Thursday, August 04, 2005

Warehouse Woes

The South Brunswick Planning Board approved the 1.4 million square foot warehouse east of the NJ Turnpike from the Pulda Farm and Pigeon Swamp State Park.

Area residents came out in force to question the applicant and the Board on issues of serious concern including the impact of stormwater runoff and traffic.

To our satisfaction, the developer had completely redesigned his retention pond to improve conditions and flooding in the area. While it remains to be seen just how much this will acutally help, this was a major success for our insistence that industrial development in South Brunswick be responsible and sensitive to the environment.

We still have issues with the stormwater runoff despite engineering reports showing it's not a problem. We repeat that eyewitness accounts of how flooding of Green Acres land has coincided with the warehouse runoff being diverted under the Turnpike. It is, in our opinion, a case of the theoretical effect of runoff and the reality opposing each other.

We were also pleased that a last minute decision by the developer to change either the size of his building or the size of his parking lot will bring the impervious coverage of his site into the Township's code requirements. This decreases impervious surfaces--pavements and other surfaces that cannot absorb water but rather create more stormwater runoff--by about 107,000 square feet.

Residents tired of seeing trucks on neighborhood roads damaging lawns and blocking intersections as they try to find their way to the warehouses were not satisfied, but this battle must continue. We all must make every effort to keep these concerns in the public eye and in the eyes of Township officials.

The public outcry cannot be ignored. In this case, the developer responded on his own by making an effort to correct some stormwater issues. High public participation and attendance at the meetings will keep reminding developers to "do the right thing" instead of just satisfying themselves.

To all who attended or took part: Thank you for your dedication. There is much more to do. We will keep you posted on any efforts being made to protect our homeland.


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