*We apologize as this website has not been updated in a while. A revised application (140 units) was recently filed by Shamrock Creek. It no longer includes an "age restricted" component.* Please sign up for our e-mail updates
This property, commonly known as block #7706, lot #1, is located just off of Soldier Hill Road between Gettysburg Place and Seagull Drive.
Please check back often as this site will be updated. We thank everybody for their support to date and encourage that you stay involved. This cause, and our efforts, must be sustained! Any & all help is greatly appreciated.
Recent updates: “The fight is not over- our efforts must be sustained”!
SAVE PARAMUS WETLANDS
SAVE PARAMUS WETLANDS: IMPORTANT UPDATE
WHAT WE HOPED TO BE THE FINAL HEARING BEFORE THE PARAMUS ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT ON OCTOBER 28TH IN REFERENCE TO THE "ENCHANTMENT AT PARAMUS" APPLICATION WAS POSTPONED AT THE LAST MINUTE BY THE APPLICANT. WHILE WE ALL QUESTIONED WHETHER THIS SHOULD BE ALLOWED, WE PERCEIVED THIS TO BE POSITIVE NEWS. WE BELIEVE THAT THE APPLICANT FELT THAT THEIR VARIANCES WOULD HAVE BEEN DENIED IF THE BOARD MEMBERS WERE TO HAVE TAKEN A VOTE AFTER THE PUBLIC SPOKE OUT. WE HAVE LEARNED THAT THEY MAY TRY TO "AMEND" THEIR APPLICATION ONCE AGAIN. NO NEW DATE HAS BEEN SCHEDULED AS OF WRITING. IT IS UNLIKELY THAT A DATE WILL BE SELECTED PRIOR TO THE BOARD'S MEETING IN JANUARY OF 2011. IN THE INTERIM WE ARE HOPING THAT THE DEP 300 FOOT BUFFER RULING IS UPHELD IN COURT IN DECEMBER. WE WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP YOU POSTED....
A special thank you to all those who helped fill the Council Chamber for the Paramus Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing last week (10/14) in reference to the "Enchantment at Paramus" application. What appears to be the last meeting pertaining to this application will take place next week. It is important that we show up in force once again to voice our opposition and speak out against this proposed oversized, high-density development. Those in attendance will be allowed to speak prior to the Board voting. We are hoping that the Zoning Board does not approve any variances related to this project and that this application is DENIED on local, county, and state levels. Please spread the word and join us so we can speak out together and say NO!! The hearing will take place at 7:30 PM on Thursday, October 28th inside Paramus Borough Hall.
Information is listed below and is attached. Thanks to all the school groups, elected officials, environmental groups, and residents near and far who have spoken out against this application and are against building on this parcel of environmentally sensitive land. Please pass this information along to family members, neighbors, coworkers, classmates, politicians, friends, etc..... We CAN make a difference!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Borough of Paramus will hold the last scheduled public hearing on Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. at the Borough Hall, Jockish Square, Paramus, New Jersey, on the application of Shamrock Creek, LLC for a use variance, preliminary and final site plan approval and other variance relief to construct a townhouse and garden home complex consisting of 36 townhouses and 104 garden homes (condominiums) located in fifteen (15) separate buildings and clubhouse at the premises known as Block 7706, Lot 1 on the Tax Map of the Borough of Paramus and more commonly known as Soldier Hill Road, Paramus, New Jersey.
WE ASK THAT YOU SHOW UP IN FORCE AT THIS HEARING AS A STRONG DISPLAY OF OPPOSITION TO THIS APPLICATION AND / OR ANY BUILDING ON THIS ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE PARCEL OF LAND. THE LASTHEARING HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR ON THURSDAY OCTOBER 28th AT PARAMUS BOROUGH HALL.THE PUBLIC WILL BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK BEFORE THE BOARD VOTES ON “ENCHANTMENT AT PARAMUS”.
WE MUST CONTINUE TO FIGHT AND SAY “NO” TO THIS OVERSIZED, HIGH-DENSITY DEVELOPMENT.PLEASE BRING YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS, COWORKERS, ETC. AND CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD.
TO LEARN MORE, CALL 201-967-7699.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Many of you have seen the signs that were posted last month in the Soldier Hill area of
Paramus and/or received an “anonymous” flier and were quite disturbed. Articles pertaining to this matter have recently appeared in the Record and another is due to appear in the Town News.
We were quite disturbed by the wording in this unsigned flier that was mailed with no return address.It appears as if the property owner/developer is utilizing scare tactics and is doing all in their power to sway public opinion in an attempt to clear the way for them to build an oversized, high-density development.While they cite a “small group of ill informed objectors” it is important to note that www.saveparamuswetlands.com has received nearly 6,000 hits.Hundreds from across Paramus, the County, the State, and beyond, have signed up to receive e-mails and/or submitted petitions against building on this environmentally sensitive parcel of land.
