HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. (PIX11) – Political campaign signs seem to sprout along the side of the road this time of year. But in a New Jersey town, long before the political signs were planted, there is one sign that many residents of the town will say has no political agenda – a sign of the fight against warehouses.
“It’s just inappropriate for our town,” said Brian Tarantino, a longtime resident of Hillsborough Township, a farm town that he wants to remain that way. “That’s one of the reasons why we moved here 25 years ago, raised our family. It’s a beautiful place and we’re just trying to protect it.”
Tarantino is a leader of a group called SWAT Hillsborough – Stop Warehouses and Trucks – aimed at stopping the development of warehouses in the township, noting that they’re not exactly close a major highway.
“I’m not opposed to warehouses in general,” said Tarantino, “but they should be located next to busy highways and access to major roads like the Turnpike and Route 287.”
Township leaders heard the concerns.
“We do live close to [Route] 206, but we do live about 20 minutes away from any other major road artery,” said Hillsborough Deputy Mayor Robert Britting, “so in my estimation and many others, this is unnecessary. The nightmare scenario is having trucks going up and down country roads, which we don’t want to have.”
Leaders found a solution: buy the land back and keep it as open space. Officials announced last week they are in the final stages of negotiating with developer, REDCOM, to acquire two pieces of land slated to become warehouses. A committee vote in the coming weeks will finalize the purchase.
“This decision was made for no political purposes whatsoever, not one side over the other,” said Britting. “This was made for everybody in Hillsborough because we think this is the right thing to do.”
The terms aren’t yet disclosed. REDCOM had no comment.
SWAT applauds the township, but their fight isn’t over. They say they are keeping their eyes on three other potential warehouse sites, including one on Homestead Road.
“It’s a small, rural, narrow road,” said Tarantino. “Inappropriate for those thousands of trucks that would be generated.”
SWAT expects the Township Planning Board to address those later this year.