CHATHAM, NJ - There was no formal vote at the meeting of the Borough of Chatham Council on Monday night, but Chatham Borough residents have convinced the council it should consider the option of making Hillside Avenue into a Cul-de-sac.
Hillside Avenue and Woods Lane residents appealed to the council during the public portion of the meeting, asking for help in relieving traffic concerns about the proposed development of multi-family townhouses on the 30-acre Dixiedale Farm property in Chatham Township.
"We hear the message loud and clear and (the Cul-de-sac) is an idea worth pursuing," Peter Hoffman, council member, said. "I haven't heard of an instance where this has been done in my 20 years living here."
Council member Jim Collander warned that cars aren't "fungible" and that the automobiles will have to go somewhere if travel up Hillside Avenue from River Road is blocked by a Cul-de-sac. He pointed to the traffic that already exists at the light on River Road at the bottom of "Snake Hill." He also noted that the Chatham Emergency Squad would have to be consulted on the plan.
Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris asked Jim Lott, borough attorney, to look into the legal aspects of switching Hillside Avenue to a Cul-de-sac.
Many of the same Chatham Borough residents who attended the Chatham Township Committee meeting on Nov. 8, came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night to ask for help in keeping Hillside Avenue the "rural" road that it is now.
The "conceptual plan" for the development calls for three cutout entrances onto Hillside Avenue and none on River Road. There would also be three emergency cutouts, also on Hillside.
The Chatham Township Committee unanimously introduced an ordinance that will rezone the 30-acre Dixiedale Farm property from single-family to multi-family zoning.
Regina Frenzel of Woods Lane asked the Borough of Chatham Council to be the voice for borough residents in the Chatham Township rezoning of Dixiedale Farm
Mike Chidlovsky of Hillside Avenue said making Hillside Avenue into a Cul-de-sac would be a good balance against the multi-family development proposed at Dixiedale Farm
Laura Jones of Hillside Avenue asked the Borough Council to consider an independent traffic study that would determine the impact of a multi-family development at Dixiedale Farm