This letter is being written by a group of residents of the Town of Secaucus who have formed an organization of concerned homeowners and renters with a strong desire to preserve the suburban character of Secaucus. We wish to express our concerns regarding the proposed Baker/Riverwalk Townhouse Development.
Once again, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission ("NJMC") has challenged the fortitude and resolve of the people of Secaucus with the ill advised and unreasonable proposed Baker/Riverwalk Townhouse Development.
Since the introduction letter of February 20, 2002 we have observed the following obvious and blatant failures;
-- The first letter of February 20, 2002 projected 135 townhouse units. At this juncture 212 townhouse units are now proposed. Since the number of units is increasing, just how many units will ultimately be erected on this site?
-- Although the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection had requested in writing our input and concerns regarding this proposed project, all written letters expressing concern seem to have been ignored.
-- Additionally, we have observed a failure of the developer to integrate affordable housing units throughout the entire development. This could be construed as discriminatory to lower income occupants.
-- The Developer seeks to erect the townhouses at a height of 38.5 feet. Since the New Jersey Administrative Code prohibits structures from exceeding 35 feet in height, why should this project exceed these height limitations? If this variance is granted the height of these buildings will reach over 40 feet after final grade, severely impacting the existing homes.
-- Failure of the Developer and the Town of Secaucus officials to have a public hearing on the first presentation of the Baker/Riverwalk Townhouse Development after official notification had been sent on February 20, 2002, thus denying the residents of Secaucus their constitutional rights to express their opinions, concerns and input.
-- Failure of the Developer, the NJMC, and the Town of Secaucus to provide an impact study of this development (i.e. schools, traffic, fire & police, ambulance, sewerage), and other Town services is again not in the best interests of taxpaying residents. The residents of Secaucus have been denied a comprehensive report on the impact which this development will have on the Town of Secaucus.
-- Failure of the Developer to disclose data about the "berm" surrounding this development. This "berm" turned out to be a "buffer zone" as disclosed at the variance hearing on July 30, 2002. This "buffer zone" will severely impact the already congested streets of Paulanne Terrace, Julianne Terrace and Hagan Place.
-- Failure of the Developer to provide and implement an orderly development of the Shiptank Property that is compatible with the surrounding suburban atmosphere and character that is Secaucus, thus failing to protect its residents.
The people of Secaucus will confront this menacing challenge directly and will not yield. Never discount the resiliency and determination of the people of Secaucus to protect their homes, lifestyle, investments and most of all our community.
Samuel C. Maffei
Save Our Secaucus