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Contentious zoning board application heads to the final stage for approval

The Robbinsville Zoning Board of Adjustment is likely to approve an application for the construction of new warehouse that community members are less than thrilled about. Alleging environmental concerns as well as fears of traffic increases, activists and residents alike have not been shy in expressing their concerns to the Board, with around 80 interested parties attending the most recent virtual meeting during which this matter was heard.

In New Jersey, local zoning boards are tasked with enforcing the zoning plan for the town. The zoning ordinances in each town prescribe what uses are permitted in each designated zone. A “use variance” is needed when an applicant wants to build a structure on a certain piece of property that is not considered a “permitted use” in that zone. When a use variance is required for a proposed structure, the public has the right to participate in the hearings to voice their support or opposition for that particular application.

In the application currently before the Robbinsville Zoning Board, community members allege that wildlife such as sparrows, toads and even a nest of bald eagles have come to call the proposed site home. Some of those opposing the application also maintain that migratory birds have been using the proposed site as a major stopover for years during migration seasons. These folks argue that the proposed 45 acres of paved surface included in this warehouse project is likely to change all of that. The traffic concerns come largely from neighbors in nearby Allentown who are concerned about the increased truck traffic that they believe will result from the warehouse. The Board’s final vote on this application is scheduled for later this week.


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