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Post Info TOPIC: 30MW biomass plant in Mt. Hope?


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The Circus


OK, what I am not seeing is the outcome of the previous appeal filed by the twp against the CC exemption based on the "footprint" interpretation. Reading between the lines it might appear that the DEP upheld the exemption a second time which I have not seen any definitive info on, and now only last week the twp is appealing again? Is that the case or is this latest letter just addnl. info on the previously filed appeal? Does anyone know? Liarland is quoted here as saying that "every one" of the appeals filed by the town has been overturned. I would like to know if we are 0 for 2 and this is the 3rd attempt or not.



Rockaway Twp. again appeals church plan
Says Highlands exemption criteria isn't met
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
BY PAULA SAHA
Star-Ledger Staff
Rockaway Township has again asked the state to reconsider its approval of a megachurch's plans to build in the most highly protected part of the Highlands.

Christ Church, a 5,000-member congregation, has been fighting for several years to build a complex, including a sanctuary for 2,500 people, on a former industrial site on Green Pond Road. One of the church's biggest hurdles was get ting an exemption from the Highlands Act, a state law that restricts development in an area that provides drinking water to more than half of the state's population.

The state Department of Environmental Protection granted the church a waiver because its project is considered a "reconstruction" that remained within 125 percent of the footprint of what is already on the site. Two months later, Rockaway Township appealed the exemption, questioning the state's interpretation of the word "footprint."

Now, in a letter sent to the DEP last week, the township points to the agency's review of an exemp tion for an unrelated project in town, a power plant in the Mount Hope section.

In a letter to that developer, the state agency lays out the mathematical formula it will use when determining how much of the ground the power plant will cover. The DEP has not yet ruled on the power plant application.

But, the attorney for the township argues, if you plug in the de tails of Christ Church's plan, the church "fails to meet the exemp tion criteria" and "the exemption from the act granted to Christ Church should be vacated."

Christ Church's attorneys say Rockaway Township's analysis is wrong because it uses the wrong figures.

"Their calculation is just completely inaccurate," said attorney David Steinberger.

Christ Church spent more than three years going in front of the township planning board before getting approval last year. The project has been controversial, with many in town concerned about the project's size, traffic, environmental impact and the fact that the church would not have to pay property taxes.

The church was one of the first projects to get an exemption from the Highlands Act in 2004. Rockaway Township appealed the waiver then, and the court sent it back to the DEP for further fact-finding. In August, the church was again granted the exemption, and Rockaway Township appealed again.

Mayor Louis Sceusi said yesterday the township's willingness to pursue the exemption issue "has nothing to do with Christ Church. The issue is one of the environment, and that's always been my focus right from the beginning."

Sceusi said he had long been a supporter of the Highlands Act, and was concerned with how it was being implemented.

Pastor David Ireland said it was time the township moved on. "Every one of Rockaway Township's attempts to try to reverse the exemption ... has been turned down," Ireland said. "I think they should stop wasting taxpayer dol lars and start recognizing that the project meets the muster of the Highlands exemption."

In the meantime, Ireland said, the church is hoping to start construction on a temporary sanctuary for 1,000 people on the existing site at the end of April. The township approved those plans last month.



Paula Saha may be reached at psaha@starledger.com or (973) 539-7910.




2008 The Star Ledger
2008 NJ.com All Rights Reserved.


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RE: 30MW biomass plant in Mt. Hope?


Mr Bill

If a bigot is a guy who has not as yet embraced large increases in crime in his own backyard, well then yes, indeed, I am a bigot.

Enjoy your Prisoner Reform Ministry, Drug Rehab Clinic, Methodone Clinic, etc, etc, etc at Clowns Circus. As for us, we do not need or want such services nor do we want the clientelle that do hanging around our neighborhood.

I know, that is hard to understand for a little pinhead.

Rat

ps - And, you are complete embodiment of intellectual dishonesty.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chuck,

No matter how many times RT may protest CCs exemption, it will always fall on deaf ears. The townships stratedgy to fight this monstrosity has been completely flawed right from the get-go and I think that you know it.





-- Edited by Rational at 20:57, 2008-03-13

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Chuck,

You raise a good question. I also was wondering what happened with the town's challenge to the exemption. Hopefully this matter is still pending and the apparent disparity in formulas in use at the DEP will be difficult for them to explain without agreeing that CC's exemption should be withdrawn. Here's hoping for a rational solution to this matter.

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