Dear Sturbridge Lakes Homeowners:
The postponed meeting about hunting and possible development on land adjoining Sturbridge Lakes will be Wednesday, March 14 at 730 PM in the Signal Hill School cafeteria.
Township representatives, including committee members and a police department representative will attend.
Because our meetings are usually for members only, SLA will host an open public meeting for 90 minutes starting at 730 PM.
I will open the meeting, then give time to all township representatives, then ask for comments and questions from all in attendance.
At 9 PM or so, we will close the meeting to non residents and return to our normal SLA agenda.
A reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer has asked to be present. They are planning a report on land use issues for the Sunday Inquirer.
This is a first meeting to share information and to hear the township’s suggestions.
There will be two main issues tonight:
1 The hunting club and residents’ concerns about hunting regulations and safety. The hunting property touches Sturbridge Lakes at Chasemoor Drive, along Antietam Road, and also may adjoin our common ground at battery Hill Park.
Hunters have been using our streets to park and to access the property.
2. Possible future development issues.
Development of the property would present us with further issues, including traffic and loss of natural environment.
I’ve spoken with one of the principals of the hunting group. He demonstrated a level of experience and professionalism about conservation principles. We all respect private property rights and the rights of outdoorspeople.
Nonetheless, we need to be a well-informed community. The hunting association apparently is run by individuals who do work for a major developer. The land is owned by one of the developer’s companies. Questions arise as to why the property has been dedicated to hunting at this time. This may coincide with information we are receiving regarding a major housing development planned for the property.
The property has been used by the public for all sorts of recreation for many years. It certainly appears these folks were “trespassing” on private property, and we must respect property rights.
It’s also true this property is part of the Pinelands and its use and development may be controlled to some degree by the New Jersey Pinelands Commission.
To the north of this property are the headwaters of the Black Run river protected by the Black Run Preserve. Recreation also takes place there and over the years has spilled over into the property to the South.
I’m listing all these circumstances as background information. We need to obtain information and see what protections we can seek for now and in the future.
Thanks to all of the residents and township officials who took the lead on this. Hope to see you at tonight’s meeting.
Edward Ferruggia, President SLA Board of Trustees