Letters to the Editor

Berkeley Aquatic's New Proposed Aquatic Center: Not in Our Backyards!

Are you aware of Berkeley's Aquatic's proposal to build a new 50,000 square foot aquatic center just off Horseshoe Road on Watchung Way, that will rise 60 feet above Horseshoe Road?

Whether or not you have children or enjoy swimming yourself, you need to understand what is being proposed for our neighborhood and what it will mean for increased traffic on Horseshoe Road, a road already congested by baseball and soccer games for nine months of the year. This building will change our neighborhood, a residential neighborhood. It will affect water runoff after heavy rains increasing the potential for more wet basements and soggy yards. How is it that an area partially designated as "wetlands" is now suited to house a structure of this magnitude? Also, is it safe or wise to put up a metal building, full of water, that close to the high tension wires? I would not want my kids to swim in that environment. If the zoning laws are changed to accommodate this structure, what will be next? Ultimately, it is those who live in its immediate path that must become informed and stop this before it goes any further.

The Board of Adjustment is now considering Berkeley Aquatic's proposal to build a 50,000 square foot metal facility with a parking lot to accommodate 194 cars. Since there isn't the space available to build a parking lot the size required for this structure, Berkeley Aquatic is working our a "deal" with the county for overflow parking to be provided by using Runnells Hospital lots! There will be only one way in and out of the facility. What happens if there is an emergency? Will emergency vehicles have adequate access to the facility?

Sign Up for E-News

In testimony before the Board of Adjustment on February 11th, Berkeley Aquatic's owner acknowledged that approximately 800 athletes will be using the facility daily. The facility will be open at 5:30 am and close at "10:00" pm approximately, as well as being open on Sundays. The facility will also be used for weekend "meets"; this will expand to a national level, as well. I am very concerned that the integrity of the neighborhood is being compromised and for what purpose?

Don't get me wrong, I am very supportive of every athletic opportunity our town can provide for the children of the community. I am not opposed to improving the opportunities available to the children, but this facility is not primarily for our community, nor do I believe it should be put in a residential area.

The facilities they have are already sufficient to meet the needs of Berkeley Heights. This expansion is designed to reach out to and service a population from a wider geographic area. This expansion is to build a bigger business, bringing in more people for events that the owner readily admits will be national in scope. Berkeley Aquatic is a private - for profit club - that comes at our expense; yours and mine! Second, I am concerned what filling in the catch basin below Runnells will mean for homeowners in this area. We already have problems with wet basements after excessive rains, so I cannot believe this will do anything but exacerbate the problem. Yes, I know their experts will tell us otherwise (that is what they are being paid to do), but why is it that this project has been 3 years in the making yet we are given so little notice (10 days) to provide our input (I suspect many of you reading this may not know about it at all).

You need to know the County - current owners of the land - apparently approached Berkeley Aquatic asking them if they would be interested in this parcel of land. I have asked, did the county open the sale of this land to competitive bidding? If not why?

Third, we will have to see this metal building structure raising 60 feet in height from Horseshoe Road. The actual height is 42 feet in height but given the typography of the land it will appear taller. Along with the facility, there will be lights in the parking lots that will spill over into neighbor yards on Sutton and Horseshoe Roads. What will this do to the value of property in the neighborhood? This building will not only be visible to the houses on Horseshoe, the homes on Sutton will also be impacted.

Please come to the next 2 hearings on March 11th and 15th in the Berkeley Heights Municipal courtroom. We need to stand together and with one voice to make it clear to our elected officials and the community folk who serve on the Board of Adjustment that we do not want this facility in our back yards.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Pieces of Time: Applause Rings Out In Two Columbia Middle School Classrooms

February 23, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Thursday night, the mass murder of students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the Board of Education meeting.

The board observed a moment of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance for the 17 people killed and 14 wounded in the shooting, as well as ...

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

New Providence High School Presents The Addams Family -Tickets are Now On Sale

February 23, 2018

The Addams Family, who first came to life in the 1960s television series, will come back to life and take the stage at New Providence High School in March in a comedic musical twist on the classic story and characters.  Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Grandma, Fester, and Lurch, along with new characters and a full cast of Addams Ancestors will bring the creepy, kooky, all together ooky ...

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Set for Sunday

Is everyone ready to come together as a community and break bread to support the CSA? It's time for The Community Service Association of New Providence's 5th Annual Pasta & Meatball Dinner! This fun, family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. Pasta, meatballs, and dessert will be served from 3-7 ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green


Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

Union County Vocational Technical Schools, West Hall Cafeteria, Scotch Plains

Union County Magnet High School Silent Auction

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sat, February 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Municipal Court Room/Council Chambers, BERKELEY HEIGHTS

Return Berkeley Heights Public Library's Books, ...



Sat, February 24, 3:00 PM

White Tiger Dojo, Berkeley Heights

White Tiger Dojo Hosts Trauma Response Seminar: ...

Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...