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Letter To The Editor: 'Please Do Not Sign BAC Petition'

Karen R. Freudenberger, a 36 year resident of Emerson Lane, states her reasons why residents should not sign petitions for the BAC's voter initiative drive.

After reading the press release in the Patch, I feel the need to clarify a few things regarding the proposed BAC facility. 

First of all, the BAC is misleading the public as the amount of revenue the sewage hookup will bring to Berkeley Heights. Having attended all the meetings in both Warren and Berkeley Heights, I can assure you the amount is insignificant; it comes to about $6 per taxpayer. Remember, this is a one time fee, the yearly revenue is much smaller.

What is significant is the impact this huge 51,000 square foot facility will have on a quiet, two lane, residential road.  Emerson Lane only has sidewalks on about 1/3 of its length. Sight lines are poor in parts and children on bikes and moms with strollers use this road. The BAC is currently planning at least 40 swim meets a year with up to 500 attendees per meet. While they assure us NO ONE from the BAC will use Emerson Lane as a cut-through, my common sense tells me otherwise. Can they guarantee others coming to this premier facility will also refrain from using the street? The hours of operation are to be from 5:30 a.m. until after 10 p.m., 7 days a week. That’s a lot of traffic for Emerson Lane and Hillcrest Road to handle. Can you imagine trying to turn onto Plainfield Avenue after a swim meet? 

Speaking of  which, when my daughter was in high school, the Governor Livingston swim team had to practice at a pool in Cranford at 6 a.m. on weekdays before school. How helpful was the BAC to the swimmers in Berkeley Heights who could not afford the extremely expensive fees charged for the older teens in the program?

Finally, who gets the benefits – $$$$$ – from this proposed sight?  Warren Township will be the grateful recipient of the tax revenues. Berkeley Heights will be the recipient of increased traffic, noise, and the loss of a quiet residential neighborhood. 

Thank you,

Karen R. Freudenberger – 36 year resident of Emerson Lane

Janine Bavoso September 26, 2012 at 01:36 PM
As a resident of Berkeley Heights living off Emerson close to where the facility would be built, I'm glad this issue is being brought to light. One only needs to visit the area to see that a facility of this size, generating a large amount of traffic to an otherwise quiet and serene area, does not belong. It would severely compromise the quality of life, peaceful serenity and safety of those in the neighborhood. I implore anyone considering signing this petition to take these facts into consideration. While there is nothing wrong with a swimming facility per se, when it is slotted to be built in a residential area with the potential to decimate the surrounding area, one needs to think twice before supporting it. Janine Bavoso
Concerned in BH September 26, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Berkeley Heights residents also need to consider the fact that BAC is currently suing Berkeley Heights over this matter, and costing tax payers money to defend the suit. Further, BAC's proposed relocation to Warren will mean the loss of a source of tax money for Berkeley Heights. So when signing this petition, Berkeley Heights residents needs to understand that not only will the town receive minimal money from the sewer agreement, but it will also lose money in the process.
Harris Ruben September 27, 2012 at 12:41 AM
40 meets a year. That's most weekends every year. Actually, that's 77% of our weekends. Weekends when kids are out playing and people are out walking their dogs, and just walking. That's an awful lot of traffic on little Emerson Lane. DON'T SIGN THEIR PETITIONS!

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