Market Garden Ordinance Up for Final Adoption

Controversial ordinance could be settled Thursday.

More than a year after the issue first came before the Chatham Township Committee, the market garden ordinance comes up for final adoption Thursday.

The ordinance passed by a vote of 3-1 at the March 8 committee meeting, with Committee Memeber Robert Gallop casting the sole dissenting vote. Committee Member Kevin Tubbs, who previously indicated he would not support the ordinance, was absent from the meeting.

After the vote, the ordinance was sent back to the Chatham Township Planning Board on the advice of Attorney Carl Woodward. The board's role is to determine if the ordinance is consistent with the township's Master Plan.

Woodward said the committee made numerous changes to the ordinance after the Planning Board approved it in January, and "it should go back" once more before final adoption.

The board voted  for a second time at the March 19 meeting. The vote was 7-2 with one abstention.

If the ordinance passes, qualifying township residents with applicable lots will be able to grow produce and sell it off-site for profit as a conditional use, once approval is granted by the Planning Board.

The , plants cultivated for replanting and business transactions taking place onsite. All gardens must be organic and meet certain county, state and federal organic requirements.

Township Clerk Greg LaConte released a complete list of the 277 properties in town which qualify for the market garden ordinance. 

Most owners on the list are government entities such as Chatham Township, the County of Morris, the Morris County Park Commission and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Others are utility companies, businesses, nonprofits or religious establishments, such as PSE&G, Transcontinental Gas Pipeline, the Great Swamp Watershed Association, the , , ,  and the , which is owned by the Noe-Pierson Corp. and operated by Committee Member Bailey Brower, Jr.

The and also own properties on the list.

According to LaConte, a total of 61 qualifying lots are owned by township residents who could use their properties under the market garden ordinance.

The ordinance applies to properties zoned as residential.

Mayor Nicole Hagner's property is on the list. Properties belonging to Daniel Miller and Thomas and Debra Bucuk, the neighbors who first asked the township to consider farming as a conditional use, are on the list.

The township sent a letter to every qualifying property owner in advance of Thursday's meeting.

The meets Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Chatham Township Municipal Building. A copy of the agenda, a complete list of qualifying properties, the latest draft of the market garden ordinance and a copy of the letter sent to property owners may be found attached to this article.

Joe April 26, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Great job with article and attachments. Thank you.
Richard E. Templin April 26, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Well, as we have saying for the past year, Chatham is attempting to pass a commercial farm ordinance for the entire township, not just Green Village. If you review the list provided above, virtually every neighborhood in Chatham has at least one qualified new commercial property. The Township has gone on record saying that they will allow contractors to use these new commercial properties for storing their equipment, box trucks, dumping wastes, and housing their employees. It is a great tragedy that they are backdooring these businesses into our neighborhoods under this guise. Say goodbye to our property values and our quality of life! www.savegreenvillage.com
Dave April 27, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Mr. Templin - Where are you at the meeting? I would think that a person with such a desire to protect the Township, and more importaintly the "Village" would would have made it a point to be at tonight's meeting. Instead you post lies and false statements, make threats and post illegal signs. Nothing you have said has even been proven by you or any of you 4 followers. To think that you are running for Township Commitee is a joke. Way to stand behind your beliefs and be a no show......good job!
Richard E. Templin April 27, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Dave, I know you vegheads think I am superman and somehow do everything in this Township, but alas I am just a man who happens to have a sinus infection. Fortunately, several members of our community were there to speak out against this ridiculous Ordinance. All my statements are completely true and if they weren't than you know that I would have been sued by now. Instead, you weirdos run around in secret (is it really Dave?) apparently stalking my every move. If any of you grow a set come pay me a visit. About my run for Township Committee, that is about cleaning up this type of corruption! So let the voters weigh in.


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