Preserve Liberty Corner
Summary of Public Hearing on 09/30/2014 by Frank Zhao:
For last hearing of Mosque application was held on Sep. 30th. There were more than 100 people attending the hearing with some being standing. It is needless to say, the impressive turnout surprised both proponent and opponent alike. We had more than 30 people from different sections of The Hills community showed up. Thanks to everyone’s participation and special thanks to Xiaoyan and Wei Zhou for their excellent promoting, organizing and coordinating efforts.
The hearing started at 7:30 with Pledge to the Allegiance. After a very short discussion and approval of other items, the focus is on the Mosque Application. The project engineer Mr. Adman Khan and their attorney Mr. Robert Raymar took the podium and laid out a number of items that were suggested to make changes during last several hearings. (Please see attached) The most significant one among those is that the east detention basin has been resized and exit driveway has been moved out from the buffer zone. There were discussions and clarification in between Board members and applicant, as well as comments made on issues of screening, drainage etc by Planning Board engineering team. The Liberty Corner Fire Chief also pointed out that improvement should be made (or double checked) with the space for fire truck to circulate/maneuver in the parking lot should emergency arise. The applicant side took about 1.5 hours to present their case. At the end of presentation, their attorney Mr. Raynar was evidently very satisfied and predicted a vote (to approve) is near. After a brief break, the hearing resumed. Normally, it will be the cross exam by opponent attorney Mr. Robert Simon. According to procedural rule, there won’t be allowed for questioning from public after 10:30. Mr. Simon asked the Board Chairman to allow the time for public question first since as he put it “the cross exam will run over one hour”, thus leaves no chance for public to speak out. The Board Chairman agreed. One-by-one, there were several residents coming forward to, under oath, ask questions, seek clarifications and challenge the applicant for lack of compliance of the building ordinance. One residence, Mr. Cody Smith, he rightly pointed out that the designed width of 20 feet of driveway in front of main entrance is not compliant with 25 feet wide required according to town ordinance. He also pointed out other questionable items that are potentially non-compliance. His questioning clearly uncovered holes in the design. The answer from the applicant to his remarks was “we don’t know (those Ordinances), have to check”. After 10:30, there are still more residents wanted to question, only two residents were then given chance to ask questions. Our John Zhang was one of them. His remarks on negative impact caused by the traffic out from the Mosque to adjacent traffic was of concern to many. He asked “what’s the sample size they used to predict their traffic flow”, the answer is “we don’t know”.
The hearing had to call off since it approached 11pm. There were still many residents not given chance to ask questions and cross exam has not even started. It was a clear sign that the hearing is far from over. There are so many unanswered questions and so many voices.
The next two hearings have been scheduled for Oct. 30th (Thu) and Dec 2nd (Tue). There is plenty of time to research/investigate the project plan to see whether any non-compliance with regard to Township Ordinance. I have attached their latest site plan for your review. You can access town Ordinance online at http://www.bernards.org/Municipal%20Clerks/Document/BERNARDSTOWNSHIPORDINANCESONLINE.htm. At this point, I believe any and every concern regarding to traffic, public safety, emergency response are legitimate. A simulation of delayed response to fire emergency caused by added traffic from the Mosque will be a strong message that public safety is at risk. Anyone having the expertise of creating such a simulation please step up. Even you don’t possess relevant skills to challenge, we still urge everyone who cares to attend. To show up is to say “we care”.
Special Planning Board Meeting
Event Date: 09/30/2014
Event Time: 7:30 PM
Organization: Planning Board
Town: Bernards Township
Contact Information:Frances Florio, firstname.lastname@example.org
Event Location: Craft Meeting Room located on the first floor of the administration building
GPS: 1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
"Preserver Liberty Corner!"
A sign we see everywhere if we drive in Basking Ridge area. What does it mean?
You wonder, she wonders, every body wonders ....
The puzzle was resolved only when Alice, invited by Zhang Zhen, briefely described what happened in the past 2 years, regarding the approval (and disapproval) of a Church for the particular community.
For details of the issue, please read the meeting minutes by click the following -
However, there is still a puzzle: who posted the sign "Preserve Liberty Corner"?