To the Editor:
Residents of Sparta and neighboring towns are waking up to a proposal to build an 800,000-square-foot warehouse complex in Sussex County. The warehouse will have a larger footprint than Rockaway Mall and include 181 truck bays.
It will be built in Sparta, just off Route 15. Route 15! That placement alone should strike terror in the hearts of commuters who already sit in Route 15 traffic and will not be able to avoid a huge influx of trucks on their way to work, school and play. Additional traffic will physically degrade Route 15 and negatively affect surrounding neighborhood roads.
In addition to traffic, there are other very important concerns: danger to the Germany Flats aquifer on which the warehouse will be built; air, land and noise pollution from diesel trucks and increased rail traffic; dangers to children and young adults in camps and schools along truck routes; danger to rare bird and animal species in the area, to name a few.
In my opinion, 10 smaller warehouses of 80,000 square feet are as dangerous to our quality of life in Sussex County as one 800,000-square-foot warehouse.
I urge the Sparta Township Council to revoke the zoning change that was enacted to allow these behemoths to exist in Sparta. I urge Sparta Township and Sussex County residents to petition their local governments to request the Sparta Township Council revert to the prior zoning for this land.
And before such a change is made again, I urge the council to work with the governments of neighboring towns to engage in creating more reasonable land use regulations, in line with the expectations of all Sussex County residents.