To the Editor:
In response to Mr. Castimore’s letter to the editor in support of the proposed warehouse/trucking terminal on Demarest Road, my guess is that he (1) is a part-time resident of Sparta; (2) doesn’t commute on Route 15 and/or has not read the applicant’s application.
He is correct when he states that the application conforms to the zoning ordinance for this parcel. However, the Sparta Township ordinance also requires that the applicant prepare a thorough and complete Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS submitted by the applicant does not meet that standard, not even close. The mere fact that the project will include 1,400 vehicle trips and 30 acres of impervious coverage, and that the applicant states that there are no impacts and therefore no mitigation measures, indicates that the EIS is a rubber-stamp document. The EIS must be rejected as deficient and the application denied.
As to the discussion of the developers being good a neighbor, perhaps they are. I don’t know them. But it is clear that the applicant’s project lead from Florida knows nothing about our community and our values, despite the platitudes and inflated promises made during the planning board meeting. No one believes that a warehouse/trucking terminal in Sparta will mean more bread on the shelves of our Stop and Shop.
To our neighbors in Lafayette and Jefferson and beyond, I’m sorry that you will bear the brunt of this ill-conceived development. Please make your voices heard at the April planning board meeting.
To the planning board (and township council) members, please continue to ask the difficult questions of the applicant (and avoid questions that are thinly veiled as advocating for the project). I hope you will do what is necessary to reject this development based on the environmental review. We are watching very closely.