On August 28, 2019 the following email was sent to Toll Brothers by Boswell Engineering lifting the Stop Work Order on that portion located in Upper Saddle River.
Please allow this email to summarize the chronology of this project since the issuance of a Stop Work Orders for this project on July 23, 2019. This email will also rescind the Stop Work Order issued on July 23, 2019 subject to the terms noted below.
Several significant rainstorms occurred during 2019. The onsite storm system malfunctioned on at least two occasions (7/12/19 and 7/22/19) resulting in the discharge of muddy water from the property onto adjacent roadways. This office issued a Stop Work Order on July 23, 2019 for the portion of the project lying within the Borough of Upper Saddle River. The Mayor and Council also requested the Township officials in neighboring Mahwah also issue a Stop Work Order for the portion of the project within that municipality. Mahwah issued a Stop Work Order on the same day. The only permitted activities during the imposition of the Stop Work Orders were directly related to stabilizing the site.
Onsite project meetings occurred on a daily basis and project coordination meetings were held at the Upper Saddle River Borough hall on July 26th, August 2nd and August 9th. Numerous representatives from NJDEP and, the Bergen County Soil Conservation District and USDA were in attendance at the meeting conducted on August 2nd.
The meetings focused on the measures originally specified and field mandated soil erosion and water quality measures on the project. The objectives of these meetings are summarized as follows:
- Assess if the construction activities were in violation of NJ State regulations regarding water quality and, if so, was further enforcement action justified.
- Determine if the field mandated measures were consistent with NJ State “Best Management Practices” regulations and effectively addressed the soil erosion and water quality concerns of the Borough of Upper Saddle River and Township of Mahwah.
- Confirm there is no continuing health concern with arsenic within surface waters exiting the property.
- Determine if additional measures are appropriate to improve water quality in surface waters exiting the property.
On August 2, 2019 a site inspection was also performed by the USDA Soil Conservation Engineer, Bergen County Soil Conservation District and representatives from Upper Saddle River.
On August 13, 2019 a site compliance inspection was conducted by local, county and state officials. Elected officials and representatives from Upper Saddle River, Mahwah, NJDEP, Coastal Land Use Enforcement, USDA, The Bergen County Soul Conservation District and NJ Fish and Wildlife were present. The representatives inspected the onsite and downstream waterway conditions. Numerous locations were assessed and further measures were recommended to address water quality concerns.
On August 19, 2019, the Township of Mahwah lifted the Stop Work Order for the portion of the project lying within that municipality. The basis for this action was the previously existing soil erosion measures, as augmented by the recently installed measures over the period during the 3-week work shutdown, had satisfactorily stabilized the site.
Our office similarly monitored the onsite and downstream conditions within the Pleasant Brook and other waterways. Despite having assurances from the NJDEP that no health concern exists from the levels of arsenic within downstream waterways, the Mayor and Council again authorized the sampling of multiple waterways within the Borough. The Mayor and Council initiated this sampling on a voluntary basis to independently assess the levels of arsenic within waterways in the Borough. The sampling was performed on August 14, 2019. The results were received on August 20, 2019 and confirm all water samples not only met the applicable surface water standard recommended by NJDEP, they also met the NJ State Drinking Water Standard. At this time, over 100 sample test results have been secured over the course of nine sampling rounds. All but 2 are below the NJ State Drinking Water Standard of 5 parts per billion.
A site inspection performed on August 22, 2019 confirmed the site to be acceptably stabilized. The inspection was followed by a significant rainstorm which confirmed the site was properly stabilized and the storm system operated in an acceptable manner.
On August 23, 2019, this office received reports from NJDEP representatives who conducted the site inspection on August 2nd and the site compliance inspection on August 13th. Both reports noted there were no issues warranting any enforcement or further regulatory action.
On August 26, 2019, another site inspection was conducted by the Borough Construction Code Official, our inspector and a representative of Toll Brothers. There was a consensus reached to rescind the Stop Work Order subject to the following conditions:
- The lots North of Lot #21 and the West side of Woodmere Road will be stabilized with deer fencing.
- The deer fencing will be continued behind Lot#21 along the wetland buffer to the dam crossing. This area will also be stabilized.
