Township environmental officials are concerned about variance

This is a copy of a letter we recently sent to the Old Bridge Township Council.

We are writing to you as chairwoman and vice chairwoman of the Old Bridge Township Environmental Commission to express our deep concern over the variance granted by the township Zoning Board for the property known as Schoolhouse Lane Associates (Application 107-99Z).

The Environmental Commission has worked diligently for years trying to raise the consciousness of both the citizens of the township as well as our elected officials on the importance of maintaining open space, especially in such a location with its proximity to Cheesequake Park.

The commission has been especially concerned with environmentally sensitive conditions such as steep slopes and the like, points we identified as concerns on this site. This is evident by our commitment to preserving the conservation easement as a restriction to development.

We urge you to conduct a full review of the testimony presented by the applicant to determine whether the applicant presented convincing testimony that the variance or relief was justifiably granted, particularly since the commission believes, in fact, that the granting of this variance is detrimental to the public good. We strongly believe that both the intent and purpose of the zoning ordinance was impaired by this unfortunate decision.

This council made a commitment to its citizenship to preserve open space and limit rampant development. We urge you to keep your promise for sound, planned growth in this community. The granting of the variance should be done with restraint and only when the public good is not impaired.

Blanche D. Hoffman

Chairwoman

Susan Knauf

Vice Chairwoman

Old Bridge Environmental Commission