PARSIPPANY — Tuesday, February 18, the Township Council rejected the Development Accountability Ordinance. As I proposed last month, this ordinance would have allowed any resident of Parsippany to appeal a major use variance approval of the Zoning Board to the Council, leaving the ultimate say on development projects involving a zone change with elected officials, not the Council majority-appointed Zoning Board.
For too long the Zoning Board has approved use variance after use variance, which do not agree with the approved zoning of the Township. These are applications asking for relief from our approved zoning rules and Master Plan.
Even more distressing is that the Council would not even allow this ordinance to be introduced, robbing the public of any opportunity to be heard before the ordinance was rejected.
That allows applications like the proposed 7-Eleven, the St. Christopher’s site, and others to potentially be approved with no checks and balances, and no accountability to the concerned residents of Parsippany.
I am incredibly disappointed that the Council chose to not even consider such a pro-citizen proposal. We’re not talking about sheds and fences here; we’re talking about major and controversial projects, which under current law will be fully decided upon by the unelected Zoning Board.