Several community volunteers have organized a group, Protect Somerset Hills (PSH), to challenge the overdevelopment of commercial properties in the Somerset Hills area. Our goal is to protect the character and safety of our communities, our quality of life, our historical culture, our natural environment, and our future.
Oppose Allen Road Project
Our first initiative is to give voice to challenge the proposed variances and waivers being sought by Signature Acquisitions, LLC to develop two buildings with 24 loading docks on Allen Road in Basking Ridge. By building industry standards, this proposal is in essence for two warehouses.
Educate and engage the community about this proposal and rally in opposition.
Continue with attorney engagement to officially represent residents who oppose approval of the applicant’s variances. Our attorney has extensive experience representing objectors and, specifically, with Bernards Township Zoning Board.
Raise funds to pay for legal representation, expert witnesses, communications (signs, flyers, mailings, local advertising, etc.)
Bring your talents to the table and volunteer with us. We need passionate, dedicated people to help with fundraising, communications and community outreach Send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
As our mission includes helping to protect the New Jersey Highlands, the primary water source for our Somerset Hills, we are gratefully operating under the fiscal sponsorship of NJ Highlands Coalition (NJHC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit to accept tax-deductible donations. NJHC has a four-star rating on Charity Navigator with a 100% rating on their beacon for Accountability & Finance.
Go to: https://njhighlandscoalition.org/donate-to-protect-somerset-hills/
Please click the link, or type entire link, to arrive at the PSH donation page. Include PSH in memo box to help ensure donations are directed accordingly.
DONATE BY MAIL
Please make checks payable to NJ Highlands Coalition and include PSH on memo line of check.
Protect Somerset Hills,
c/o NJ Highlands Coalition,
508 Main St, Boonton, NJ 07005
COMPANY MATCHING DONATION PROGRAM
If your company has a matching program, please submit a request to match your donation to PSH under NJ Highlands Coalition, EIN 68-0636424, and to note Protect Somerset Hills as the intended campaign.
As we are fundraising under the umbrella of NJ Highlands Coalition, donations are tax-deductible.
NEWS AND EVENTS
Important Update: Bernards Township Zoning Board Meeting – March 16th Cancelled!
Bernards Township Municipal Building
Warren Craft Meeting Room
1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, NJ
The next meeting will be held at 7:30 pm on May 3, 2023, pending confirmation. The applicant for the proposed redevelopment project at 150 Allen Road, Signature Acquisitions, LLC, submitted a letter to the Bernards Township Zoning Board of Adjustment on March 2, 2023, stating that they will forgo the March 16 hearing to address jurisdictional issues raised by attorneys representing our group, Protect Somerset Hills, and attorneys representing Fellowship Village Corporation and Fellowship Village Residents Council. Therefore, the March 16, Zoning Board meeting is cancelled.
Signature Acquisitions, LLC, has proposed to submit an amended application for variances to the Zoning Board of Adjustment on May 3, 2023, pending confirmation. This is a significant step in the right direction, and is a direct result of our attorney’s efforts, as well as the public’s presence at these meetings. Please mark your calendars for May 3rd. Your attendance at these Zoning Board of Adjustment meetings remains vital. We will keep you posted as to whether this proposed meeting date is confirmed.
Success Stalling Signature Acquisitions, LLC, Zoning Board Hearing
On February 8, 2023, Signature Acquisitions, LLC, was prepared to continue a hearing in front of the Bernards Township Zoning Board and a standing-room-only, public audience of over 150 people. This hearing would be the continuation of that which began on January 4, 2023, to present additional witnesses to substantiate a multitude of variance requests and gain approval to proceed with their proposed redevelopment project at 150 Allen Road.
Our attorney, Rob Simon, of Herold Law, Warren, NJ, was very successful in convincing the Zoning Board to pause the hearing that evening based on several jurisdictional issues. These issues were outlined in a memo he sent to the Zoning Board and to Signature Acquisitions. He further enlisted the support of legal representatives from FellowshipLife, parent of Fellowship Village, and the Fellowship Village Residents’ Council. Fellowship Village is an independent, senior living community across the street from 150 Allen Road.
The next steps are for the opposing attorneys to provide briefings to the Zoning Board by early March to determine if and when to proceed with the hearing or if Signature Acquisitions will be required to file a new application and start an entirely new hearing. The Zoning Board is scheduled to hold a special meeting on, Thursday, March 16, 7:30pm, when they are expected to render a decision.
The power in numbers was evident at the February 8 hearing. Protect Somerset Hills encourages concerned individuals and businesses to attend the March 16 meeting, at 7:30pm, as well. The proposed venue is the Bernards Township Municipal Building, One Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge.
(Any updates to the date, time or location will be shared on the PSH website, as well as on Facebook group and WhatsApp group.)
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