A dozen concerned residents of High Point in Cedar Grove attended Monday night's council meeting to petition the council and voice their concerns over an expansion project proposal for St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church.
Stacy Kilkenny, who lives in High Point, addressed the council during the public portion of the meeting, expressing concerns over the expansion of the church and the removal of 111 trees for additional parking.
“We think it would irrevocably decimate the area financially and ecologically,” she said.
In the petition, Kilkenny and other residents said they were concerned about water run-off from the parking lot, additional traffic on the surrounding roads, additional noise and pollution and potential negative impact on property values.
The council was unable to address any issues concerning the expansion at the meeting because the issue has not yet come before the council. The church's application to the zoning board may yet come before the council, said Cedar Grove Township Attorney Thomas Scrivo.
“If that application is granted by the zoning board, then the objectors have an ability to appeal to the governing body to overturn what the zoning board did,” said Scrivo. “As a result, it would be improper for the governing body to speak on the application because it may come before them.”
Kilkenny and other residents plan on submitting their petition to the zoning board at the July 10 meeting.
In other business, Cedar Grove Town Manager Tom Tucci informed the council of problems with recycling collection throughout the neighborhood.
The First Occupational Center of New Jersey began missing a few homes, then a few streets and last Friday, did not collect recycling on 20 streets throughout the township, he said.
“If this happens again, it may be grounds for non-performance and we may have to terminate the contract and get someone else to collect,” said Tucci. “The biggest issue is that we rely on them for correct information and when they tell us the streets are collected, we are relaying that information to the residents. When that information is incorrect it diminishes our credibility with the public.”