Council, Planning Board to make important decisions this month

Sparta /
| 27 Jul 2023 | 04:24

    The month of August is the turning point for Sussex County and Sparta traffic.

    I was born and raised in Sparta. I left for 20 years for my career pursuits. I returned 19 years ago. I love Sussex County and Sparta.

    My family moved from Brooklyn to Sparta in 1948 for the beauty, forests and lakes, mountains, clean air and the rural nature of Sussex County.

    The next month is one of the most pivotal for Sussex County and Sparta since the development of Lake Mohawk in 1927.

    On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Township Council votes on the future of the cornfield across from North Village. At issue is the decision to intensely develop; develop with dollar stores and drive-thru restaurants (Popeyes, Dollar General, Taco Bell); or to not allow development.

    Traffic has reached a breaking point on Route 15. Ask anyone who commutes to work on 15 South from Lafayette north into Pennsylvania.

    Sparta Township professionals have testified that Route 15 (from the end of the divided highway to north of ShopRite) has reached its maximum.

    I do travel this stretch of road from downtown Sparta to Demarest Road five days a week at all different times of the day. It is a nightmare!!!

    Slipping away are the days of quiet, fresh air, no traffic Sussex County. The Sparta Township Council and the Planning Board will decide the fate of Sparta in August.

    Will the PCED Zone (cornfield across from ShopRite) be developed with the retail uses noted above and car-wash tenants, bank tenants and a self-storage operator or will the land be used as agricultural or park space?

    I vote for a farm or park. What do you think?

    Most any use will increase already overflowing traffic!

    Please show up Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. and be heard!

    On Aug. 16, the Planning Board further decides the fate of Sparta and this section of Route 15. At 7 p.m. will be the hearing on the 48 million cubic foot massive Diamond Chip mega warehouse/truck terminal.

    This building will be 21 times the volume of the next largest building in Sparta (or another comparison, 1.3 times the volume of the 37 million cubic foot Empire State Building; huge!!)

    The development will generate 1,200 tractor-trailer round trips per day on the same stretch of two-lane road as the PCED Zone and North Village is on. With 2,400 one-way trips per day, the Diamond Chip development will generate a tractor trailer once every 36 seconds, 24/7/365 for the next 50 years.

    The entire county and town will be adversely affected. Pollution, noise, light, transient visitors, trucks parked on side roads, trucks running all night as truckers sleep and, of course, traffic beyond belief.

    Route 15 is at its maximum already!!

    In summary, Spartans and residents of Sussex County need to tell Sparta Township officials, “No More Traffic”!!

    Please attend the Township Council meeting, 65 Main St. in Sparta Town Hall, on Tuesday Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. regarding the PCED Zone, which is the field across from ShopRite.

    Also, the Planning Board meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. will discuss the Diamond Chip mega warehouse/truck terminal.

    Tell Sparta officials we are done with development and want Sussex County to remain beautiful, serene and special for our generations to come!

    Please turn out for all of Sussex County’s sake!!

    It’s time to make a difference and get involved! At least find out what is going on!

    I hope you and your family love this place as much as mine does! Thank you for your support in saving Sussex County.

    Marjy Murphy