Memo from the Township Committee in reference to Ordinance 2020-1392 regarding 'warehousing' and 'wakeupbranchburg'

To:       Branchburg Residents

From:   The Branchburg Township Committee

Date:    October 21, 2020

Re:       Ordinance 2020-1392 / wakeupbranchburg.com

Over the past few days many of you may have received a flier from an unknown source calling for you to oppose an “alarming ordinance” that is being considered by the Branchburg Township Committee.

The flier provides a link to a website “wakeupbranchburg.com” where you will receive hand-picked ‘facts’ meant to scare you.  What you will not get are the facts about who is behind this mailing/website and why they want you to oppose this ordinance.  You will also not get facts about what this ordinance is intended to do for our community.

We are hoping this memo will provide you information to clear up the miscommunications of ‘wakeupbranchburg.com’

  1. During their regular public meeting of September 28, 2020, the Branchburg Township Committee introduced Ordinance 2020-1392 which seeks to clarify the Township Committee’s intent to prohibit and remove, as a principle (main) use, warehousing from our industrial districts. In 2015 the Township Committee adopted a similar ordinance for the I-2 Industrial Zone, but that ordinance was recently nullified by the Court on procedural grounds.  Ordinance 2020-1392 will allow warehousing of materials for businesses that manufacture, sell or assemble products on site so long as the warehousing is secondary to the principle use on the property.
  2. As required by law such an ordinance requires the township to provide notices to many entities including direct mailings to over 300 affected and neighboring property owners, the county, surrounding communities as well as being published in our local newspapers and on our website.
  3. Further, every action for this ordinance was done in public and in accordance with the law. Fully transparent in every aspect.
  4. This ordinance was a result of the continuous and very real threat to our community of property owners in industrial zones (many which are adjacent to residential zones) looking to place large warehouse facilities within our community.
  5. These large warehouses (i.e. Amazon Fulfillment centers) would operate 24/7 and could have over 50 large truck bays which would operate day in and day out.
  6. It is the opinion of the township that such a use within our community would have a detrimental affect on our quality of life. These are large facilities with constant outdoor lighting and non-stop large truck traffic which would most certainly end up on our local roads.
  7. There is NO evidence that this will create a tax increase, vacant buildings or blighted centers. These are clearly scare tactics of desperate people.
  8. There is evidence of how these large warehouses operate and the negative affect they could have on our community and THAT is what the township is trying to prevent.
  9. This ordinance simply seeks to maintain our quality of life while not giving into big corporations.
  10. The mailing/flier/website did not come from the township. This is clearly propaganda being put out by those who would benefit most by selling their property to these large warehouse users.  They are trying to weaponize you for their benefit, not yours.
  11. The only statement that the ‘wakeupbranchburg.com’ cabal got right is that we want you to contact us. The Township wants to hear your thoughts on this matter.  Are you in favor of allowing multiple large 24/7 warehouse operations or would you like to prevent such a use in our community?

What could you do/how to have your voice heard on this matter (in all cases please provide your name and address):

  1. Review the agenda of 9/28/20 and the ordinance in question: https://branchburgtwpnj.documents-on-demand.com/Document/5e91ef4b-5902-eb11-a311-000c29a59557/09-28-2020%20Signed%20Resolutions.pdf.
  2. Send an email to public@branchburg.nj.us and state your position on whether or not you want to allow large warehouse centers in the township.
  3. Attend the Township Committee meeting on October 26, 2020 at the Municipal Building and voice your thoughts in person. The discussion on this ordinance will start around 8:00 PM.
  4. All Township Committee meetings are streamed live on our website. You could also email your comments in advance and watch the meeting online or on Comcast Channel 27/Fios 46 http://branchburgnj.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx

   
Thomas Young, Mayor
Brendon Beatrice, Deputy Mayor  
James Schworn, Township Committee member
Anna Columbus, Township Committee member
David Owens, Township Committee member