Last night’s Town Council meeting September 9 concerning what was described as an “upscale” compromise involving RD’s plan for the Waterview Tract appears to be nothing more than a continued attack against this community in their unwanted, unneeded development for the area. RD because of their large pockets has initiated an ongoing lawsuit against the people of Parsippany and the surroundings. They have charged the Municipality with being arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable in violation of New Jersey “Municipal Land Use Law.” that they, not us are in accordance with the General Welfare. RD is also requesting an award for all attorney fees and other charges. It should be self-evidence to any judge that it is in fact RD that was and continues to be a comportment entity of these very charges.
Since when does an outside force like RD decide what is a “public need”. It is the community and their elected officials who decipher public need that exist for land use and in this case rezoning of property. In order for any rezoning to occur certain minimum evidence must be produced. We have here in the Waterview, market real estate speculation development, not “public need” The public has overwhelming been against this destruction of this unique landscape. So then RD alleges under their charges that to meet the needs of New Jersey citizens’ addition development, not redevelopment of land is required; that more retail and parking lots are in the best interest of the community, despite the lack of actual need. RD then contends their project will bring a tax-ratable to the community in need of more money because of the present austerity measures brought on by over-privatization of our nation’s wealth. That somehow dollars can replace the integrity and the quality of life itself, that value is not centered in community but in additional finance. They also use the scare tactic and somewhat bias argument that RD will save us from public housing in their “upscale” theme for the land. This contention concerning public housing is quite shameful. Despite any development at Waterview if there was an obligation for Low Income Housing, which is doubtful for Parsippany, Waterview’s development would not prevent it. (Waterview is not a good strategic location for Low Income Housing).
The forces of community have proven overwhelming why this development or compromise development must not take place. RD ignores the very natural character of the land and replaces it with their plan, a fantasy verses reality scenario. RD continued meddling in our Town Government is teaching us our leaders so of them are not centered in the values of community and lack environmental interest.
The immediate neighborhood of the Doremus Ridge and Troy Brook constitutes a unique remaining traditional, historic landscape which happens to be a very important ground Water Recharge Area, its protection as bio-diversity in protecting the future of our water is in itself enough to warrant its total acquisition as open space. The beauty of its threshold to the area and the immediate neighborhood is another. This preservation of the bio-diversity in the very area of the Waterview office complex is a stated goal in a study of the Troy Brook. This study and its conclusions must hold some significance.
The reality of this present lawsuit ensued because our Town Officials at the time made assumption concerning their carrying throw this deal with the developer without concerning actual public need or reaction. From the letter dated March 18, 2013 to John Inglesino from Bisgaier, LLC, “Frankly, while RD recognizes that any proposal will face some resident opposition, it believes that this is the best development option for the Township and the regional area, one which will have significant tax benefits to the Municipality and provide extremely desirable services to the region”.. All of this is pure conjecture and not grounded in the public, but in the minds of the developer and his associates within the town government. The fact is the public need does not exist nor is there a public desire to accompany RD.
If the law was just the law suit would not be against Parsippany tax-payers who were deliberately left out by the gumption of the Mayor and Council of that time. Two governments exist in Parsippany the Planning Board and the Town Council, what was thought a done deal is costing us all. However we the people of Parsippany should be paid back in full for all legal fees by RD.
Development is about people; quality of life not objects or material affluence. One final thought concerning the September 9 meeting; it was mentioned that an additional savings of $375,000 was also to be had, this was a sales pitch, in that the figure is based on speculation of saving due to RD change of plan concerning the public housing part of their development, in other words no children for schools means a savings. This amounts to pure financial fantasy. Let us remember that accumulative impacts from this land destruction will surely costs us more in the future. Upscale is low scale with many down-sides. Their idea of open space monies from tax-payers for a buffer zone of which the developer would have to provide anyway, because of the neighborhood, Troy Brook wetlands, wetland transition zone and open water of the immediate river systems, was the final insult and mockery of this whole fiasco. The map at the presentation again showed no contour lines or slopes, had no tree inventory. RD you are guilty of your own charges.
Arbitrary & Capricious: When a judge makes a decision without reasonable grounds or adequate consideration of the circumstances, it is said to be arbitrary and capricious and can be invalidated by an appellate court on that ground. In other words there should be absence of a rational connection between the facts found and the choice made.