Givaudan Flavors Corporation was honored by citizens of East Hanover this week with the 2016 Corporate Community Citizen Award. The award was presented to Givaudan in recognition of their service to local homeowners when they stepped in on the Merry Lane controversy that has been brewing in East Hanover over the last several months.

Givaudan’s involvement in the dispute began in June when local land owner, Michael Zecca presented an application to East Hanover’s Land Use Planning Board for approval. This application would see a 20,000 sq ft warehouse built on 8 Merry Lane which sits in a preexisting residential area.

Public outcry to the project was palpable. Several dozen homeowners were in attendance and petitions started by the local activist group, East Hanover Nightmare, had signatures numbering in the hundreds.

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Givaudan owns the road where the proposed warehouse would be constructed.  Furthermore, the company must consent to any change to the contractual rights the applicant has in the access easement for use of the road. Nancy Lottinville, an attorney who was representing Givaudan, dealt a major blow to the project’s chances of being built.  

Lottinville stood before the board and said “Givaudan has advised me to tell you that under no circumstance will it be altering the access easement.”

Givaudan has stayed true to their early conviction and has yet remained resolute on the current access easement that would keep this warehouse project at bay. With the Land Use Planning Board to reevaluate where the project stands at their September meeting, this Corporate Community Citizen Award shows the gratitude of local homeowners for the company’s ongoing commitment to the residents of East Hanover.

“I wanted to say thank you,” said William Kubofcik who presented the award. “You contributed to the quality of life of residents in the community. You made a tremendous difference. You came in and really saved the day.”

The award was accepted by Givaudan’s Operations Director, Raymond Taylor, along with several members of the Givaudan team. Taylor stressed that teamwork is important to the company both inside its walls and in the community.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Taylor said, when asked why Givaudan got involved. “We want to grow community relations and at the end of the day we want to be a good neighbor. We want to be socially responsible in the community.”