Closing West Mill Road

Tony

Scout
Jul 30, 2015
40
20
8
67
Folsom
It looks like a state posted no motor vehicles sign. And it does not say private property has anyone called the DEP to find out. I will be out riding tomorrow if and win I see a park officer I will ask him.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,268
1,741
1,093
Pestletown, N.J.
The situation is very complex to say the least. Some facts that I have brought to light for your consideration:

1. There was no vacation of West Mill Road. Vacations are done by the adoption of an ordinance by a municipality to vacate all municipal rights in a road. Typically the land is divided evenly between owner on either side. That is not what occurred here.

2. The road at 206 where the gate is installed is not the official West Mill Road nor is it Paradise Drive. It is unnamed public right of way with the location deemed "as traveled" . Eventually this road joins with "Paradise Drive" further into the woods. (see attached marked tax maps) Everyone I know calls the road from its origin at 206 West Mill Road but that is not what the Town considers it on their maps.

3. On March 20, 2017 the Town of Hammonton resolved by resolution #47-2017 to enter into a license agreement with Miller farms LLC to allow exclusive use by Miller of "Paradise Drive " (see attached resolution #68-2017) Miller was to pay $10,000.00 for the license but resolution #68-2017 reduced that to $5,000.00. I have the original #47-2017 in Word but I can't open it at home. I am a cheapskate and only have Word Viewer. :)
The important language in #68-2017 is identical, it just reduces the fee for the license.

The Governing Body goes on to say in the resolution that the road is "not needed for public purposes" and that the road is "the main access" to the applicant's business and that the applicant has an interest in maintaining the road to insure the "long term sustainability of his business".

Those are false pretenses for granting the license. The road is not the main access to his business. The road that is and was used for at least the last 50 years to access Paradise Lakes Campground intersects 206 about 2000' south of the now-gated road. It's where the owner actually receives mail and drives to the improved portion of the campground deep into the woods. The parcels that he owns are Block 6001 Lot 2 and Block 6002 Lot 2 and they do not come anywhere near 206. Ironically, the road that has always been used does not have a right of way associated with it on the tax maps. Furthermore, I have read the deeds to the parcel and none address access. The legal description of the parcel starts and ends on a dam in the woods with no mention of a road.

The road that has been gated most certainly has never been the access for the business. If it were to be used for future access to the campground, a substantial bridge and roadway would have to be built over the Gun Branch.

To say that the road is not needed for public purposes is a wreckless statement and the entire issue was obviously not well-researched. The gate has effectively isolated thousands of acres from public access and from fire protection as well. Bear in mind that the other end of this road is at the Pleasant Mills Church where a condemned bridge has barred access for years.

How was the Town of Hammonton so easily enticed to enter a license agreement to offer the use of "Paradise Drive" exclusively to Miller Farms LLC. ?
:)
 

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Cherokee261

Scout
Aug 6, 2015
65
69
28
Medford Lakes
2. The road at 206 where the gate is installed is not the official West Mill Road nor is it Paradise Drive. It is unnamed public right of way with the location deemed "as traveled" . Eventually this road joins with "Paradise Drive" further into the woods. (see attached marked tax maps) Everyone I know calls the road from its origin at 206 West Mill Road but that is not what the Town considers it on their maps.
The resolution specifically states Paradise Drive, it does not grant exclusive use of the unnamed public road from Rt. 206 to Paradise Drive. Based on that, it would appear that the gate should not be installed at Route 206, since that is not Paradise Drive according to the Hammonton tax map.

The resolution lacks the detail I would expect to see for this type of action (tax map references, coordinates, an attached map, etc.)
 
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Cherokee261

Scout
Aug 6, 2015
65
69
28
Medford Lakes
The State of NJ interactive tax map lists the "unnamed public road" as Sycamore Road, and it shows the current access to Paradise Lakes (not on Hammonton tax map), as "W Mills Rd". Does that mean that the main access road to Paradise Lakes is a state road through Wharton? I wonder where the state pulls the data from for the map? If it was just a codification of municipal tax maps, then the roads, and the road names, would match the Hammonton tax map.

http://njgin.state.nj.us/oit/gis/NJ_TaxListSearch/
 

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
512
242
43
Waterford Twp
The State of NJ interactive tax map lists the "unnamed public road" as Sycamore Road, and it shows the current access to Paradise Lakes (not on Hammonton tax map), as "W Mills Rd". Does that mean that the main access road to Paradise Lakes is a state road through Wharton? I wonder where the state pulls the data from for the map? If it was just a codification of municipal tax maps, then the roads, and the road names, would match the Hammonton tax map.

http://njgin.state.nj.us/oit/gis/NJ_TaxListSearch/
Not that it matters at this point, but I seem to remember one of those state wooden signs on the right as you would enter off of 206 onto the now gated road, high up in a tree that read "West Mill-Fireline" similar to the ones on Cherry Hill Rd and Quaker to name a couple.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,309
2,001
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
Thank you for that investigative work and reporting Scott. It seems to me some members of the public would want to have the road reopened if there were any chance it could be reopened for their use.

So, what would you recommend the interested public do next in order to cause it to be reopened for public use?