Politicians on the local, county, and state levels have stated that they are against this development, as have a number of environmental groups. The list continues to grow! The Hackensack Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Bergen SWAN, Meadowlands Conservation Trust, Environment New Jersey, Conservation Foundation, Watershed Management Area #5, NNJWA, NJ Audubon Society, Bergen County Audubon Society, Fyke Nature Association, Bergen County Planning Department, Bergen County Trust Fund Public Advisory Committee, Bergen County Freeholders, Trust for Public Land, ANJEC, Shade Tree & Parks, Environmental Commissions, and other agencies and organizations are all aware of this proposal.These groups, and others, have been advised and/or are monitoring this important issue, as it would have an affect on Paramus, the surrounding communities, BergenCounty, and the State of New Jersey. The Borough of Paramus has filed a lawsuit as they believe this to be non-buildable land.They have made the protection of wetlands, open space, and pristine property a high priority of their administration.Oradell and Emerson have both passed resolutions, in support of our Borough’s position, and against building on this 35+ acre parcel.
The property owner/developer seems to be disturbed by the opposition and alarmed by the high turnout at the public hearing that was held at the Paramus Library by the NJ DEP earlier in the year.The meeting had to be rescheduled and an even larger crowd showed up at Paramus Catholic to speak out against this project.An overwhelming number of residents, local, county, and state officials, and representatives from a number of environmental groups attended, testified, and/or provided information.As a result, and after careful review, the Department of Environmental Protection (LURP) denied the permits and waivers that had been requested.
“UH-OH”….Although a prior work plan for site remediation had been approved it was contingent upon approval from the Land Use Division.Since this did not go the developer’s way (they plan to appeal) it seems that they have now chosen a different approach.We are not “environmental experts”, and have never claimed to be.The property owner/ developer has referenced contamination in the past and it has been mentioned that portions of the Soldier Hill site had been used as a dump over 50 years ago. A check of the NJ DEP website (DEP data miner) lists 735 regulated sites in Paramus alone.These locations include residential, business, school, government, and other addresses.The Soldier Hill site is on this list and has a site remediation number assigned to it (197810).While the author of the flier provides names and contact information for a variety of people, perhaps they should provide numbers for Shamrock Creek/One Key or JDME/Robertson Douglas Group so people can let them know how they feel!
It is interesting to see how the author of the flier has now decided to mention the stream and the Oradell Reservoir.Soldier Hill Brook, a category one watercourse, crosses this site.It feeds the Musquapsink Brook and in turn the Oradell Reservoir, which supplies over 750,000 people with their drinking water.As such it is entitled to 300 foot buffers on both sides.It is our opinion that this important level of protection would cut into the “uplands” and prohibit building in this area.This body of water had been depicted in blue in a prior artist’s rendering of “Enchantment”.It “disappeared” on the rendering presented at the hearing(s), creating the impression that the developer was downplaying its presence and significance.They noted in their zoning application (not the flier) that the site to be developed is located in an environmentally critical area as delineated in the Borough’s 1975 Natural Resource Inventory and any amendments thereto.They go on to say that the site to be developed is located in the 100 Year Flood Plain as delineated on either FEMA maps or NJ DEP flood maps.The site development would require the removal of trees of six inches or greater in true diameter, would introduce change in the quality and/orquantity of present storm-water runoff, would require the import or removal of soil from the area, would require directing surface drainage into a watercourse, would impact Borough services, increase local traffic, and excavation required for the development would penetrate the high water table in existence at the site.In addition, several waivers are requested and many variances and approvals would be required.These are all major concerns that would have a direct impact on us, our neighbors, and residents of Paramus, BergenCounty, and the State of New Jersey as a whole. It is important to remember the below listed highlights:
JUST SAY NO…to “ENCHANTMENT at PARAMUS” -JDME Acquisitions has submitted a proposal to build 144 units on a section of land off of Soldier Hill Road. This oversized, high-density project would include a ring road, 9 four story buildings consisting of 12 unit garden homes in each, 6 two story buildings consisting of 6 townhouses in each, and a clubhouse.
-This 35+ acres of environmentally sensitive land (block #7706, lot #1) was purchased by Shamrock Creek in 2002 for $90,000. It is assessed at $224,900 because it is wetlands.
-The site is home to Soldier Hill Brook, a category one watercourse. This important body of water, and other tributaries in the area, lead to the Musquapsink Brook and in turn feed the Oradell Reservoir which supplies over 750,000 people with their drinking water. The developer’s first application for a “freshwater wetlands and stream encroachment” permit was rejected. They resubmitted and also requested a “hardship waiver” but were DENIED by the NJ DEP (LURP) after a public hearing.
