Manchester re-zones for development

Spung-Man

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Environmental groups say rule change could increase development in Pinelands

By DEREK HARPER Staff Writer
In May, the state Pinelands Commission and Department of Environmental Protection agreed on how the DEP’s Water Quality Management Planning regulations will be administered in the Pinelands.
In a “memorandum of understanding,” the commission and DEP agreed that “all lands located within a Pinelands Village, Pinelands Town, Regional Growth Area ... shall be deemed to be within a sewer service area....”
Counties across the state have been drafting new sewer maps for several years, in part to better delineate what properties would and would not require water treatment for development.
As pointed out in the article above, counties across the State have been drafting new sewer maps to delineate what properties would "require" water treatment. In a Hammonton Gazette article (Sept. 21, 2011) about Villages, the Pinelands Commission stated it was "obligated" to facilitate development, and have no alternative but to pursue wastewater treatment plants. It's their own words in print.

I agree with the Hammonton Gazette editorial. This is the greatest threat to the Pinelands National Reserve since the Jetport. Let the Pinelands Commission know your feelings about this issue.

S-M
 

Spung-Man

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I am curious. Is there a way to get villages off of septic systems without increasing development?
Bob,

Good question. The Sewer Service Area initiative is really not about water quality. For example, in Richland Village we don't have a lot of problems with water quality issues related to residential septic systems. Richland's package plant output was planned at 92,000 gallons per day, enough capacity to double the current number of units in the Village even after hooking up every existing unit in the Village. If the Pinelands Commission was serious about water quality, then why wasn't a densely settled location like Collings Lakes chosen for a package plant?

Under clustering the Pinelands Commission is allowing the building ninety-seven units on 140 acres in our township – all without sewer. That housing density is greater than many Villages, and that specific project is slated for land identified as 90 and 100% Ecological Integrity. No, sewering is being driven by builders demand for increasing the amount of buildable land.

I have accumulated numerous public documents from OPRA requests that provide glimpses into their thinking. Plans for package plants go back many years, although we've only heard about them recently. For example our ex-mayor wrote on December 18, 2004, "In my initial conversations with the Pinelands they have been leaning more towards 'on-site package systems' that will allow us to triple or quadruple density on various sites..." Water quality issues are rarely of concern in the documents I have seen, just maximizing capacity.

S-M
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,313
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Thanks for the reply Mark. Here in Bamber we have 80 to 100 homes within 1,500 feet of the lake. All are on septic. If they went from that to a packaged system, don' t they have to have an outfall somewhere? Seeing that empty into Cedar Creek, even if cleaned, would ruin my day.
 

Spung-Man

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Bob,

It's a matter of water-in and water-out. First, everyone will have to hook up to city water. Second, effluent will have to be disposed of. While you might think it easy to infiltrate this water back into this big sand pile, this has not been the case.

Hammonton's discharge field has failed due to ground capability limitations. The Buena Borough Municipal Utilities Authority also had to abandon its infiltration project because of the same problem. In both cases the ground simply could not infiltrate any where near the amount of water engineers expected. BBMUA is back to dumping its effluent directly into Deep Run, which ends up in the Atlantic Ocean and not the Cohansy Aquifer. It is a depletive use, which by the way is against CMP rules.

S-M
 

Spung-Man

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Why yes! We co-founded the local historical society along with now deceased school board president John Zucal (who is sorely missed). She’s an old schoolmate who I grew up with. We had been friends until the prior mayor was ousted during the 2012 reorganization, in part over problems associated with Richland Village. This seems to have triggered vitriol on her part against three committeemen, the Pinelands Commission, and by extension myself.

There is irony in her post. She indicates that our municipality spent monumental amounts of unnecessary legal and engineering fees, suggesting mismanagement – by the very people she is vigorously defending. I wish she would provide details. If tax dollars were needlessly wasted, Buena Vista Township residents have a right to know why. As example at the August 2012 township meeting it was reported that $42,150.60 in refunds are coming from two instances of double billing associated with Richland Village redevelopment. Multiple problems still remain unresolved.
 

Spung-Man

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Buena Vista Township votes to return $148,000 state grant

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/buena-vista-township-votes-to-return-state-grant/article_f4d28ce2-fc66-11e1-98d9-0019bb2963f4.html

Buena Vista Township Committee voted Monday to return a $148,000 state grant that would have paid for the extension of the township’s bike path.
The 3-2 vote split reflected a divided Township Committee, with the losing members calling the decision to return state funds foolish.
But Mayor Peter Bylone, who voted in favor of the cancellation said spending the money would have been a waste.
“To me it’s a glorified sidewalk,” he said. “If it was for a reason, if it was going someplace, but I can’t see spending the money based on where it is. From the onset, I’ve been against this. Grant money is great, but let’s do something with it. If we’re going to take it, let’s do something that’s positive.”
Currently, the bike path runs through Michael Debbie Park, Five Point intersection, and St. Augustine Prep school, according to committee member Chuck Chiarello, who opposed the grant cancellation along with Teresa Kelly. The grant would have allowed for an extension of the bike path into Richland Village.
According to the Pinelands application this path is 2,793 linear feet for $148 k, or $53 per linear foot. Average roadway bike speed is 18–22 m.p.h. Taking the mean at 20 m.p.h, the total biker's experience should last 1.6 minutes. Is this really a bikeway? According to the January 18, 2010 application most of the grant was meant to pay for a large stormwater management basin, of which less than 5% of the capacity was related to actual bikeway needs. 95% of the basin has nothing to do with a bikeway but appears to be a sneaky way to continue with Richland Village redevelopment.