- Toll Brothers will install another row of silt fencing from the stabilized wetland buffer North of the dam crossing to the Southerly limit of the property.
- The dam crossing will be removed and the area will be stabilized
- The bypass pipes used for the stream restoration will be removed and the area stabilized.
- Additional silt fencing will be added along all sections of deer fencing.
- Lot #20 will be cleaned up and stabilized.
- Deer fencing will be installed where appropriate following the removal of the dam crossing.
- All above noted work will be complete by October 15, 2019.
This office will continue to monitor the work being performed to insure it will be completed by October 15, 2019.
Update Regarding Orchard Ridge: Orchard Ridge is a development which occupies the former Apple Ridge Golf Course. The 110 acres, half in Mahwah and half in Upper Saddle River, are currently under construction by Toll Brothers. The half in Mahwah was approved for remediation and development of homes. The half in USR had been zoned as a scarce resource in the early 1990’s – as a part of the Borough’s affordable housing settlement in Round One. As a result, the developer filed an application for 353 townhomes with 70 low/moderate income units on the USR side. The Governing Body settled to allow 44 single family homes on the property and contracted with Bergen County Housing Authority to build the low/moderate income units on Borough land.
Prior to being a golf course, the property was an apple orchard which utilized pesticides. Environmental studies were performed by a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) who determined lead and arsenic existed onsite above allowable concentrations. The LSRP prepared the requisite studies and was directed by the NJDEP to utilize a method known as soil blending to remediate the site for residential use. Municipalities do not have jurisdiction over remediation activities. The entire process is overseen by the Project LSRP and the NJDEP. The NJDEP conducted a comprehensive review of the reports and activities before concluding the remediation was successfully completed on December 22, 2017.
The clearing of the entire acreage for the remediation at one time was a decision made by the NJDEP. Neither municipality had any authority to override this decision.
Shortly after the start of construction activities in early 2018, there were several incidents of soil and sediment leaving the site in an uncontrolled manner. In January, 2018, a Stop Work Order was issued by Upper Saddle River after unacceptable levels of sediment drifted in a wind storm onto nearby properties. A municipality has authority to issue a Stop Work Order when debris enters the roadway. Not when soil runs into the streams – that is under the jurisdiction of the NJDEP, NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife, US Department of Agriculture and the Bergen County Soil District. Again – a municipality cannot override federal or state agencies.
The Borough immediately conferred with the NJDEP to determine if this sediment constituted a health concern relating to the remediated arsenic and lead. The Borough received multiple written assurances that the remediation was successfully completed. Upper Saddle River also initiated testing of the waterways within the Borough. All of the test results were shared with the NJDEP who confirmed their prior position. Of 90 tests, 88 surface water readings were within the NJ drinking water limit. The others were within the federal drinking water limits. The samples were surface water – the readings were within safe drinking water limits. The results, and the NJDEP’s findings, continue to be posted on the Borough’s website,www.usrtoday.org.
After numerous reassurances, the NJDEP concluded ‘The matter is considered closed.’ However, due to continuing concerns raised by some residents, and despite these assurances, Upper Saddle River continues voluntary testing the affected streams within the Borough. Another test was performed on 8/14/19 and again the results are within NJ drinking water limits. Public health and safety are always our first priority.
The environmental permits granted for this project not only require controls to be installed that are shown on the approved plans, they also require the developer to confer with regulatory agencies throughout the construction phase and institute additional measures pursuant to the NJDEP Best Management Practices regulations. Representatives from both municipalities and the developer continuously confer with the Bergen County Soil Conservation District, US Department of Agriculture, NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife and NJDEP and continue to conduct numerous site inspections. They recommended, and the developer installed, many additional soil erosion measures to address the soil erosion concerns noted at the site.
The 2018 Stop Work Order was reduced in scope and, ultimately, rescinded as the additional site controls took effect.
The NJDEP required the restoration of the Pleasant Brook, which runs the length of the property. NJDEP required the removal of multiple dams and the planting of wetland vegetation to improve the habitat onsite. Again, the municipalities had no jurisdiction over this. The disturbance of the dams and the brook has been contributing to the soil runoff within the stream. The work on the brook is expected to be completed soon. As a result of the Borough’s requests, the NJDEP, NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife, US Dept of Agriculture, and The Bergen County Soil District have been to the site, walked the stream and downstream to inspect the runoff multiple times and have raised no concerns.
