MY TURN By Christine Feoranzo

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:27

    Finding a balance between growth and preservation Wantage Township is a beautiful rural township. The things that make this township special to us also make it a desirable location to develop. Stifling growth is not practical; every community needs some responsible growth for a variety of reasons. Wantage residents have come together in the past to oppose projects in the community that would detract from the beauty of the township. The community turnout to voice opposition to projects has been impressive. Let’s try something new and proactive instead of reactive. Keeping informed about new proposals is the key. Forming a network of citizens who exchange information about pending developments would enable us to gather and discuss our concerns and ideas in a private and creative forum. Then the collective suggestions and concerns could be voiced in an organized and constructive way at the proper Land Use and Committee meetings, hopefully before approvals are granted. This would be an extremely positive way for us as residents to help define the rural character of our community. Right now a new development is being planned located on 565 and Roy Road. Meadowview at Wantage would include some multifamily dwellings. Since this is a Mount Laurel zoned property it includes some COAH dwellings. The property is also environmentally sensitive and within the expansion area of the Wallkill River Refuge. Additionally this is one of the first sights seen when entering our township on 565. A small group of concerned citizens plans to meet at 7 p.m. at Just Desserts in Sussex on Friday, May 15 to discuss the impact and potential of this project. This is not intended to be a meeting to organize opposition of this project. It is to raise awareness and to organize creative input regarding what the community thinks about this project. There is a Land Use Board meeting on Tuesday, May 19 and approvals for this pending project will be discussed. We would plan to present our collective input at this meeting. Please take the time to come to one or both of these meetings. Our Township Committee and Land Use Board have been very conscientious about preserving the rural character of our township and have worked hard for the concerns of citizens opposing developments that don’t make sense for the township, even when those decisions have landed our township in court and cost us a small fortune in legal fees. If we as residents are more proactive in providing input during the early stages of a development it could prove to be much more cost effective for Wantage Township. Christine Feoranzo is a resident of Wantage Township.