-The site is located in the 100 year flood plain. Development would require the removal of trees 6 inches or greater in true diameter, would introduce change in the quality and/or quantity of present storm-water runoff, and would require directing surface drainage into a watercourse. It has also been mentioned that runoff for the two-year storm exceeds the levels set by the NJ DEP. These, and other variables, could cause flooding.
-Site development would require the import or export of soil from the area, excavation will penetrate the high water table in existence, and a section of the property has been identified as a known contaminated site. Could changes make the matter worse?
-Site development would impact Borough services such as police, fire, public works, sewers, and drainage facilities, and would increase vehicular traffic.
-The area is completely wooded with “Palustrine” forested wetlands dominating the site. It contains a number of trees and vegetation and has been characterized by both “forested area and forested wetlands”, both identified as “suitable habitats for bird priority species”. Mention has been made to “vernal habitat” and development would displace a number of wildlife species.
-In addition to the several environmental, planning, use, and density issues, an additional “d” variance and many “c” variances would be required. At least 10 would be necessary and include such issues as height, number of units, setbacks, and distance.
-The site was part of a larger tract of land which became an RML zone as a result of a Mount Laurel lawsuit and a developer’s agreement. Mention was made to allow for 140 single units as part of the original Soldier Hill development. This was later amended to 129, and the agreed upon number of homes were built. There were to be no future sub-divisions and it appears that the intent was to leave the remaining land in its natural state. The Borough of Paramus has filed a lawsuit against the property owner/developer.
-The negatives outweigh the positives. This area is surrounded by single family homes, a nature trail, municipal land, Reid Park, county roads and a cemetery. This proposal would affect Paramus, neighboring communities, Bergen County, and the State of New Jersey. It must be protected and maintained as open space…. …Say NO to “Enchantment at Paramus”!!!
An article entitled “Builder accused of scare tactics” appeared in the Record on November 29, 2007.Louis Kaufman, spokesman for Shamrock Creek, was quoted.We found it offensive to read that “the developer would not remediate the land without the promise of being able to develop” and “without the funding we’re not going to clean it up”.It seems clear that profit, not health, is their chief motive/concern.The developer should be required to clean their property and steps must be taken to acquire the land.
We believe that this land has little or no value as indicated by the $90,000 purchase price.We were informed that a Green Acres application has been submitted.We are hoping that it is approved (believed to be $400,000) and that other grants are available so as this property can be acquired.We also hope that this funding will cover any clean up costs that are deemed necessary by the DEP.The Borough of Paramus, NJ DEP, and other environmental groups must follow up with the property owner and determine what actions need be taken. It would appear as if the purchaser knew about this land's "history" based on the low selling price.They should be held responsible for any clean up and any and all costs associated with it.
We still believe that this is not buildable land and that the property must be protected and maintained as open space. The Paramus Mayor and Council were provided with a copy of the flier at their last meeting and we will continue to follow up.We knew that this would be a “battle” and ask again that everybody remembers David vs. Goliath and never gives up.
We wish you all a very happy & healthy holiday season!
Save Paramus Wetlands
We have learned from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection that they have DENIED the pending stream encroachment and freshwater wetlands applications in relation to "Enchantment at Paramus" as they determined that the project, as submitted, did not meet the requirements of their rules. We applaud them for their hard work and consideration and for rendering this important decision.
This is great news and we thank everybody for their efforts, assistance, and support to date. Proper steps must now be taken to ensure that this 35+ acre parcel of environmentally sensitive land remain in its natural state. The Borough, County, and/or State must, together with other groups and organizations (Meadowalnds Conservation Trust, Green Acres, Bergen County Open Space Trust Advisory Board, etc.), work diligently to see that this land be acquired and protected immediately and maintained as open space!
We would like to introduce the sign campaign again now that the weather has improved. Please give ED a call to learn more about placing a sign on your property or replacing one that has been damaged (201-967-7699).
The Paramus Mayor & Council are clearly concerned about the environment and the health, safety, and welfare, of all residents, visitors, and businesses in the Borough. They have also made the protection of wetlands, open space, and pristine property a high priority of their administration. It is important that we all promote and support the renewal of the Garden State Preservation Trust in addition to a local open space fund. An ordinance authorizing a non-binding municipal referendum on an annual levy for an open space trust fund has been introduced. It should appear for a vote in November. It is important that we support this and vote YES. Parcels such as the 35+ acres off of Soldier Hill Road must be saved from development and maintained as open space for future generations to enjoy!
