I just got home after attending a Logan Township Planning Board meeting on Thursday, Dec. 8. Me and my husband live in Woolwich Township, but there are warehouses planned across the street from us which is Logan Township. When I first got there, I looked around for a printed handout of tonight’s agenda. I could not find it, so I went up to the board. The board members were already sitting in their seats, and I asked the lady on the left if there are any agendas. She referred me to the website, everything is posted on there, she said. When I sat down, I pulled up the website but found nothing.
There were mostly lawyers and developers but also a few residents attending. Just like me many of the residents who were present came to voice their concerns about the construction of warehouses around their homes and communities. I could not help but get more and more upset about what happened during the session. While the developers applied for zoning approval and lot outlines of future ‘development projects’ the residents sat there, shaking their heads. During the portion where the public could speak up some of us took the stand, stated our names and addresses and swore to tell the truth. When asking about traffic, flooding and other issues that accompany the erection of new warehouses, the developers were quick to calm everyone’s mind, especially the board’s, confirming that all issues are taken care of and that New Jersey regulations will prevent any further damages or occurrences. All the while the board members nodded their heads approvingly and the residents in attendance uttered aghast sighs of unbelieve.
Let me put it this way. I felt like one of many mice (the residents), with some elephants in the room (the developers) that are taken care of by zookeepers (the township planning board). The mice can beep as much as they want, yet the exotic highly priced elephants are catered to by the zookeepers. At one point during the meeting one of the zookeepers assured the mice that nothing is being done that is in any way harmful or dangerous to them.
I have learned tonight that once the elephants are in the room, the mice have lost. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, they get what they want. So – mice! The problem is not in the size, it is in the timing. We have to be faster than that and beat the elephants! We have to elephant up and apply for the land to be preserved, for warehouses to be only erected in certain, limited areas. We should not have to worry about elephant poop dropping on our heads. Sorry, I mean, huge eighteen wheelers barreling down our small back country roads.
Let us apply for non-industrial zoning for the land that is still left untouched. The boards will then nod their heads toward us in approval. Because, as one of the board members said, they have our best interest in mind.
Sabine Spencer, Woolwich Twp.