Sunday, May 07, 2006

DEP Scraps Condo Plans in Bloomfield


Big news from the Bloomfield Third RiverBank Association:

The five acres of pristine forest along Liongate Drive off of Broad Street, which thelandowners Tilter Realty (Patty Copek and her sister Marie Ruvo), through their developer, DeSimone, dreamed of turning into another chock-full instant neighborhood,received a reprieve from falling under the developer's earthmovers.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reviewed DeSimone's plans to
build 42 townhomes on a flood plain of Spring Brook and the Third River and denied him approval to build.

We haven't received the formal letter detailing the reasons for the denial. We will pass it along when we get it.

Thanks to the hard work of many (remember those planning board and council meetings) and especially to the persistent efforts of our hired hydrologist Joe Skupien, the NJDEP put the brakes on this project.
Efforts questioning the wisdom of putting families at risk by building on the flood plain began in 2000. The planning board, under the Kane/Bukowski administration, did not give Desimone the approval to build at the site. However, later Desimone/Tilter appealed to the superior court and the planning board's denial was overturned.

We do not know what the landowners will do now. It would, of course be great, if they
would consider offering the property to the town.

We are also pleased that, with Greg Remaud's (NYNJ Baykeeper) help, we were able to secure a grant to help pay Joe Skupien's bill. We would like to recognize and roundly thank both Mary "the Bulldog" Shaughnessy's persistence as she followed up on the project as it wended its way through the NJDEP and Nick Joanow's weekly presence at the council meetings to keep track of any interesting tidbits on that front.

We hope to celebrate this news soon and will keep you posted.

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