Apologies for any inconsistencies as this is a work in progress...
For the second time in the last decade, the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills has been approached by a developer seeking approval to move forward with a project outside of the current zoning requirements. There has been a series of Planning Board meetings regarding rezoning a tract of land known as “The Waterview Tract.” RD Realty and RD Development has approached the township wanting to rezone the 27 acre vacant tract from planned office space to 72 Town homes and 100,000 + square feet of retail space to include a Whole Foods, possibly a Target... and various eateries. It has also been rumored that the rezoning will apply to a larger area. The application is being worded so ambiguously that it may be intended to encompass the ENTIRE 132-ACRE TRACT and not just the 27-acre tract in question. This is incredibly important because it means our entire region will probably be turned into a strip mall nightmare. A fear of a former Clifton resident who relocated and signed the petition (see link).
Many residents are concerned in addition to light, noise, traffic, water and other forms of pollution, that the current tract of land contains much wildlife that will be destroyed or displaced if the tract is developed. A stream runs alongside the area. I am unsure of the history (and will work to clarify), but I had heard the land was a gift from the Dodge Estate and certain conditions were given for its intended use which was not for this type of development. It appears that the Mayor supports the proposal because of added tax revenues even though it is against the Town's Master Plan as it stands.
Whole Foods first announcement of coming to Parsippany was July 2011 and they even stated they had signed a lease for the Waterview site (see various articles July 30 & 31). WHAT??? Anyway, sometime in the late Fall a "formal" application was submitted and the Planning Board meetings began. The meetings consist of the developer's legal representative Robert Garofolo or Joseph O'Neill having numerous experts testify about aspects of the planned development, followed by citizens trying to voice concerns about it and being treated in a dismissive manner.
It seems there is much wildlife, wild turkey, fox, bear, deer, hawks, and a natural stream running alongside this area. The developer wants to turn it into a asphalt wasteland with 900+ parking spaces and the aforementioned Whole Foods, possible Target and various other attractions. It is a area that many residents feel should be preserved. There is already too much vacant space unoccupied in Parsippany that could be used for such a purpose.