Allentown mayor pleased with Robbinsville land preservation announcement


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ALLENTOWN – Mayor Thomas Fritts, writing in a post on the Allentown Together Facebook page on June 10, has expressed his appreciation for a land preservation effort that appears to be taking shape in neighboring Robbinsville.

Fritts wrote, “For months, I have been meeting and discussing a variety of topics with our neighbors. Robbinsville Mayor David Fried and I have discussed mutual interests and one of those interests which is a top priority of our historic village is preserving the Wittenborn property.”
The Wittenborn property is at 824 Robbinsville-Allentown Road in Robbinsville, near the township’s border with Allentown.
Fritts went on to write, “Today I bring great pleasure in announcing that Robbinsville has publicly stated their desire and efforts to preserve Wittenborn on behalf of Robbinsville and Allentown.
“This is just one of the initiatives we are currently working on, with more great news to come in the coming weeks. On behalf of the Allentown governing body and myself, our promise is to do everything we can to ensure a quality future,” Fritts wrote.
A press release issued by Robbinsville officials states that Fried will seek Township Council support to purchase and preserve the Wittenborn property.

The press release states that according to Fried, the approximately 15-acre Wittenborn parcel should be preserved to prevent further development.

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The Robbinsville Department of Community Development has ordered a professional appraisal of the tract by Sockler Realty Services Group Inc.

According to the press release, Robbinsville officials previously prioritized the Wittenborn parcel, which is currently zoned as Village Transitional, for open space acquisition/preservation lands when performing a master plan review.

The Wittenborn property is along the proposed development of Mercer Corporate Park in Robbinsville.

Robbinsville officials said residents who live along the Indian Run waterway in Allentown have been vocal in their opposition to the corporate park’s development due to what some consider to be the imminent destruction of an endangered bird habitat.

According to the press release, the potential preservation of the Wittenborn property “demonstrates to Robbinsville’s neighbors in Monmouth County that the township is committed to preventing negative impacts to this area by decreasing the potential for increased traffic and other activity.

“Robbinsville preserved approximately 54 acres directly across Robbinsville-Allentown Road near the Wittenborn property in 2008. Since taking office in 2005, Mayor Fried has preserved more than 1,250 acres of open space.

“In 2016, Robbinsville residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of increasing the open space tax levy by 1.5 cents for every $100 of assessed value to purchase the property formerly known as Washington Woods (225 acres), as well as the golf course at Miry Run (158 acres) – both in partnership with Mercer County,” according to the press release.

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