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Letter to the Editor: Save One of the Last Remaining Farms in Freehold Township

Brian Dorf, a Freehold Township resident for over 40 years, encourages neighbors to join him at township comittee meeting Tuesday night where they will vote to change a zoning law.

Letter to the Editor:
 
My family moved to Freehold Township in 1969 at a time when there were more horses than people here. A bicycle ride from our home on Kettle Creek to the 7-11 near Route 9 didn't entail crossing any major roads or being fearful of traffic. There was one traffic light at the corner of Stillwells Corners Road and West Main Street that went to flasher at 10 pm. Freehold Township was truly a country town.
 
At the time Route 9 was one lane northbound and one lane southbound. Route 537 was also only two lanes and old growth trees lined the road creating a canopy that shaded the homes, pedestrians and the roadway. Those old trees stood for centuries and were a testament to the character of the community. During their lifetime those trees witnessed pivotal battles in the American revolution, and were adorned with patriotic ribbons on the Forth of July. For hundreds of years those trees stood along the roadway guarding the farmland where today there is a car wash, a WalMart and a Sams Club. Freehold Township is losing its character and its soul to the onslaught of over-development.
 
Back in the 70s there was a sense of community in Freehold Township. Most people knew you or your family. Everyone felt part of a town that offered a warm embrace to new families as they trickled in and filled the new homes that were built at a measured pace. Back then developers built communities, not just houses. They preserved trees, planted new trees to replace those lost during construction, and set aside open spaces to preserve the quality of life for the community.
 
And back then the municipal government was transparent. If you had any questions, you picked up the phone and called the Mayor, or Fred Jahn, the Township Administrator. Fred was a treasure to Freehold Township. He was bright and talented and his goal was to assure the continued quality of life for Freehold Township's residents. That was the overriding goal of previous administrations.
 
Today the Township is being run not for the benefit of the residents, but for the benefit of developers. Forests are torn down with total disregard for a community that opposes more unrestrained development. Most recently, the wishes of an entire neighborhood was ignored by the members of the Planning Board and permission was granted to an opportunistic realtor to clear cut a forest in the middle of a 40 year old development. Obviously something has gone completely wrong.
 
When residents take the time to show up at a Planning Board meeting to protest the destruction of an acre of dense forest that defines the character of their neighborhood and their concerns regarding flooding and the high water table are given absolutely no weight, something is wrong. That forest was ripped down on Applegate Road this past week without so much as a notification given to the adjacent property owners and surrounding homeowners. That is irresponsible and heavy-handed government at work in Freehold Township.
 
And now we learn that the same kind of thoughtless destruction is about to happen again. The Freehold Township Committee is meeting tonight, February 28th at 8 pm to rubber-stamp a subdivision on Route 537 with plans to construct 250 homes on one of the last remaining farms in the area. They are voting to change the zoning from one house per two acres to four homes per acre!!!
 
The old Brock Farm sits on a part of the roadway that is already over-burdened due to the traffic going to Great Adventure and the Raceway Mall. The traffic at the corner of Route 537 and Siloam Road (Route 527) already backs up for more than a mile every evening due to traffic congestion. This new development and strip mall will also impact ambulances going to the CentraState Trama Center. And the Committee is trying to do this under the cover of darkness. Even with Public Access television available, their meetings are not televised.
 
This is simply an irresponsible Planning Board decision that the Township Committee is ready to approve this evening. It will completely change the nature of the community and the area.
 
The meeting is tonight at 8 pm at the on Stillwells Corners Road. Please attend this meeting and speak your mind. Please help put a stop to the destruction of Freehold Township's treasures.

