BERNARDS TWP., NJ -- After two requests to delay further public hearings before the township Board of Adjustment, the Millington Quarry has dropped its application to split the 180-acre property off Stonehouse Road into two separate zoning lots.
The application was withdrawn in a letter sent to the Board of Adjustment on Sept. 11 with that request, the Board of Adjustment office confirmed.
There will be a resolution scheduled at an upcoming board meeting to memorialize the withdrawal, said Cyndi Kiefer, board secretary. The resolution will be placed beforehand on the agenda for an upcoming meeting on the Bernards Township website, she said.
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 earlier this year in March _ only to result in an 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 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.
The Friends of the Stop the Quarry local citizens group has been urging township resident to attend the hearings and oppose the application. 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.
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.