UPDATE: The Oct. special meeting for the proposal is postponed because someone affiliated with the planning board may have been exposed to COVID-19, according to the board secretary. No new date has been set.
EDISON – Neighborhood residents are mounting a fight over plans to build a what they call a “mega-warehouse” at the intersection of Glendale and Silver Lake avenues.
41 Glendale LLC is asking approval for an 161,580-square-foot warehouse, almost the size of three football fields, on a 10.05-acre lot at the intersection near the Raritan River.
A special planning board meeting on the proposal is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at the Performing Arts Center at the College Center at Middlesex County College, 2600 Woodbridge Ave.
Several residents opposed to the project have been canvasing the neighborhood and handing out flyers. “No warehouse” signs dot lawns. A Facebook page, “Silverlake Edison,” has been created.
“Traffic is unbelievable here already,” said Sue Giles, who has lived on Silver Lake Avenue for 24 years. “With the businesses already in that area, we have tractor trailers up and down the street all hours of the day and night. The street is narrow and one has to pull over to let the other go by. Trying to get out on Woodbridge Avenue from Silver Lake is backed up and this will just make it worse. The noise is horrible. It’s also a safety issue. Everyone is always speeding up and down this residential street. We have a lot of kids here. They can’t ride play and ride their bikes. You can’t cross the street safely.”
Giles also said a tractor trailer has already rode up on her lawn, damaging the sidewalk, curbing and lawn. Her daughter’s car, as well as two vehicles owned by visitors, were damaged.
Through some grassroots fundraising, the neighbors have hired a lawyer. Brian Schwartz with the law firm of Schwartz, Hanna and Olsen, to help plea their cause, said Ron Loeffler of Nancy Circle, who is among those spearheading the effort.
Ten or so years ago, the township was concerned about teardowns of existing homes being replaced by out-of-character, out-of-scale homes, Loeffler said.
“They saw this as an ongoing threat to neighborhood stability in Edison,” he said. “I can’t imagine how they feel about a mega-warehouse being built in the heart of a neighborhood with the only manner of ingress and egress on a dead end residential street.”
Loeffler said when the Edison Master Plan was written in 2003, nobody ever imagined a warehouse this large.
“And if they couldn’t imagine it then, then they shouldn’t be considering it now,” he said. “It doesn’t even fit with the light industrial properties that are adjacent now, not to mention the homes. It’s just an over-intensified use and poses a detriment to the good and safety of the residents.”
Loeffler said the property was once seen as a candidate for acquisition as open space by the township.
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“This warehouse is going to be 45 feet tall and almost three and a half acres large,” he said. “That’s three football fields. It’s going to be an eyesore, nuisance, out of character, not to mention a blight on the neighborhood. The town should seek to keep these kinds of developments off narrow residential streets where two cars can barely make way for each other.”
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Kaitlyn Duarte, who lives on Westminster Place, also is concerned about the traffic generated by the project.
“There is not enough space on the street for two trucks to get by,” she said. “One of them has to pull over. What if a firetruck is trying to get by? I have an 18 month old daughter. We go for a lot of walks. We have to cross Silver Lake to get to the park. There is no crosswalk or a continuous sidewalk. It’s really not a safe situation.”
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Susan Loyer covers Middlesex County and more for MyCentralJersey.com. To get unlimited access to her work, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.