Brian Dorf
bkeith732@aol.com

Leslie Bianczik February 28, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Forget about it Brian...it's gone. Freehold Township has already lost its character and its soul to the onslaught of over-development.
Paul February 28, 2012 at 06:13 PM
They have done the same thing in other towns and the end result is that every time it rains, the water has nowhere to go and becomes runoff which fills basements, floods roads, overcomes storm drains, and costs the town a lot of money to correct. You would think that Freehold would learn from the others mistakes, but the almighty dollar is at work, most likely lining the pockets of the people making those poorly thought out decisions!
Noel Aliseo February 29, 2012 at 05:00 AM
This issue has been tabled until April 24th
Joe February 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Brian, when I was young..... my goodness should we go back to horse drawn wagons too.... society changes go with it, people have the right to develop the property they own, it's why we got rid of a king! ANd no one left you to be the new one!
james March 01, 2012 at 01:23 AM
the saddest thing is this is strictly being done for brocks to profit he now builds 300 affordable homes in an area that was not zoned for that everyone who owns a home and bought because they wanted the space has been decieved. What happens when they dont sell out the 300 homes and then backdoor the project by saying well we have to change it to no age restriction and instead of the 100 kids they were worried about there are now possibly 300. there is a 55 over apt complex near j b diner that has empty apts also raintree has plenty of condo and townhomes available in this price range that are available.not too mention that 537 is under construction and nowthere will be a convoy of dump trucks while they r building this for 2 years
Joe March 01, 2012 at 01:37 AM
oh but it was ok for the other people to build and move in? And what is wrong with profit? Do you work for free? did you pay taxes on HIS land? oh now u just want to tell him what to do with it! This isn't Russia You don't like it run for office but don't tell a man what he can do with his property!
Geri March 01, 2012 at 01:38 AM
today i put a bunch of letters in peoples mail boxes telling them about all this and to attend the next meeting and I will go everyday to do more and more I think thats what we should focus on is getting the more people the better.That is why they tabled it last night because they want us to give up and go away.Im not even from Freehold Im a Brooklyn girl and us Brooklyn people dont give up we fight back.Bring everyone to the next meeting and stop being so negitive...We are a community lets act on this!!!
Joe March 01, 2012 at 01:44 AM
now Geri this is the best letter to the editor in my lifetime, you're from Brooklyn, the people that destroyed NJ in the 1st place, now telling people from Freehold who have owned that land for generations what to do with it. How about we have a referendum and send all you New Yorkers back to NY and then we can really have some open space!
Bee March 01, 2012 at 01:53 AM
To joe who are u to tell anybody to go back to new York? Guess what all us new Yorkers live here now so what are u Gunna do about it besides sit back and watch. Use your words wisely and joe if u wanna go back to horse wagons I heard the Amish country in Pennsylvania has a ton of em maybe you'd be happier there...
Geri March 01, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Joe brock has every right to develop his property and it is his right but he has to live by the same rules as all of us if the property was zoned for 2 acre lots then that is what his land is zoned for we should not change the rules just for brock so that he can make another 5 times his money by changing the zoning laws. brock lives in colts neck so he could care less and if your so worried that i moved here from brooklyn you should be concerned that brock wants to drop 300 homes and god knows how many people in a concentrated space to further overbuild your town..And how dare you say we destroyed your town what are we animals?? I am sure plenty of your original residents were very happy filling thier pockets with all the land they sold to the developers
Joe March 01, 2012 at 01:56 AM
ok bee whatever u say
Joe March 01, 2012 at 01:58 AM
geri you are arguing both sides here, no one had a problem when you New Yorkers moved here, wait that's a lie most of us hated it! and the land was rezoned many times. I have no issue with people not agreeing to the change my issue is that 10 years ago, these same politician in power rezoned Freehold so there would be no more development, now they are so broke they would sell their soul!
Geri March 01, 2012 at 02:00 AM
lol
Bee March 01, 2012 at 02:01 AM
And You know what joe it's frustrating when you live in such a nice house and it's being brought down in value because of low income houses go ahead build 1 million dollar homes and that's ok but If your Going to come in and build low income that brings all us down plus it's safe to say that most senior citizens don't drive over the limit of 30 so now this creates more traffic for us. Joe do you live around where there building or do you get into these type of things a lot just to keep busy?
Brook March 01, 2012 at 02:11 AM
I'm a student I high school and I think it is very unfair how you don't want to hear what we would like to say because we are "under age" , well we still have a right to speak and I don't think you would like it of your child is new on the rode and can't leave there development to get to school cause it's to busy. There has been work being done on 537 now for a year and nothing has been done. So tell me would you want your child to be stuck in traffic and be late to school all for this bullshit because it's bad enough I can't even get out now. Don't tell me new yorkers caused this because my mother moved here so I would have a better life, clearly it's not working out with this hick shit!
Noel Aliseo March 01, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Hey Everyone, so happy to have you share your opinions right here on Patch. Just a reminder to keep your focus and avoid taking jabs at or needling your fellow commenters. I haven't seen anything completely out of line yet, but I'd rather not see it get to that point. Patch will not tolerate anyone using comments to volley shots back and forth. These are our terms of service: http://freehold.patch.com/terms. Follow them. If you have any questions about them, email me, call me or tap me on the shoulder when you see me around town with my green laptop.
Joe March 01, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Brook, your teachers should be embarrassed as should your parents for that education, learn to writ.....

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