Stay tuned for additional information. Please check out more information in our "write letters" section and help out! -We had filed an OPRA request and received information from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. As previously stated, the developer filed an application (Land Use) on or about 1/26/2007. This application was rejected during an administrative pre-review. A letter from the NJDEP (dated 2/14/2007) listed several deficiencies when describing the stream encroachment and freshwater wetlands permit rejection. Mention was made, among other concerns, to a C-1 watercourse and the 300 ft. buffer. Some of this information can be found on the NJ DEP’s website. Please reference applicant/project name: Soldier Hill Brook, program interest id: 0246-04-0003.1, PRE 070001, and R#0540, when checking further. It is not too late to send comments. If we hear further from the LURP we will let you know.
An article appeared in the Record dated 5/12 ("They put open space ahead of their profit"). We would like to COMMEND the Trawinski brothers for making this decision. We feel that others must follow their lead:
WE WOULD LIKE TO COMMEND THE PLANNING BOARD FOR NOT APPROVING A SUB-DIVISION APPLICATION FOR THE "HOWLAND FOREST" APPLICATION AND THE MANY RESIDENTS WHO APPEARED TO VOICE THEIR CONCERNS AND OPPOSITION & PROTECT THESE WETLANDS! -We attended the April 5th meeting of the Paramus Planning Board. It lasted over four hours and included a sub-division application involving testimony, questions, and comments. Stuart Liebman, an attorney representing Howland Forest, attempted to explain why a parcel of land, consisting mainly of wetlands, should be subdivided to allow for the building of an additional home set back by a 225 foot driveway. Many concerned residents were present to voice their concerns and opposition. They also referenced the “Enchantment” proposal, as did Mr. Liebman. In his closing remarks he stated that his project was much different. There are some similarities and we applaud the results of the vote and the board’s decision NOT to approve this application. Original condition(s) of approval should not be removed and concessions should not be granted. Prior agreements and resolutions should be recognized and the area(s) left in their natural state.
“the fight must go on”… -The Borough’s case/lawsuit against the developer is still in progress. Last we heard the discovery phase was still ongoing. We are unaware of any new dates or scheduled hearings. We are still hoping for a favorable ruling from Superior Court and a finding that this is not buildable land. We will pass along information as it becomes available.
-The application filed before the Paramus Zoning Board of Adjustment is still pending. No date(s) have been scheduled as of writing. We will continue to monitor and will advise if and when this matter is listed.
While we are hoping for victories on the legal, zoning, and environmental fronts, the fight is not over. Ed and I continue to appear before groups and attend meetings and urge everybody to stay involved. Matt & Selvin, the two seniors from Paramus High School, are still working on their documentary. The Hackensack Riverkeeper, Bergen SWAN, Watershed Management, NNJWA, Sierra Club, Meadowlands Conservation Trust, Trust for Public Lands, Fyke Nature Association, New Jersey Audubon Society, Environmental Commissions, ANJEC, Environment New Jersey, and other organizations have also been advised and/or are monitoring this important issue. We appeared before the Bergen County Board of Freeholders and they are considering passing a resolution in support of our Borough's position and against building on this parcel of envrionmentally sensitive land. We thank everybody again for their assistance and support! This is very important to all of us and is not just a "local issue". We encourage everybody to stay involved and continue to spread the word! Keep an eye on the local newspapers (The Record, The Town News, The County Seat, paramuspost.com, etc.) and our "articles" section for stories related to our cause.
We need to preserve & maintain open space.
-We are looking for additional support (please contact Ed at 201-967-7699, or e-mail Mark at email@example.com to learn more).
-We continue to add to our e-mail list and will keep you informed. Scheduled to speak before a number of groups and organizations in the upcoming weeks. We will try to provide updates on the website & keep everybody up to date.
-We urge everybody to stay involved. Please continue to spread the word & write letters. lt will be important for ALL of us to attend any other meeting/hearing (zoning board, DEP, etc.) that may be scheduled in the future. We will let you know.
WE WILL KEEP YOU POSTED! Please continue to spread the word.
The Borough recently filed a lawsuit in Superior Court:
It was mentioned that: "Under the direction of Mayor Tedesco the Paramus Town Council has initiated legal action to STOP any development forever on Soldier Hill Road. The protection of Wet-Lands, Pristine Property and Open Space are the highest priority of this administration".
A hearing was held in Hackensack (12/1 at approximately 3:30 pm) before Judge Jonathan Harris in Superior Court. Judge Harris denied a request made by the attorney representing "Shamrock Creek" & "JDME Acquisitions" to dismiss the suit filed by the Borough of Paramus. The lawsuit will continue and more information will follow....
"Town suit against developer to proceed" PARAMUS -- A state Superior Court judge ruled Friday that a lawsuit by the borough against a developer can continue.
We are opposed to "Enchantment at Paramus", or any additional building in this area, as we believe that it was the intent of the Borough to permanently preserve this space and prohibit further development in this area.
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