To the Editor:

The current Chatham Township committee continues to ignore the outcries of our residents and other New Jersey citizens concerned about critical NJ habitat. They recklessly barrel ahead with affordable housing plans that are inconceivable to a rational mind and betray the long history of wildlife stewardship in Chatham Township as evidenced by our master plan. This same committee that voted to ban plastic bags over concerns for plastics in the Passaic River now proposes a huge affordable housing development on the critical wildlife corridor and water filtration zone right above the Passaic on the steep River Road ridge. It makes no sense.

I am ashamed that I voted for Mike Kelly in the past and had his sign in my yard. If you vote to re-elect Mike Kelly to the Chatham Township Committee in the upcoming primary, then you might as well get a gun and start shooting endangered species. Once this habitat is destroyed, there is no going back. Imagine if those before us had let the Great Swamp become an airport. Vote for Ashley Felice and Mark Hamilton who oppose this environmentally sensitive location for affordable housing development.

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Affordable housing needs to be sensibly located for both people and wildlife. This site is neither and doesn’t even meet most of the criteria for affordable housing development such as sewers, transportation, shopping, or sidewalks, making it highly unlikely to receive tax credits to help offset its cost. There is a reason for those requirements. It's because that is the infrastructure appropriate to an affordable housing development that meets the needs of its residents. This site meets the needs of its endangered bobcat resident, not the people who would occupy the 62 apartments  

Our committee has completely failed us on an issue that impacts water and wildlife and people now and far into the future. They show no willingness to protect this habitat and accept help from the community to find sensible affordable housing options. When I hear the owls hoot, I hear them crying to be protected from Mike Kelly and the current committee. Vote them out and speak up for the voiceless creatures depending on our protection for their very lives.

Tina Petersen