Wow! Ten days already . . .
Back posting with Bridgewater news!
I am in Japan, but I still get all the news. (At least the stuff that is in the paper on from an e-mail list.)
Everyone is buzzing about the four-story hotels being proposed on Route 22 in Finderne.
For example, perennial Democratic candidate Paul Amitrani has this to say:
Bridgewater must protest more development
For the past five years, in every single Bridgewater election, every single councilman and the mayor have promised to curtail development. When Mayor Flannery was sworn in, she made a big display of handpicking her own Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment on the pretense that the boards of the previous mayor were the cause of overdevelopment. (She should have been looking at a council, herself included, that for 20 years failed to introduce protective zoning ordinances.)
So against these self-proclaimed guardians of overdevelopment comes the Briad Development Corporation with a plan to build two high-rise hotels on Route 22 East behind the Greymark building near Adamsville Road.
Briad Development wants numerous major variances and waivers. The variances include change of use (hotels presently are not permitted in this zone); change of height restrictions (it wants permission to build four stories instead of three); major deviations in set-backs and side yards; waivers for buffers and screening between residential property; and other special treatment. Some of the variances requested are contrary to the master plan that was adopted within the past 18 months.
I look at all the requested variances, and I ask myself, “How do these guys have the nerve to ask for so many major variances? What makes them think that they have even the slightest chance of getting this approved?”
And then I look at the players, and it all makes sense. Who did Briad retain to represent it before the Zoning Board? Larry Powers, Mayor Flannery’s former campaign manager.
And who is one of the biggest advocates for permitting Briad to exceed the three-story height restriction? Howard Turbowitz. You remember him; he is the mayor’s friend who was hired for $60,000 per year to encourage development in Bridgewater, as if we really needed to encourage development. Mr. Turbowitz’s concept of controlling development appears to be horizontal only. You can develop vertically as much as you want.
And, finally, who is everyone appearing before? The mayor’s handpicked Zoning Board. Coincidence? I think not.
Right now, there are several groups of citizens that are opposed to this attack on our neighborhoods. One is a group of dedicated citizens in Finderne that is working very hard to defeat this application. Another is the Foothill Civic Association, which arguably would not be aesthetically affected by this project. It opposes this because this is not an isolated situation. If the zoning laws are ignored in one neighborhood, then no neighborhood is safe.
This matter will come before the Zoning Board again Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Court Building. This is not the time to sit back and do nothing because it is not your exact geographic neighborhood. The way to protect your neighborhood from this type of assault is to protect everyone’s neighborhood. It may sound a little bit old-fashioned, but “all for one and one for all.”
I urge all citizens of Bridgewater to come out to that meeting and let your voices be heard. Do not let the mayor and her friends destroy our neighborhoods.
After several years, Paul Amitrani is hitting on all cylinders. This proposed development is unsuitable for the neighborhood. It’s simply being sneaked in to make Larry Powers and his developer clients wealthy(ier).
And Paul is absolutely RIGHT to point out the sleazy money connections surrounding Mayor Flannery? Who else will? Always Me?? (Like three years ago during the election season, ehem . . . )
I really hope the people like Paul who care about the community keep at this issue.