Sunday, April 03, 2011

Nice Weekend Spent Busy

And It Did Not Rain

But I did not ride. Saturday, I attended my aunt's funeral in North Jersey. This took up most of the day including the over an hour drive each way.  We did have a nice service at the cemetery and a good family gathering at a restaurant afterwards.

Not sure what I did today, but church took up the morning, followed by lunch with my friends from choir, and then home to do nothing of note. Well, not exactly. I am kind of formulating plans for the concrete batch plant battle.

And I went out to poo pick for an hour or so, during which time I think I threw my back out a little. Not bad yet, but I am feeling those darn twinges again.

Regarding the batch plant and the asphalt plant in the State Park.  To clarify. The asphalt plant was the result of some questionable industrial development that began back in 1948, long before the State Park existed.  The land was wooded, and still not appropriate for industry, but back then, there were no zoning laws in existence in the Township. By the time the zoning laws developed, the asphalt plant had been built and was allowed to continue operation under a "prior use" zoning variance.  That allowed an asphalt plant to run there as an acceptable use of the land even as the State Park was preserved around it--on three sides.

Now, that plant is a totally wrong use of the land and an environmental hazard, but the law allows it since you cannot tell a landowner he cannot use his land as he wants if he was using it in a bad way before the laws were in place. "Grandfather clause."   However, now that the owner wants to change the plant from an asphalt plant to a concrete plant, he must get legal permission from the Township.  The key for us is that over the last 3-4 years, the asphalt plant has only been operating once or twice a year--long enough for the owner to claim it is still an active business so he can keep his use variance. If he shuts the plant down and stops making asphalt altogether, he loses the right to operate the plant and the land then goes into residential zoning--houses and related buildings.

I know this is all kind of confusing, but that's how it goes in most of the USA and here in the State of New Jersey.  To protect citizens, government has the power to make decisions on how land is used, and there are many complicated rules about it all.


  1. Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense to me although I think only operating a couple of times a year to beat the system really sucks. I wish people would do what's right instead of what they can get away with but I suppose that is asking too much.

  2. The state laws are confusing but it always seems the environment loses and the people with money to grease a few palms triumph.

  3. Quite complicated. I am grateful taht you explained it to me. I am glad your neighbours have somebody like you keeping a vigilant eye on this type of business.

    You are always an example of civil conduct ^-^

  4. I'm sorry that you lost your Aunt.