BERNARDSVILLE NJ - An ordinance advocated by the Bernardsville Environmental Commission to protect the borough's aquifers from overuse unanimously cleared the first hurdle. The Borough Council unanimously voted to introduce Ordinance #17-139 during tonight's borough council meeting. The ordinance will now be referred to the borough's Planning Board for their review and recommendation.
The borough council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance on April 24, 2017.
If passed, the ordinance would require builders who drill wells to serve new developments in the borough to perform tests on those wells in order to determine whether the new development would adversely impact water quality and water usage on existing properties. The borough's residents rely heavily on wells. Approximately half of the borough's residents draw water from wells.
Residents who spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting urged the council to advance the ordinance. No member of the public spoke against the proposal at tonight's meeting.
Kristi MacDonald, a member of the Environmental Commission, was concerned that there was opposition to the proposed ordinance. "I feel it is important for us to work together to find an ordinance to protect our water," said MacDonald.
The Planning Board will have 35 days to review the proposed ordinance. The first opportunity for the Planning Board to hold its own public hearing will be on March 9. After the Planning Board completes its review, the Borough Council will hold a public hearing to consider final passage of the proposed ordinance.