In Your Opinion: Citizen Participation Helps Guide The Township’s Future

By Bill Connell.

I went up to the Adirondack Mountains last week to get a better view on my life. As I came down from the mountain like Moses, I was approaching exit 10 and saw New Brunswick on the horizon. I could not help but notice how the skyline has changed.  I wondered if in 20 years, that’s what Easton Avenue will look like?

People get bent out of shape over the blinky shiney things like a temple being put up in beautiful farmland, but have no clue how a subtle ordinance change or zoning change can impact growth. What New Brunswick and Hamilton Street both have in common is, it didn’t just happen, an ordinance or zoning change allowed it to happen.  Allowing a developer to have four floors instead of three changes the economics of putting up building.

That brings us to the Kmart property.   My amateur guess is Levin properties is a retail property conglomerate that is getting hammered by a change in people’s buying habits. Franklin looks like the first property they are going to modify their business model to residential or mixed use. The question for Franklin is do we want this to happen?  For Levin, allowing for the variance is handing them money. We are making it more lucrative them to put that building in. If Franklin is getting something out of it then we need to look at that.  I don’t think we are.

 I don’t think the traffic issue is a big issue, but I have concerns. Any traffic standards of that property are from the 70s and 80s. Franklin and New Brunswick have probably doubled In population. Someone will make the argument the property was designed to handle it but through-traffic has probably doubled.  I am not saying traffic engineers lie, but I don’t like the fact that the landowner pays them. I see this as a conflict of interest. Also, this is a county road. The impotent nature in which they deal with problems is concerning. Why are you allowed to take a left out of the Bottle Republic onto Easton Avenue?  The county’s work at the 7-11 on Veronica is not impressive either, but it was justified by the traffic engineer’s testimony.

 In review of the peanut gallery comments, I have a few comments. “Who’s getting the kick back” Please stop unproductive comments like this unless you know something. This is actually an interesting land use issue.  Council should not really be involved in this unless they gave some sort of nod of approval in the Land Use committee.  Regardless, I would certainly let your feelings be known to Council instead of mouthing off on Facebook. Last but not least, we don’t need a Cracker Barrel, we need a Nados Perri Perri.

 Don’t complain, Participate! Our future is on the horizon.

Your Thoughts


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