On July 12, 2019, there was a thunderstorm which resulted in runoff leaving the site in an uncontrolled manner. A primary cause was noted to be straw and other stabilization measures clogging the storm drain system. Upper Saddle River demanded a meeting to address these deficiencies and additional measures and operations controls were instituted to address these issues. The storm system operated without incident during a thunderstorm shortly thereafter. Another storm occurred on 7/22/19 which resulted in additional discharges of muddy water from the site. This storm also results in the closure of East Saddle River Road as the rainfall was significant in a short time period.
Upper Saddle River issued a Stop Work Order the following day for violations of the Developers Agreement with the Borough. The Borough of Upper Saddle River also requested the Township of Mahwah to also issue a Stop Work Order since the flows from Mahwah affect the downstream properties in Upper Saddle River. Mahwah immediately complied.
The Borough of Upper Saddle River held another meeting with the developer on 7/24/19. The Borough of Mahwah was invited and was in attendance. The developer was directed to provide and initiate a Corrective Action Plan to ensure future problems would not occur. The developer submitted a detailed proposal of additional measures and has since completed the majority of the items noted. Representatives from both towns, NJDEP, US Department of Agriculture, NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife, and Bergen County Soil District conducted another site inspection on 7/30/19 to assess the overall site and recently installed measures.
An additional meeting was held with multiple representatives from these same agencies in Upper Saddle River on 8/2/19 followed by another site visit. The NJDEP, NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife, US Department of Agriculture, and Bergen County Soil District again reiterated that everything had been done in compliance and according to their requirements and under their jurisdiction. It was reiterated that this year’s unusual amount of rain, along with two extreme storms, combined with the unusually fine soil on the site are complicating the project. The NJDEP again stated there is no concern regarding arsenic.
On 8/9/19 a follow up meeting was held with both municipalities, Boswell Engineering and Toll Brothers. At that time a review of the items required for stabilization, allowed by the Stop Work Order, was done. As a result, some restrictions were reduced. On 8/13/19 all of the agencies toured the 110-acre site, along with representatives from the Borough of Upper Saddle River. They walked the Pleasant Brook again after the site visit. Again, state and county officials re-emphasized there was compliance on the part of Toll Bros.
Representatives from the NJDEP have again assured the Borough the discolored water which exited this site, at no point during the two-year tenure of this project, ever constituted a health concern for the residents of this community.
The Borough and its professionals have determined limited construction activities could resume at the One Lake Street project, effective August 16, 2019.
The Governing Body will continue to work with County, State and Federal agencies to ensure the health and safety of our residents and to hold the developer accountable. Updates and monthly surface water test results will be posted on the Borough website: www.usrtoday.org
September Mayor and Council Meeting Rescheduled: The Mayor and Council Meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 5, 2019 has been rescheduled to Wednesday, September 18, 2019. The Executive Meeting will convene at 6:30 p.m. and the Regular Meeting will follow at 8:00 p.m.
9/11 Memorial Ceremony : On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., the Upper Saddle River Fire Dept. will be hosting a memorial service and candlelight vigil. The service will take place at the 9/11 memorial in front of the firehouse. All residents are invited to attend.
A Message from the Upper Saddle River Police Department: As we prepare for another school year to begin, the Police Department, USR School District and Mayor’s Safety Committee will again participate in the AAA Northeast’s annual School’s Open – Drive Carefully awareness campaign. Increased police presence and traffic enforcement operations in the immediate vicinity of the schools can be expected. Please remember that school zones are considered a “zero tolerance” area. Officers will be focusing on identifying such things as distracted drivers, speeding, cell phone/texting while driving, drivers failing to stop for pedestrians within crosswalks, and drivers who fail to obey officers directing traffic.
Staying alert, being aware of your surroundings and properly securing your children in car seats and seatbelts are some of the best ways to help do your part in protecting yourself, your children, school staff and emergency personnel.
