Edison, NJ - Dozens of residents attended the Edison Zoning Board meeting on Tuesday evening to showcase their opposition to a proposed project by Care One on Inman Avenue. They were surprised to learn that the meeting was postponed at the request of the applicant. The meeting was adjourned to April 23, which coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Care One is seeking approval to build an assisted living facility as part of the existing skilled nursing facility. The site is a residential lot, requiring approval from the Zoning Board. Neighboring residents are opposed to the application. Thier concerns include traffic and noise pollution that they say the expanded facillity will generate.
Many in the audience conveyed their disapproval with the Zoning Board over the handling of the application.
Ronald Britt, a resident that has helped organize opposition to the application, suspected that the request for a continuation by Care One was a ploy. Mr. Britt told TAPinto Edison, “others have used this as tactic in these kind of situations. We had a large crowd tonight. I personally have covered many of the neighborhoods, I’ve walked door to door handing out flyers. We’ve had large signs, which we produced at our own expense around neighborhood.”
“It’s a ploy,” concurred Mr. Britt’s wife Arlene. “To delay, to drag it out, to have the residents- people have busy lives. Everybody has busy lives and things that they have to get done, and they’re wasting our time and they basically want to keep dragging it out and dragging it out until people lose interest and then they stop coming. So, it's all a game they’re playing to just drag it out, drag it out and get people to just become disinterested and then when everybody becomes disinterested sneak it in and say nobody is opposed to it,” said Mrs. Britt.
The Britts were not alone in their anger. Also in attendance, in opposition to the application, was Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak, who lives near the proposed project.
“I understand what the applicant did tonight. Obviously, they have 6 to 8 different experts, and they informed the experts not to come tonight, otherwise they’d have to pay them, and unfortunately, the public wasn’t informed at all until they came here to hear that [Care One] would not testify to anything tonight, which I think was not fair,” said Mr. Karabinchak.
“We had over close to 40 people here from the neighborhood that wanted to listen to the applicant and their experts, and respond to whatever their testimony is, and this is a very unreasonable situation. They asked for a continuance, however they may change their mind. It’s odd that they’re asking for two things at the same time. Either you’re going to continue what you’re doing, or you’re going to not do it and go the other way. But this is odd,” he said, referring to the possibility that Care One would next be submitting a modified proposal.
Mr. Karabinchak also took issue with the new hearing date and that residents would not need to be re-noticed about the new hearing date. “With any continuance, there should be a re-notification, that's my opinion. This way it keeps everybody informed. The Jewish holidays are coming, Passover is coming, some of the people here won’t be able to come that night and I think that's not fair, in my opinion. I have a lot more to say when it when this applicant comes up,” he said.
Neel Jerath, another resident that attended to voice his opposition stated that the continuation granted by the Board was just the latest challenge faced by opponents of the application.
“That’s actually how they started back in May of last year, they didn’t really tell anybody, and they just tried to sneak it through. Everybody found out about it last minute and a lot of people suddenly showed up and as a result they asked for a continuum, because they said they have the wrong number of parking spaces in their plans and they use that as an excuse to cause a continuum. And then throughout the summer they kept on doing more and more continuances and here we are. And if you look actually at TV recordings verbatim online, you can actually see last time it was standing room only in this place. There were so many people in opposition to this project, but we didn't have a chance to speak during the last meeting, so we were expecting to do it here,” said Mr. Jerath.
“This is like a semi trial – like procedure or process. So, we have to wait for our turn to actually speak in opposition. That costs money. That costs time, obviously it’s extremely inconvenient for everybody – they’re just hoping to wear us down,” he said.