Medford Township Parkland Diversion (2008)
Medford Township, Burlington County has violated its agreement with the New Jersey State Green Acres program by accepting taxpayer monies for open space and allowing a private contracting business to establish a construction yard on the site.
[+ ZOOM] Park entrance on Gravelly Hollow Road. © PPA
In 2007, the Medford Township governing body leased out a portion (resolution/contract) of the Bob Meyer Memorial Park, land encumbered by Green Acres, to Mount Construction of Berlin, apparently in exchange for that business performing various projects throughout the municipality.
This use of parkland as a construction storage site is a violation of State Green Acres rules, and is considered a “diversion” of parkland.
[+ ZOOM] Construction site area of Bob Meyer Park. © PPA
We urge NJ Green Acres and Medford Township to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. The public has been denied use of its public open space for years!
Update June 3, 2009: Medford Township submitted to New Jersey Green Acres an application (cover letter) to amend its ROSI Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:36-25.3 (page 83) Amendment of Recreation and Open Space Inventory (ROSI). On June 29, 2009 NJ Green Acres sent a letter to Medford Township asking for additional information.
Update July, 2009: Medford Township also violated the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (letter) because the commercial contracting business was established on the site without an application. As of June 26, 2009, Medford Township has submitted the application which is now being reviewed by the Pinelands Commission. The site is within the Township's PPE Zone - Parks and Public Education Zone (see map). This zone does not allow for construction operations.
Anyone wishing to comment on the pending application can do so by writing to: New Jersey Pinelands Commission, P.O. Box 6, New Lisbon, New Jersey, 08064. Application #1989-0902.005.
The Mount Construction Company contract renewal with Medford Township for the use of the Bob Meyer Park site has been placed on the August 25, 2009 Medford Township Committee Meeting. This meeting takes place at 7:30 pm at the Medford Township Public Safety Center, located at 91 Union Street - at the corner of Union and Jones Road. (agenda item #11, Resolution 193-2009).
Medford Towship residents attened the August 25, 2009, see below news article.
On August 21, 2009 the Pinelands Commission sent Medford Township an incomplete letter on its July 2009 application submission.
On September 4, 2009 Medford Township sent a letter to PPA to address some of our comments about Bob Meyer Park.
In October 2009, Medford Township Council passed Resolution 214-2009 to rescind the addendum to the Utility Repair contract and enter into a release agreement.