Monroe Township Mayor Gerald Tamburro has escalated a feud with Cranbury officials, when he declared that local roads in his municipality would not serve as access points for any new warehousing in Cranbury.
“I will not allow tractor trailers on our residential streets,” Tamburro said.
The issue specifically for Tamburro stems from 43 acres of farmland in Cranbury Township that is situated at Ely Drive, Halsey Reed Road and Old Halsey Reed Road. The mayor said that area may be open to more warehousing.
“Still, our goal remains to work cooperatively with Cranbury and try to find a solution,” Tamburro said. “We have worked together in the past many times. But I caution that I serve the people of Monroe. They need to come first.”
In a press release issued by his office, he said if massive warehouses are constructed on this property, local residents in both towns have a right to be heard about impacts and Monroe streets would not be used.
“All local access points from Monroe would be closed off, forcing any tractor trailer traffic generated by Mayor Taylor to use only local streets in Cranbury,” Tamburro said.
In response to Tamburro, Cranbury Township Mayor James Taylor said he spoke to Cranbury Township’s planner about Monroe’s ability to deny access to roads.
“Our planner has said you cannot deny access to roads to somebody’s development. Somebody has the right to develop their property you cannot deny access to that property,” he said. “Now you can set road restriction limits but you can’t really stop traffic. Doing this will become an ever escalating issue.”
Taylor reiterated that Cranbury Township has no development on the land Tamburro singled out.
“Nothing has been sent conceptually, nothing has been sent to the planning board or the development and review committee. When our prior mayor reached out to the developer at the beginning of the year, the developer said we want to develop the land to warehouse but we don’t have a plan yet,” he said. “The mayor of Monroe continues to say he has seen a plan but no one knows of where this plan came from; as of January, even the land owner had no plan.”
He said the township reached out to the developer to try and preserve that farmland, when officials were first alerted to the warehouse plan.
“We wanted to see if they would be interested in preserving it or interested in selling. They told us no,” Taylor said.
Taylor said Tamburro issued his first letter on this farmland back in March.
“This started back in March after he announced he was running for re-election. We had my response at that time and heard nothing from him. Right after the primary, he then sends this letter out that he is fighting for them,” he said.
Taylor explained that Tamburro never picked up the phone after the first release or the second one to have a discussion with him.
“The issue now is purely do we do what Monroe wants and build homes which would be illegal spot zoning. But even if possible would add 400 apartments, approximately 600 kids and a tax add on the school tax alone of $10.8 million plus a loss of Princeton and additional funds for bonding for a new school; or do we allow a warehouse which is a revenue generator and preserves our school system,” he said. “Monroe wants homes because they don’t face the consequences.”
Tamburro did not respond for comment to the Cranbury Press.
“The only time I hear from the Monroe mayor is when he issues a press release condemning Cranbury. He uses press releases like Trump uses twitter with the same effect of people shaking their head and saying here we go again. If he wants to seriously represent the residents of Monroe he knows how to contact me,” Taylor said.