To the Editor:
On Monday, Feb. 11, one of the most important zoning meetings about the quality of life in Verona will take place at the community center at 7:30 p.m. It is imperative that residents and business owners attend. A real estate developer is seeking several variances in an effort to alter the neighborhood around 200 Bloomfield Avenue (across from Everett field).
The proposed project will tear down the 110+ year-old farmhouse, remove the surrounding land of mountain (dirt/rocks, 80 trees and wildlife) with aggressive blasting and excavation in order to level the land to Bloomfield Avenue . The blasting will occur daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will severely interrupt the lives of area residents, as well as, traffic on Bloomfield Avenue for up to one year. The construction will be ongoing for over two to three years. The developer intends to erect a 26 foot high concrete retaining wall and build a 9,000 square foot, three-story commercial space topped by 14 two BR/two BA apartments on the second and third floors. Two parking lots, one in front of the building facing Bloomfield Avenue, and, one in the back, off Montclair Avenue.
As a longtime Verona resident and business owner, I am highly concerned about safety, environmental and health issues including exposure to radon, dust, rock, dirt and noise pollution from the loud blast vibrations. There is simply no place in our community for Rock Blasting. These outcomes will most likely have very upsetting effects on both people and their loved animals. Not to mention the health risks concerning children who play at Everett field. The developer’s family will not be the victim of his commercial excess.
To demonstrate that eminent damage, danger and unintended consequences will result from this over development project, I obtained the traffic incident reports near the 7-Eleven (a two story retail/apartment complex constructed several years ago) one block west of the proposed project. After reading 89 pages of accidents in that area, traffic accidents have increased exponentially. Our town does not need any more injuries nor does the rescue squad, fire department and Verona police need to manage these additional traffic burdens. Bloomfield Avenue businesses do not need to be disrupted for several years by the noise and the traffic detours. There is no evidence that this development will provide any long term economic benefits to our town, but it will most certainly cripple the existing businesses nearby and disturb ALL local residents while this project is under way.
Lastly, we don’t want to lose anymore of the residential charm of our neighborhood.
The township of Verona established a new Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance to protect our community from those seeking to exploit Verona’s resources by over development. I urge all who care about our community to attend this last meeting on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Verona Community Center (880 Bloomfield Avenue – first floor) to help prevent the construction variances from being approved. Let’s preserve the beauty of our town. We need your support! Please come to the meeting and speak up against this proposed project.