True or false?

True or false? The new owner of the Exxon station at the corner of Hillside and Main has the right to add a convenience store on his property?*

False. The new Exxon owner has no such right. His proposal to add a convenience store there violates at least 18 Chatham zoning rules.

Adding a store there would also add traffic, delays, deliveries, crashes, pollution, noise, litter, and garbage to an already busy, chaotic, and dangerous intersection.

That would be a problem for everyone who lives in, works in, or drives through the Hillside neighborhood of Chatham Borough.

Fortunately, before the new Exxon owner can carry out his plans, he must convince our Zoning Board to grant several special exceptions from the normal zoning laws. Here are links to his applications:

Our Zoning Board should have no trouble saying no to that. At least two NJ towns have recently turned down similar proposals, as you can see here:

But will our Zoning Board have the courage to say NO?

Will our Zoning Board have on record the evidence necessary to make its decision stick on appeal?

Can Chatham residents help?

Yes, but we must act now, while there’s still time to get the necessary evidence on the record before the Zoning Board decides.

After that, it will be almost impossible to stop the new convenience store, which will bring more traffic, deliveries, crashes, litter, noise, pollution, and garbage into the already dangerously chaotic intersection.

First, consider chipping in to help your neighbors and friends hire a good lawyer who can make sure the Zoning Board gets all the evidence necessary to make the right decision stick on appeal.

Unless we get enough pledges soon, we won’t be able to hire a lawyer. Without a lawyer, we’ll be gambling on our future. So if you don’t want a convenience store clogging up the corner of Hillside and Main St, please asap e-mail your pledge to: [email protected]

Please note that the Zoning Board has announced that there will be NO further public notice of hearings in connection with this Exxon application.

Questions? E-mail [email protected]

* The author has chosen not to participate in, or vote on, the application in her capacity as an alternate member of the Historic Preservation Commission.

PS The new owner sidestepped a significant part of the review process by chopping down a healthy tree before the Zoning Board could hear his application. Despite documentary proof that he wanted that tree gone, his engineer testified that cutting it down was the result of a misunderstanding.

2 thoughts on “True or false?

  1. We will be happy to provide some financial support to help fund attorney. Please tell us how to make out check and where to send.
    Hoda and Bob Blau

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