Letter to the Editor: An Unwelcome Neighborhood Addition

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Editor:

Development in recent years has become very disruptive to our quiet, family-friendly neighborhoods and with this, developers fail to take residents in and around the community into consideration. The Highview application, currently pending approval before the Mountain Lakes Planning Board, plans to replace the 3.62- acre Zeris Inn property — bordering Denville and the residential Rainbow Lakes section of Parsippany — with a 24-hour Wawa convenience store, a gas station with 16 fueling pumps, and a three-story, 112-room hotel on Route 46. As a result, this proposal has garnered the attention of many residents, but especially those from close-by neighborhoods who have a myriad of concerns including but not limited to aesthetics, health, traffic, safety, and potential crime.

First, the 400 square foot signage on the property is more suitable for highway usage, and the lighting – unlike anything we’ve yet seen in these communities – will most definitely affect the living situations of nearby residents. Additionally, fuel-tainted stormwater runoff puts our beloved local lakes and wellheads at risk. Traffic will be severely impacted. There will be an increase in delays at the Route 46 and Fox Hill intersections, which already sees frequent backups. With two high-volume access driveways planned for a residential street, how will locals, particularly the residents of Rainbow Lakes who only have two ways in and out of their neighborhood, get to and from their homes in a safe and timely manner? Last but not least, these proposed plans will put a strain on our police resources and volunteer fire department with an increase in the likelihood for robberies, as Wawa will be open 24/7.

Readers are left with this fact: 1 school, 2 lakes, and 53 residential homes within 1000 feet of the Hilton and Wawa’s 16 proposed fueling stations will be severely impacted with approval from the board.

We, the residents of the three previously mentioned neighborhoods, are appealing to the Mountain Lakes Planning Board in hopes of preserving the safety of our neighborhood. Please share and raise awareness of this issue while joining us to stop this construction. For more information and how to join our initiative, please email nfrdnj@gmail.com.

Shilpa Bhoopalam