GREEN BROOK, NJ – Opponents of a new development at the intersection of Route 22 and Warrenville Road have circulated a petition to Green Brook Mayor Pat Boccio to oppose or “at least scale down” the project. As of publication, 65 residents had signed the petition.
The development at the north east corner of Warrenville Road and Route 22, proposed by developer Green Brook Meadows, would include a WaWa, LA Fitness Center, and a restaurant space with an available liquor license. Currently the lot in question is completely wooded, consisting of a hill and flat area under a fairly recent housing development.
Green Brook Meadows has submitted a number of revisions at Environmental Commission meetings since February, addressing community concerns regarding water retention and landscaping. At the May 13th commission meeting the developer submitted updates that were welcomed by some local opponents.
“The applicant did come back with a much more extensive stormwater plan including 8 rain gardens,” said Nandini Checko, who has attended all the Environmental Commission meetings on the project. “Win!”
The petition’s specific complaints are that Green Brook already has enough gas stations, restaurants and fitness centers within blocks of the new development. Additionally, the petition drafters are concerned about flooding and traffic that are already issues at the intersection.
“On any given day at rush hour it takes me 10-15 minutes to cross Route 22 from Warrenville Road,” wrote Green Brook resident Donna Schmitz. “This new development will not only add cars, but confusion.”
A number of petition signers note that there are many vacant buildings and properties along Route 22 that could be redeveloped instead of removing more than seven hundred trees.
“There are also three unoccupied restaurants on/just off of route 22 between Rock Ave and Warrenville Road, all vacant for a year or more,” wrote Green Brook resident Linda Bolton. “We don't need new construction, and we certainly don't need to lose any more of the mountain than we already have to new homes and commercial buildings.”
Unfortunately for the residents the property is zoned commercial, and there’s little chance that the development as a whole can be stopped. Those opposed to the development recognize this reality, and are working towards limiting the development.
Mayor Boccio may, however, be sympathetic to the residents petition.
“The proposal seems to meet with our zoning, so something is going in there,” said Boccio. “But I’m going to do everything I can to be sure they do the best job on storm water runoff.”
The Environmental Commission has completed its hearings, and Green Brook Meadows is scheduled to present its plans to the Land Use Board on Monday, June 9th at town hall on Greenbrook road. Local opponents are expected to fill the room and present their requests to scale down the development.
The petition is available at http://goo.gl/Nd94zn.