Here’s an update from New Jersey about a controversial Home Depot project that is entering a new phase: “On Friday, July 25, 2003, an appeal of the Lacey Township Planning Board’s approval of the Home Depot PREIT application was filed in Superior Court by Edward F. Liston, Jr., attorney for the Concerned Citizens of Lacey. This is a major setback for the Lacey Home Depot. The case could take approximately one year to get to Court. And there is another appeal process beyond. We are prepared to take this for the long haul. On Tuesday night, May 13th, 2003 the Lacey Township Planning Board voted at 11:50PM without any deliberation to allow a Home Depot store on Route 9 at Sunrise Blvd. in Forked River. In spite of the fact that nearly 3000 residents signed a petition, “Just Say ‘NO’ To Home Depot” less than an hour was given for Public Comment on the third night of the lengthy hearings. The Chairman failed to maintain order and allow all members of the Public to adequately address their concerns. The hour was also inappropriate given the overall circumstances. It was clear the Board was pre-disposed to their decision saying the application met all applicable ordinances….There is no traffic mitigation plan in place at the present time and nearly 10 pending provisions were written into the approval. Without compliance the approval can be rescinded at any time. The State DOT and DEP have yet to begin their reviews for the Major Access Permit and the CAFRA permit. Without these items, the project is at a standstill. People need to realize that local approval means nothing without the State permits or LMUA approval. The #1 goal of the Lacey Township Master Plan is to maintain the current quality of life in Lacey Township. The PREIT/Home Depot application, in the opinion of the Concerned Citizens of Lacey, is clearly in violation of the Master Plan and for that reason alone, the Planning Board should have said ‘no’. They have failed to plan, consider quality of life and can only point to the project as a “ratable”….. a ratable that will inevitably raise our taxes…not lower them in any way, shape or form. The Toll Brothers project (an over 55 Senior Community) would be a far better ratable for Lacey and will have less impact overall on the Township.”
For more background on the Lacey, NJ battle, contact Regina Discenza at 609-693-6454. For history on the case, search this Newsflash database by “Lacey”.