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

Christopher Rinaldi for Town Council - Leadership, Judgement, Experience

May 17, 2018

My name is Christopher Rinaldi.  As a long-time member of the Republican Party, I am running in the Republican Primary on June 5th for Township Council and Republican Municipal Committee of Berkeley Heights.

As a follow-up to my Candidate Statements from the last two weeks, I would like to share with you a few areas of direct work experience garnered over the past 25 years that I believe ...

Redevelopment: Taking the First Step Together While Protecting Berkeley Heights

Redevelopment. It’s something that takes careful planning, foresight, the ability to negotiate for the most favorable outcome, and, of course, patience. I’m proud to say that we’ve been able to reach all of these milestones. Tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, we as a community will take the first step together in the culmination of these efforts, when the ...

I am Proud to be Your Mayor

Honesty and results. Those two principles characterize my service to our community for the last nine years. I served on Town Council for four years and have been your Mayor for five years. I appreciate the opportunity to serve you and our community, steering it in a positive direction. During this time, I have learned about our Town, identified areas for improvement and been privileged ...

Rain Didn't Dampen Our Vision for Art in the Park

May 21, 2018

The rain did not dampen our vision for Art in the Park!! Columbia Middle School was transformed into an art paradise, filled with an array of artists whose talents are nothing short of magical! The Peppertown Park Art in the Park Committee would like to thank all of the artists who came to our very first Art in the Park event. We are in awe of your creativity and immeasurable talents! You all ...

Taxes up, Services down.....At least someone is listening

Do you feel as if you are getting good services from the town for what you pay in property taxes? I don’t, and wanted to thank the one Council person who voted NO on this year’s municipal budget which will increase your taxes by more than 3 percent, exceeding the cap.  Thank you, Susan Poage, for listening to taxpayers.

When our Mayor grants raises by executive order ...

Who Is Dmitriy?

Who Is Dmitriy?

That is the question I asked myself in the past year or two. I first chanced across him online in community conversation. When an issue seemed to go nowhere, people starting to get ugly and nasty, personal attacks escalating, in would pop Dmitriy and with one comment, he could sum things up. He based his  opinion on information he knew, coupled with what he could glean ...

Berkeley Heights Community Pool Set to Open May 26!

May 21, 2018

Tired of the rain and ready for the sun? We sure are! The Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA is slated to open during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend on May 26! With only one month until summer starts, swimmers can get a headstart jump into the pool during our pre-season opening! 

Join the Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA today—there are no joining fees, and ...

Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel Presents Special Women’s program

 

Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel, 763 Mountain Avenue, Berkeley Heights, is very pleased to host a unique free seminar for women on Saturday June 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

The speaker will be Doctor Ruth Schwertfeger of Brookfield, Wisconsin. Ruth was born in Northern Ireland, is a retired Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She speaks several languages, and ...

Kids Can Change The World

Karen De La Maza is the founder of “Kids Can Change The World”, a program designed to instill humane values in children while developing essential life skills and positive leadership. Karen and her family relocated to NJ from her native Mexico City in 2008 for her husband’s job.

Karen has always had a strong passion for helping people in need. With ten years of experience in ...

Racing to the Finish and Supporting Cancer Survivors

VIEW PHOTO ALBUM

MAY 13, 2018 SUNDAY | BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ—On May 13, the Summit Area YMCA welcomed over 1,000 participants to the 17th Annual Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk at Memorial Field, in Berkeley Heights. This family-friendly event also hosted a fun magic show, invigorating Zumba dancing, a tot trot, face painting and music.

Matthew Byrne of Berkeley Heights won first place ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

May 16, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, May 21, 7:45 AM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Monday Morning Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_d95868a30ee9ef39c254_lwv_pr_2018_marijuana_flyer_for__nptv

Mon, May 21, 7:30 PM

New Providence

Marijuana: Decriminalize? Legalize?

Health & Wellness

Thu, May 24, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Fri, May 25, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Sat, May 26, 2:00 PM

New Providence

Memoir Writing Workshops @ NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...