of a few," said one commenter on the petition.
"For heaven's sake, Morristown Airport is a mile away! Please do not destroy the peace of our neighborhood and our (Madison) High School," commented another resident who signed the petition.