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HomeLetters to the editorLetter to the Editor: Glenmont Commons: Taxation Without Representation

Letter to the Editor: Glenmont Commons: Taxation Without Representation

Dear Editor:

We write on behalf of the residents, both the townhomes and single-family homes of the Glenmont Commons community. It is a community comprising approximately 265 townhomes and 140 single-family homes. The community was built between 2000 with the last phase of the development ending in about circa 2007. Tucked away, yet conveniently located, this community has plenty of advantages with very close access to the Morris County parks and recreational facilities. This is part of the same Parsippany township that was once rated number 13 in the top 20 best places to live in the country by Money magazine. 

16 years after the community was built out completely, the residents find themselves in an environment that is deprived of the most basic necessity of having decent roads. We believe the roads have never been repaved since. The community roads have huge potholes, cracks, and crevices, some as deep as 8 inches soon becoming a safety hazard as drivers try to avoid them and the potential to run into pedestrians, needless to say, the cost economics of maintaining your own vehicles (tires/rims, suspensions, wheel alignment, axles, etc.).

The community roads have huge potholes, cracks, and crevices, some as deep as 8 inches
The subsequent repair of the road looks like “patches” on a quilt.

There are parts of the road that have sunk, and many of the manholes are a few inches above the surface of the road. In addition, due to shoddy standards associated with water pipes leading to our townhomes, and single-family homes, homeowners have had to replace the incoming water lines out of their own pocket. The subsequent repair of the road looks like “patches” on a quilt. With new townhomes being built on the corner of Old Dover Road and Mountain Way, there is an obvious increase in the flow of traffic and heavy vehicles in and around this community. This only exacerbates the already poor conditions of the road, as the roads connect to the main arteries from Route 10 and these have not been addressed as well. There are new line markings though, but this is like putting lipstick on a pig. 

Today we find ourselves in a really awkward situation asking our town leaders to take care of a situation that could have been avoided if they had followed through on their management responsibilities in 2010.
 
Circa 2020, the members of the community based on the several observations duly noted, started to voice their concerns about the condition of the roads in and around the community. The townhomes’ HOA which governs only the townhomes and not the single-family homes was made aware of the concerns. When the HOA reached out to the township, the HOA was advised the roads did not belong to the town but to the builder/developer of the community.

However, the community residents are thankful that their roads somehow fall under the radar of the streets and road division for the snow to be cleared in the winter, which is a double-edged sword adding to the already poor condition of the roads due to the impact of the heavy machines. After a lot of further back and forth, in October 2021, the HOA was informed that for the town to take over the road, the HOA would have to amend its by-laws to indicate that HOA did not own the roads. Based upon the amended by-laws the town would reach out to the builder/developer to formally sign over the roads to the town. The HOA fulfilled its obligation of having the by-laws amended and passed by a majority of its members in August 2023.  Now the matter sits with the township’s attorney to address with the developer’s attorney.
 
Since this was an election year, and part of the council was due to be re-voted in/out, we had candidates approach the community trying to understand our needs.  While they broke bread with us, donuts and coffee with Councilman Paul Carifi, samosa, and chai with Mayor James Barberio and others, the issue has remained stagnant over the past three months, and we are afraid it will remain stagnant until the next election cycle.  Why are we not surprised? There is little to no confidence in the political goodwill of our leaders, considering the amount of an average estimated (approximately) $4.5 to $5.5 million in
property taxes being paid by the residents of the community to the township every year.
 
Since the informal meetings with the mayor and council, members of the community have attended the council meetings & public hearing sessions to move the case further.  At the October 17, 2023 council meeting, we were informed that the town attorney would reach out to the developer’s attorney. In the following council meeting on November 21, 2023, where the members of the community were focused on the PILOT program, as a community we again asked this question.  In response, the town attorney stated he just called the developer’s attorney just that day. It is hard not to notice the lack of political will and intent as it seems like cell phones or other forms of communication do not work in the 30 days between the last town council meeting and this one. 
 
So, how did we get here? In 2010 the township inspected the roads built for the community and as part of their engineering punch-out list, the township’s engineers identified the roads were not built to their specifications.  Did the township pursue the matter with the builder/developer? 
 
Today, almost 14 years later, the community is paying for that decision. The consequences of lack of management or mismanagement by the township, council, and mayor’s office.
The roads in the community are a SAFETY hazard. Is it too much to ask for safer and cleaner roads for a community that is paying over $5 million in taxes per year? The community has entrusted its faith and confidence in the hands of the politicians thus far and is growing impatient as the condition grows from bad to worse which can have its own consequences and dire implications. The homeowners & residents are willing to work with anyone who can help take this to the next level with a prompt response that has a more tangible outcome. We hope this letter brings attention to this issue to the overall Parsippany community and sparks more urgent action by the town’s leaders.

We do not intend to have this issue fester until the next election cycle where it will be dangled as a carrot to vote for the right mayoral/council candidate.

Tax-paying residents of Parsippany-Troy Hills (Glenmont Commons)

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The above press release has been submitted to Parsippany Focus in accordance with their policy of printing the content as submitted. It is important to note that the opinions and information contained in the press release have not been verified by the publisher, and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or content of the press release.
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