S-M
 

Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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I saw that article and was wondering what your opinion of it was. However, I was just thinking at the time it was a bikeway and not something sinister.
 

Spung-Man

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Judge for yourself:

Bike Path Sidewalks.jpg
Excerpt 1 of Proposed Development Plan, Richland Village West,​
Block 4527, Lots 3, 5 &b 6 (Bike Path and Parking).​
Bike Path Basin.jpg
Excerpt 2 of Proposed Development Plan, Richland Village West,​
Block 4527, Lots 3, 5 &b 6 (Bike Path and Parking).​
Olique View.jpg
Oblique aerial of the three lots at site (click to enlarge).​
The entire $148,000 bikeway will fit within the A–B–C footprint.​
Cheers,​
S-M​
 

Spung-Man

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Good news for you Mark. Your community solidarity worked well!
Mullica, Weymouth, and Buena Vista Townships, and Estell Manor City officially voted not to put Pinelands Villages on to Atlantic County's proposed Sewer Service Map, and refused to draft letters of support as legally required by the Memorandum of Understanding between the NJDEP & NJ Pinelands Commission. Planners ignored the wishes of democratically-elected representatives and put Pinelands Villages in as Future Sewer Service Areas on the Final Draft!

Individual Municipal FWSA Map Compositions will be posted as soon as they are available.
I will say it again, the Pinelands Commission is hell-bent on sewering Villages whether we want them or not.

S-M
 

Spung-Man

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Good deal Mark. A win for your Village.
Since neither the Vineland Times Journal, nor the Atlantic City Press will cover this kind of material, I will relate recent backwash from Richland Village Redevelopment's mismanagement. At last night's reorganization meeting (o1/7/13), our ex-mayor and project architect was not reappointed to any work committee; the same for his close associate the ex-deputy mayor. Professionals involved with the project were replaced (engineer, planner, solicitor, auditor). The new mayor, Sue Barber, reiterated her commitment to preserving the rural character of her farming community. The ex-mayor has initiated a lawsuit against the committee for conflict of interest in its hiring of a new solicitor.

S-M
 

Spung-Man

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A daily battle Mark!
Unfortunately, our officials do not make it any easier. For example, there will be a hearing on the Atlantic County Sewer Service Area map on Thursday, February 7, 2103, at the Canale Center. The County advertised the public notice as a display ad in the Atlantic City Press, which, while not illegal, is deceptive.


Their choice of advertisement format circumvents digital copy in the Press's public notice section and the NJ Press Association public notice display site (see below). It also costs more to have the County notice listed as a display ad! This is an issue of major importance so the choice of advertisement format is unacceptable and disenfranchised the public.

I've taken this matter up with the NJ Press Association. They provide a convenient digital site that is supposed to list and archive all public notices. Check it out.


Two-years ago I petitioned NJPA to include all official newspapers on their public notice page. Small papers like the Atlantic County Record were being used for my municipality's official notice, even though the Atlantic County Record only had two subscribers in our Township. As a result of that petition, all NJAP-members like the Atlantic City Press now voluntarily submit public notices to the NJPA. Sunshine is a wonderful disinfectant!

After asking questions, the County has since resubmitted the public notice in the Vineland Times Journal on January 9 in the proper format.

S-M
 

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Spung-Man

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The State is moving forward on its plan turn 47 Pinelands Villages into Priority Growth Zones. Senate bill No. 2583 out of Union County (Lesniak) provides incentives for certain affordable-housing-based economic development projects (redevelopment). Low income housing and redevelopment will be added to the builders' toolkit. The bill includes Pinelands Villages and Towns as regional growth areas:


Bill Texts: NJ S2583 | 2012-2013 | Regular Session
Pinelands Watch Issue 64 March-April 2013 (Sewer Service mapping of Pinelands Villages)​

I took this argument against redevelopment all the way up to the State Attorney General, who agreed with me. Still the Pinelands Commission ignores this assessment and its own rules! Here's a summary of that testimony from the October-November-December Pinelands Commission Management report:

Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 5.01.50 PM.png


For example, Richland Village redevelopment included development tools like eminent domain, special density overlays, and exceptions to environmental rules. The number one reason Pinelands land is in need of redevelopment is that it has remained undeveloped for over 10 years.​
Here are some other reasons redevelopment was invoked at Richland Village:

Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 5.13.37 PM.png

1) There was a lack of roadways servicing the site (i.e., undeveloped);​

2) Soils were too poor for development (i.e., Pine Barrens);​

3) Wetlands were present (i.e., the 52-acre package plant property);​

4) Critical habitat (an ecological area inhabited by a particular species of flora or fauna) existed. In this case barred owl.​

My friends, you are seeing the dismantlement of the Comprehensive Management Plan. Imagine more publicly-funded Richland Village-like boondoggles.
Spung-Man
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
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Spung-man, somehow, you need to become head of the Pinelands Commission. This would solve your problems.;)