Parents are urged to review the USR School District homepage for general traffic information,which includes such things as specific drop-off/pick-up locations, along with maps that assist parents in navigating the school parking lots.
Congestion around the schools is expected during the first couple of weeks and usually will dissipate once drivers become accustomed to the traffic pattern.
Please take note that prior to the end of last school year the Borough enacted a No Parking zone along West Saddle River Road in front of the Upper Saddle River schools. Parking is prohibited along the West Saddle River Road from the northerly entrance of Bogert/Reynolds school to the driveway of the Municipal Building. This ordinance was enacted in the interest ofvehicular and pedestrian safety.
Information regarding the School’s Open-Drive Carefully campaign can be found at the following website: https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/child-safety/schools-open-drive-carefully/#.XVW9o3spCUk
This website also provides important information related to driver, pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Some suggestions for those who will be dropping off and picking up their children from school are:
Be Patient, and take your time.
Leave earlier for drop-off/pick-up.
Try to car pool with other parents.
Finally, we ask that you immediately report any dangerous conditions around the schools, atbus stops or other areas that children may use to get to and from school each day.Thank you and have a safe 2019-2020 school year.
Curbside White Goods Pickup: Thursday, September 12, 2019. Please call 201-327-2196 x 221 to schedule an appointment at least 3 days in advance for this pickup.
Bulky Trash Pickup: The next scheduled Bulky Trash pickup is Friday, September 13th. Please don’t leave any items of value on front lawn that may be mistaken for trash.
Household Hazardous Waste: There will be a Household Hazardous Waste Collection on Saturday, September14, 2019 at Bergen County Campgaw Mountain Reservation, 200 Campgaw Road, Mahwah, NJ and Sunday, October 20, 2019 at Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Road, Paramus, NJ. The collection hours are 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., rain or shine. Free of charge for Bergen County residents, ID required. Visit www.bcua.org for additional information.
Paper Shedding Event: The USR shredding event is scheduled for Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., rain or shine behind Borough Hall. This event is free of charge and for residents only.
Adult Walk-In Health Clinic: Thursday, September 26th , noon to 1:00 p.m. at Borough Hall. Services include a Health History Evaluation, Blood Pressure Measurement, Height and Weight, Individualized Counseling and Education, Referral and Follow-up and a Confidential Consultation with a Public Health Nurse. This is free of charge to adult USR residents on the 4th Thursday of each month through the Borough’s contract with the County of Bergen Health Department. For more information please call 201-327-2196.
Flu Clinic – Upper Saddle River: The annual Flu Clinic will be held on Tuesday, September 24, 2019
from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon a t the Borough Hall, 376 West Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, NJ. Regular vaccination cost is $39.99; High dose cost is $69.99. Must bring proof of Medicare.
Coyote Precautions: Recently there have been recent coyote attacks on an adult and on a dog in Bergen County. Coyotes can survive on whatever food is available. They prey on rabbits, mice, birds and other small animals, as well as young and weakened deer. They will also take advantage of garbage, pet food and domestic animals that are left unattended.
In suburban and urban areas, coyotes have occasionally attacked small pets. Although attacks on humans are extremely rare, as with any predatory animal they can occur. They are by nature wary of humans. However, coyote behavior changes if given access to human food and garbage. They lose caution and fear. Visit NJDEP Fish & Wildlife website for more information at https://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/coyote_info.htm
The following guidelines can help reduce the likelihood of conflicts with coyotes:
Korean Cooking Class: September 19 at 6:30pm: We will learn how to make Jja-jang-myeon (Noodle dish with black bean sauce) RSVP by Sep.15 $20/person including dinner.
Call 201-327-3960 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church – How to Avoid Scams The Upper Saddle River Senior Group invites all seniors age 65 and over to the session “how to avoid scams.” One of the officers from the Upper Saddle River Police Department will give us a presentation and free lunch will be served. Join us on Thursday, September 12th at 11:00 a.m.
