BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ This Wednesday's Zoning Board of Adjustment agenda includes the formal acceptance and approval of the Millington Quarry's withdrawal of an earlier application to split the 180-acre property into two separate lots, a request that sparked objections from both the Township Committee and a citizens group when it was filed earlier this year.
After two requests to delay further public hearings before the zoning board in August and September, the Millington Quarry sent a letter to the board on Sept. 11 with a request to drop its application to subdivide the now-defunct quarry property off Stonehouse Road.
A hearing on the request by the owner of Millington Quarry to split the property off Stonehouse Road into two separate zoning lots — one of about 50 acres, and the other of almost 130 acres — had been removed at the applicant's request from the agendas for both the August and September board meetings.
The quarry's application had been filed and came up before the board in March of this year.
The Friends of Stop the Quarry, a local citizens group, began calling on its membership afterwards to attend meetings and to question the safety of plans for future development at the quarry, which has had a number of visions for its future come and go. One consistent part of the plan has been to allow a large lake to fill in the deep quarry pit on the property.
Members of the group have said that the quarry owners intend to divide the property into a "contaminated" and "non-contaminated" area without dealing with what they say are the remains of filler soil trucked onto the site about a decade ago.
The March application also resulted in an official objection by the Township Committee that the quarry would first have to meet the requirements of, and file an update for, its rehabilitation plan for the future of the deeply quarried property.
Ruling on a broader legal motion filed by Millington Quarry, a state judge in May found merit with the Township Committee's contention that that an updated quarry rehabilitation plan is needed, but declined to rule on the township's request without a fuller record on the matter.
Following the March meeting, Michael Lavigne, an attorney representing Millington Quarry, said there would would be "no furtherance of a development plan" by the subdivision of the quarry property. He added the quarry had a potential buyer for the entire property at that time.