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Development Gets A Railroad Spur

8/27/69 by 

Although we are sympathetic with the plight of the residents of Indian Head and Brunswick Knolls in North Brunswick over the decision by the town-| ship Planning Board to approve the construction of a 4,000-foot railroad spur to serve the ’ Jersey Avenue Industrial Park, "we are in complete agreement with the action taken by the board.

And angered residents of the two developments, who had fought the railroad spur tooth and nail since the issue first arose more than a year ago, probably knew when they lost a court fight to prevent the construction of the spur that the battle was over.

However, while their chagrin is directed at the Planning Board over its specific decision to allow the construction of the railroad spur, we feel a generalized complaint about the type of zoning which took place on the particular tract in question is far more justified and much more to the point.

As most readers who have been- following the saga of the railroad spur know, the attempt by the Sudler Construction Co. to build the spur was perfectly justified and was completely in line with the permissible use of the land in question. But hasty reconsideration on the part of North Brunswick officials brought out a new ordinance which would have, in effect, prevented the construction of the spur. The battle was then taken to court and the court overturned the ordinance.

But this fight should have taken place back when the land which comprised the old North Brunswick airport was rezoned. If there was ever an example of poor planning on the part of township officials, this must be it.

The airport land, totaling about 77 acres, was zoned half industrial and half residential. Specifically, 30 acres were zoned industrial and the rest was zoned residential. The ordinance was slightly amended to allow a further strip of land to be included in the industrial tract and to refine the residential zone to include the construction of apartment houses.

What’s worse, this is not questionable residential land, but is termed “C” residential, that is, land which is divided into 15,000-foot lots, only slightly below the maximum designation of “D” residential, which permits 30,000-foot lots.

If ever there was a case to be made for giving real power to the county planning board to prevent such horrendous examples of bad planning, the Indian Head-railroad spur example should suffice many times over.

As it is, residents who didn’t exactly pay peanuts for their homes will have to live with a train in their backyards.

Read original copy of the article here.