Celebrate the 21st Anniversary USR 5K Run, Thanksgiving Morning, Thursday, November 28, 2019:
Registration is now open for the 21st Anniversary Upper Saddle River 5K Run, continuing its tradition on Thanksgiving Day. Doors open at 7:30am on Thanksgiving morning November 28th with the run starting at 9:00 a.m. at Cavallini Middle School. Pre-registration is recommended. Mail-in and on-line options are explained at www.usr5k.org. The fee is $30.00 and $35.00 on day of the run. Pre-registered runners can pick up their shirt and number the evening before, November 27th 5:00-8:00pm at Cavallini Middle School. All donations should be made out to the Borough of USR and sent to UpperSaddle River 5k Run, PO Box 569, Saddle River, NJ 07458. We are in need of volunteers for both Wednesday night and Thursday morning. If you are interested in volunteering or making a corporate or individual donation contact USR Recreation Department 201-327-3634 or email USRRecreation@aol.com
USR Library: Thank Goodness it’s Friday the 13th!
A Family Event · Friday, Sept. 13th @ 6–7:30 pm
Who says Friday the 13th has to be unlucky?! Gather up your family and friends for an after–hours party at the library where we will have a DJ, pizza, selfie station, and even an ice cream truck! Registration is required, all ages are welcome!
Thursday Afternoon Movies
Meet your friends for a 1 pm movie. We’ll provide the snacks!
Sept. 12th “Tolkien” (new release)
Sept. 26th “The Tomorrow Man” (new release)
Oct. 10th “Rocketman” (new release)
Oct. 24th “Topper” (classic)
Fall Tennis Clinics: Registration is now being accepted for the 2019 fall tennis clinics. There will be one 5 – week session to be held at the Wickersham Tennis Courts, located in front of the Reynolds School. The clinics will be held on Monday’s and Wednesday’s beginning on September 9th and 11th. The cost for the entire 5- week session is $95. Registration forms are available at Borough Hall or on the Borough website at www.USRtoday.org. For more information please call the USR Recreation Department at 201-327-3634 or email at USRRecreation@aol.com.
New this year: Adult Tennis Clinic Tuesday and/or Thursday 6 to 7 p.m. The cost for the 5-week session is also $95.
Save the Date! Town Wide Garage Sale: Save the Date! On Saturday, October 5th the Woman’s Club will sponsor their 3rd annual Town Wide Garage Sale. If you haven’t participated in the past, it is a good way to clean out and support the Club’s educational and charitable pursuits. For a nominal fee, we’ll get the permits, advertise, and bring the buyers to town! Your profits are your own. Further details will be in the September/October Borough Bulletin and on our website (www.usrwomansclub.org). Club Meetings are suspended for the summer, but will resume on Tuesday, September, 10th at 7pm in the Upper Saddle River Library. For further information on the Club or any events, please call Nona Maher at 201-934-9562.
Oktoberfest 2019: Please join us at our Upper Saddle River Community Block Party at Lions Park on Saturday, October 12th from noon-6 p.m. Oktoberfest has become a wonderful community tradition and a great success.
At Oktoberfest, an event for Upper Saddle River residents, the park will be set up like a fairground with antique tractors and fall decor. Featured will be themed streets including Health & Wellness Way, Family Fun Area and USR Marketplace with vendors and games. Community and Service organizations will anchor Oktoberfest with activities including a PBA Obstacle Course, Hayrides by our DPW, a Family Scarecrow Contest, and much more! There will be live music, food, and beer & wine.
The entire community will be coming together to support the mission of USR Cares for a fun filled day.
USR Cares will be the recipient of net proceeds from Sponsorships, Vendor Tables and Raffle Prize Donations. USR Cares was established in 2017 as a community resource organization to assist residents experiencing a temporary or long-term crisis. With your support, USR Cares will have the resources to provide financial assistance and to fund other outreach initiatives including companionship, meals and connections to medical services. Many new programs have been added focusing on senior citizen outreach and community support during and after natural disasters.
Over 3,000 attendees are expected. USR Cares Board Members welcome the opportunity to meet with local businesses to discuss our mission and a partnership in Sponsorship opportunities. Please contact Sharon Reissman at email@example.com for more information.
Joanne L. Minichetti – Mayor
Roger DeBerardine, Council President – firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven DiMartino – email@example.com
Jon Ditkoff – firstname.lastname@example.org
Vincent Durante – email@example.com
Joanne Florio – firstname.lastname@example.org
Douglas Rotella – email@example.com