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The Four Ponds Appeal – Where It Stands and Why Your Help Is Needed Right Now!!

The Four Ponds Denial Appeal: Concerned residents must understand the status of this Appeal and its implications! Attend a critical informational meeting, at Brookdale CC, on Feburary 28th at 7 pm.

Many residents of Middletown and its vicinity know that on June 20th of last year the Middletown Planning Board voted 9-0 to reject the application of Four Ponds Associates to build a 342-unit townhouse/apartment complex near the center of the Village of Lincroft.  Some of these residents may not know, however, that the applicant has appealed the denial to the Superior Court.  Consequently, it is imperative that area citizens understand that the fight to retain the integrity and character of Lincroft is far from over.  To the end, residents are encouraged to attend an informational meeting sponsored by SONIC at Brookdale Community College, on Thursday, Feburary 28 at 7 pm.

To make it possible for the opinions of local citizens to be heard during this appeal process, Ron Gasiorowski, the attorney who presented the case against the Four Ponds application to the Planning Board, has been retained to continue his work on behalf of  SONIC (Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity and Character).  The effectiveness of his case against the petition before the Planning Board is evidenced by the fact that the Board’s Resolution of Denial relied heavily on the testimony of the expert witnesses presented by Mr. Gasiorowski.  SONIC hired these experts to expose the numerous defects in the application.

Mr. Gasiorowski will continue to counter the proposed building plan as the appeal goes through the courts.  In the early stages of these proceedings he filed a Motion to Intervene  on behalf of SONIC, and overcame the objections of the developer, who does not want the community voices to be heard.   Obviously, such legal action requires time and money.  My colleagues and I will contribute both of these.  We ask you to show your support for our common cause.  During the remainder of the appeal, should any discussions ensue as to a proposed settlement of this matter, such as re-sizing the proposed community, Mr. Gasiorowski will represent SONIC, and the community will benefit.

That is precisely where we stand, as I write this. We have a seat at the table in the court proceedings.  During the original Planning Board hearings, which took just over a year to complete, we incurred $60,000 in professional fees.  These fees covered the cost of Counsel and our three expert witnesses, who carefully built the record that supports the decision of the Board.

Even though we have a seat at the table, no additional testimony or other evidence can be introduced by the parties.  It all comes down now to the legal issues. SONIC continually pushed the residents to help with the cost to build this record by contributing money, as many of you have done. But there is certainly a need for the community to contribute again to defend the decision that protects our neighborhoods in Lincroft!

One example that shows what is at stake is the need for sewer improvements in the event this project is built.  During the Planning Board meetings, the testimony was that these improvements could cost approximately two million dollars.  When the applicant’s engineer was questioned, the response was that the applicant would be willing to pay its “pro-rata share” of the “incremental cost” to Middletown. Well, who would pay the rest?  The taxpayers, that’s who!  Hard to fathom, but this proposed complex would cause the need for the sewer improvements and require you to pay for most of them—an arrangement that is patently wrong.

You can bet the same would be true for other so-called “incremental costs.”  This is another reason why Abe Littenberg, Jeffrey Blumengold, and SONIC as a whole, are now appealing to you directly through this article, asking you to both educate yourselves and send money, in care of the LVGA (Lincroft Village Green Association).

                               http://www.lincroftvillagegreen.org

The LVGA has been kind enough to collect, escrow, and disburse funds to pay those professionals who have greatly assisted us in our opposition to this application. Please note on your contributions that they are for the  “Four Ponds Opposition Fund”. Thank you for all of your support, at the Board hearings and from your pocketbooks.

In closing, let me quote the one and only Yogi Berra: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over!"

Jeffrey Blumengold, Lincroft Resident and Founding Member of SONIC (Save Our Neighborhood’s Integrity & Character)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

bud February 11, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Having played many times at the old 9-hole Tomahawk Golf Course, which is the property in question, I would estimate that at least 25% to 35% of the land should be considered "wetlands". That would leave only a few acres to support upwards of 1500 plus people, a population density that rivals Calcutta, India and Dhaka, Bangladesh. I question the $2M impact on the sewer system, since you cannot build a good size house in the area for less than $500,000-600,000 each, ie, the impact on the local sewer system would be MUCH higher.
RIFFAXE February 12, 2013 at 12:02 PM
I am very familiar with the wetlands issue. The group that declared it wetlands a number of years ago came in and assessed the area with no real science backing their claims. And with an out of control EPA this practice will continue. The main area in question on that issue is a creek or drainage ditch that became naturalized over time because of the lack of proper maintenance. This creek/ditch was there and separated the golf course from the farm. I know because i used to golf there and run along this ditch regularly. The "wetlands" portion only formed maybe 20 years ago or so when the drainage got backed up due to poor maintenance. This is hardly a virgin piece of land, and i"m not saying i'm for the proposed development. But it should not be stopped in the name of saving the wetlands.
bud February 12, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Nuts!
NJarhead February 12, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Who is General McCauliffe?

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