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Gary Mosher
147-c Ironia Rd.
Mendham NJ 07945

Mayor says there are no ‘hidden agendas’


In last Thursday’s edition, a letter was published that was filled with inaccuracies that I feel compelled to address.

The writer indicated that on Monday, Dec. 3 (actually the meeting was on Dec. 5) “the Mount Hermon Developers transferred the deed of five acres to the trustees of the Library of the Mendham’s.”

Actually the Borough of Mendham approved an agreement to accept, in the future, a donation of five acres from the DeNeufville family (holding the property as Mount Hermon Hills LLC) with a number of contingencies that must occur prior to any land transfer.

The agreement also requires approval of the same agreement by Mendham Township since the five acres will be donated to both municipalities jointly for use by the two towns to build a common library.

This Library of the Mendhams will serve both towns replacing two under sized facilities in use today.

It is true that the two municipalities will have to apply for and receive approval of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) waivers to widen and improve an existing roadway into the property that currently provides the owner with access to their tree farm. The improved road will provide access to the proposed library as well as continue to provide access to the tree farm.

Without the waivers from the DEP the library will not be built and the land transfer will not occur. There will be no access via Linden Lane.

At this time no formal plans have been presented to Mendham Borough and the owner has recently stated that no plans exist to build anything on the adjoining 85 acres owned by the DeNeufville family. Over six months ago, the DeNeufvilles approached the Borough of Mendham regarding a possible continuing care retirement community and I personally and publicly aired their proposal to the Borough Council and Planning Board to seek input and community reaction to such a plan. I never endorsed the proposal and take serious exception to the writer’s statement.

The writer accused me of “fully endorsing” a plan to convert the existing three acre zoning to “high density zoning.”

Again I never endorsed this, in fact, the property was rezoned 20 years ago to allow “cluster zoning” that allows the building of a limited number of units (a maximum of 45 units) in a tighter configuration than one house per three acres of land thus providing a large amount of open space for the enjoyment of the residents.

Another statement is extremely inaccurate, i.e. “the developers proposed that it be … commercially zoned …” Never has there been a proposal or even discussion of “commercial zoning” and it is unlikely the borough would consider any commercial zoning in this part of the borough.

The DeNeufvilles did inquire if the density of the retirement community could be increased if they obtained an agreement that the contiguous 100 acres of land owned by the Thomas family be kept as dedicated open space in addition to a portion of the DeNeufvilles’ 90 acres being kept as dedicated open space in return for the building of more than the 90 units that such an open space agreement might allow.

As stated above no plan has ever gone beyond the talking stage and the DeNeufvilles now say there are no plans to develop the property.

The writer has attended many meetings were I have made it very clear that this “development” was a proposal and no formal applications have ever been made and now no plan exists. I specifically stated if such a plan were to be formally presented, Mendham Borough’s zoning laws require full disclosure and public hearings of any changes to zoning required for building anything other than what current zoning allows.

Interestingly the borough Mayor has no vote (other than in the event of a tie) on zoning change ordinances.

With no zoning changes, only approval of the plan to be sure it conforms to existing land use ordinances, the DeNeufvilles can already build homes on three acres lots or in a cluster format.

There are no hidden agendas and this donation is exclusively for the building of a joint library to serve the residents of Mendham borough and township.

The writer asks for “full disclosure of the proposed 140 unit high-density residential plan,” It would be difficult to disclose what does not exist. If a plan is formally presented all residents will ample opportunity to hear and comment on it.

Richard G. Kraft

Mendham Borough

Council president sets record straight


I’ve been a member of the Mendham Borough council for five years.

During this time I have also served as council liaison to LOTM (Library of the Mendham), which is the group working towards the construction of a new library.

I was dismayed to read Sarah Dean Link’s recent letter (Jan. 5 edition) to you where she claims “virtually all discussions on creating and funding a joint library have been behind closed doors, either those of the municipal governments or the three existing library boards.”

Mrs. Link further alleges these “closed door meetings” have resulted in decisions being made affecting both communities and their taxpayers without the opportunity for public questions or comment.

Those people who know Mayor Richard Kraft, myself, and the rest of my colleagues on the Borough Council can attest to the fact that we are honest, hard working elected officials who strive to be open and above board with all of our residents. We also encourage participation from all citizens in the governance of our town.

Although our opinions differ from time to time, the end result is that we work for the people of Mendham Borough. None of us have any political or personal agendas.

I’ve never seen Mrs. Link (a Mendham Township resident) at any Borough Council meeting so I’m not sure how she is arriving at the allegations outlined in her letter. I can assure every citizen of Mendham Borough that the issue of a joint library and all other issues facing our borough are discussed in open forum at our council meetings.

Each and every council member is also very open to discussing all issues individually with each and every citizen. Please come to our meetings and see for yourself.

We meet on the first and third Mondays of each month at 8 p.m. in the Garabrant Center.

Another recent letter writer to you regarding the joint library, Mrs. Laurie Felber, has been a regular attendee at our council meetings. She was at our Dec. 3 meeting where the land donation agreement for the library was approved.

I applaud Mrs. Felber for getting involved and encourage her to continue to ask our council the questions she has been putting before us. I would also ask her to consider contacting the mayor or any council member for clarification on any facts she might be unsure of.

Mrs. Felber indicated in her letter that Mount Hermon developers had proposed to build a high-density residential development of 140 units on the property behind West Field. She went on to say that the mayor and council fully endorsed this project and support “changing the three-acre zoning to high-density zoning.”

This is an incorrect statement. There has been no application made for this project nor was their any vote taken to endorse any type of zoning change. As a matter of fact, many council members have expressed concerns on changing our existing zoning to accommodate this type of project.

We all look forward to a very productive 2006.

Neil J. Henry
Mendham Borough
Council President