Residents are afraid of being “driven away” By Neighbor

The front door of 41 Mill Pond in the Whispering Hills section of Jackson features multiple work stoppage orders issued by town code enforcement officials. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

JACKSON – Despite numerous brightly colored work stoppage orders stuck at the gates of 41 Mill Pond on the Whispering Hills side of town, work is continuing, according to speakers at a recent Township Council meeting.

During the public comment of that meeting, residents living in the Whispering Hills development came out requesting action to be taken regarding two properties within the neighborhood that they said were undergoing internal work in violation. in the town code.

41 Mill Pond

Cedarview Avenue resident Kori Sargent lives in the Whispering Hills neighborhood and noted that the people sitting behind her at the meeting were her neighbors “just trying to live comfortably. I’m here to raise awareness. about a situation happening in our neighborhood. “

He said the situation refers to the breach of the town code and nothing has been done about it. There are two residences in the Whispering Hills neighborhood that have recently changed hands of ownership and my understanding is that one has been designated as a house of worship and another is being prepared to become a school. “

“I believe in some cases police officers were notified about violations of the codes. In some cases the code enforcement forces were notified about the codes being broken and the neighbors there took no action. Most of us feel the neighborhood is changing.It is changing fast.Buildings are being used against the ordinances of the town and against the ordinances of the homeowners association.We want the town to know about them and act of more action to address this, ”Sargent said.

Mayor Reach Out said

Mayor Michael Reina reminded residents that his office “is open five days a week for issues like this. We want to listen or it is not our responsibility to listen to it. We get things in dribs and drabs – you want to hear it from the source. “

The mayor said as he could not allow the police to take action. He can inform the department about issues presented to him by the public. “If you make an appointment, normally you’ll find me here at 4 o’clock but don’t let that stop you. The Business Administrator (Terence Wall) is here from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm He’s the creature who runs the town during the day. “

The mayor further said that many cases like this are pending a court hearing and the court has been backed up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “You can hear. Unfortunately it is at the speed of a snail because of the court system. “

Regarding the building department Mayor Reina said that “as fast as we try to hire people they leave. You have code enforcement officers who are with COVID. We are going through litigation that prevents us from doing other things . “

Township Attorney Gregory McGuckin showed an update at 41 Mill Pond and 16 Short Hills Boulevard, both of which reported code violations. “They were referred to my code enforcement office and the construction department for review along with the documents provided where we were.”

Whispering Hills Roaring With Sound

Joseph Rucci, who lives at 24 Short Hills Boulevard said, “this week has been terrifying. Saws at 2 a.m.. I don’t want to hear a saw at 2 a.m.. There were chainaws the other day. We just had to. fix it. What I see now in Jackson is not asking for permission – it’s asking for forgiveness. “

“We came here five years ago for silence,” local resident Angel Ferrer said. “Whispering Hills, there’s nothing like it but it changes. One of the buildings is like a hotel because we see things moving in and out. The cars are never the same. I have a six year old and It’s not safe. Traffic comes in and out. Trees are being cut down and I woke up at 6 in the morning on my day off. “

Ferrer said people stop him as he walks his dog interest to buy his house. “No one wants to say what it is but we all know what it is and sooner or later, we are also thinking of leaving. Things will change in this town and not for the better and it has nothing to do with religion – it has to do with obedience. of the laws. “

Councilman Alex Sauickie said it was the same development that had a house that hosted a 100-plus party last year that Jackson Police and a number of other law enforcement agencies should close. at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ferrer said yes and “those are tactics. You have the law, they have tactics and their tactics win. They push everyone out. They don’t want us there. They made that very clear.”

“Realtors are approaching you?” Sauickie asked Ferrer.

Residents have expressed concerns about rumors that this house at 41 Mill Pond Road in the Whispering Hills neighborhood has been turned into a school with trees cleared in the front and back of the property. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

“Yeah, I’ll walk my dog ​​and they’ll stop me from looking for houses. I feel like they’re chasing us away from our neighborhood. That’s the feeling. The houses are going down like dominoes and they don’t even list the houses. A realtor told me to ‘don’t list the house’ which means you will have an exclusive community there, ”Ferrer added.

No Knock Ordinance In Place

Council President Andrew Kern said the town has a no-holds-barred ordinance “so if there are realtors in violation please report it.”

Residents Glenn Martin, Joe Krakowski and Janine Nazina also shared their observation of the situation in the Whispering Hills neighborhood.

In response to a question from Sauickie, McGuckin said contractors and anyone working on the project “could be issued a notice of violation and a fine” for doing work when there are stop work orders.

“The bottom line is that the real quality of life is changing and it’s not changing in the right direction,” Martin said.


Krakowski said with regard to 41 Mill Pond, “they cut down almost every tree on the property. How can they be given a permit to cut down trees when they already have four cessation orders like five or six weeks ago? Suppose they got permission to the tree recently. “

McGuckin said that “if they are given permission first, it clearly will not apply. If they meet the criteria for the permit, it will be arbitrary to refuse to issue the permit.”

“What I don’t know is if the town has an ordinance regarding whether there is an existing violation there should be additional permission. I want to review that. If not, that is an ordinance that the town can consider,” McGuckin added. .

Pool Pool Rentals

Nazina told the Mayor and Council that “swimming pools are rented in Cedarview. I counted at least 20 women who arrived on time. Come, leave, and use the pool at another particular house in Cedarview. That is another issue happening in this neighborhood. “

He added, “my house retreated to 41 Mill Pond. This morning at 6:45 they were cutting down trees. When I got home at 5am they were still cutting down trees. At 6:45 p.m. morning I don’t think they should be cutting down trees and chopped wood and whatnot. I was one of the first owners in that neighborhood. I lived there for 21 years and raised my kids here and it was annoying. “

“The other house in Short Hills is used for gentlemen to come and stay there for the weekend. It’s diverse people throughout the weekend. We pay a fee to the association to keep a lake there and have “we are strangers who walk in and out of houses in the neighborhood and you worry about your children. It is expected that a family owns that house but they certainly don’t,” he added.

Regarding 41 Mill Pond, Nazina said she saw four door breach notices and yet “six contractors are working on the house right now. This is unacceptable.”

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