Letter to the Editor: Neighborhood Character Sense of Place or Home Threatened by Developer

parsippany focus
parsippany focusDear Editor:
We are now in a state of suspended animation concerning the GTP Acquisitions, LLC proposal, for the Saint Christopher Landscape, for a senior care home which will change the character of the immediate neighborhood forever. The fact that the past administration took no action to save this landscape or neighborhood smells of influence in favor of outside corporate developers. The Parsippany Board of Education, not the Township itself made a substandard offer to the Church. Their plan was some ball field, rather than simply land preservation itself.
Loss of More Trees in Tree City?
The present plan calls for the removal of 13+ acres of trees for a 150 unit senior assistant living arrangement; none of which counts against our affordable housing obligation. The Church itself in allowing this is violating Pope Francis Laudato Si; Care For Our Common Home, human roots of the ecological crisis, and the earth as our home; ecology as a common good. Therefore if Parsippany Board of Adjustment rejects the rezone, it is possible to acquire this landscape and save it from destruction. Our new status of Highlands Conformance as part of the 2004 Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act surely warrens our support and potential in defending our home, in this case, the Saint Christopher’s immediate neighborhood.
Supporting Factors to Reject GTP proposal
These supporting factors can be in any argument.
1. Neighborhood Character is a factor in determining permanency any development proposal would need to show the character of the neighborhood has changed to such an extent as to justify rezoning and a public need exist for rezoning. A for-profit senior living facility is not as the GTP developers would allege the same, as a public need for a school or hospital. In this age of privatization, these may also not be what they seem serving not the public but the interest of private for profit. The fact that the Property in question Block 166 Lot 96 is for sale does not amount to a change in the character of the neighborhood.2. The landscape is a groundwater recharge area 13.2 acres of its 21.9 acres, including all three tiers of a Wellhead Protection Area. Parsippany has not in the past protected or considered it’s Ground Water Recharge Areas, although 65% of our potable water comes from the aquifer, which is in a permanent deficit due to depletion and consumption; requiring Parsippany to have contracts with other water supplies.

3. Trees are now realized more than ever for their “ecological services” free of charge in water retention, pollution control, noise abatement, and carbon sequestration.  Removal of the 13+ acres of unknown trees will surely make a dramatic change and add to the already numerous trees lost in recent developments.

4. With the coming Affordable Housing onslaught, Parsippany owes it to itself to preserve as much sensitive land as possible, and this should have begun years ago. The loss of Waterview remains an example of unnecessary and deceitful practices by the Town in cahoots with corporate developers, rather than save this natural resource, it was given over for more senseless speculation overdevelopment, where no need existed and fear of housing was used, falsely.
Home Rule is a Farce under the present master plan
Resident Homeowners and taxpayers must decide their neighborhood destiny, not outside forces; what good is Home Rule; when your master plan is determined by corporate outside interest?
With the COVID-19 how will Parsippany fill the Halls as before to show their opposition to the destruction of another landscape for no just cause? Read the recent articles on what these senior care homes are actually like, and how they make their money. They are not in the Public Interest.
Obsolete thinking Long Term Impacts 

Linear versus Complex systems, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts, and behave differently at different times. Parsippany Zoning Board of Adjustment see the part as separate from the whole and this is not good science good land use; it’s obsolete and imagination rather than seeing actual empirical evidence in favor of developers who cut corners at our and natures expense and demise; these the planning board calls economic decisions left up to the developer. We are stuck in the fantasy of linear rather than the truth of complex systems. When science changes or rediscovers lost knowledge, why do we not change or progress; is change only new Technology and its marketing? Complex and not linear thinking is required as that is how things actually function in nature; the background of all life and economy. Nature is not a machine or a linear system working in a lockstep pattern. Engineering is no substitute for nature and its free ecological services.

Homeland Defense Starts at the Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustments; No Rezone!
Parsippany Love it or Leave it Alone.
Water is life. Land and People Community