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Stop 18 Homes Expert to Be Questioned Monday

A decision may be rendered at special planning board meeting.

A special planning board meeting is being held to continue, and possibly finish, testimony concerning the proposed 18 homes on the property formerly owned by John Wemple at Twin Oaks and Steele Gap roads.

The application is for the building of 18 single-family homes on the woodlands formerly owned by the late John Wemple, and currently owned by Steven Lang.

Wemple, who willed the property to his nieces and nephews after his death in 2002, had maintained to his neighbors that he never wanted to see the land developed, and made that a part of his will, which was overturned by the Superior Court of New Jersey in 2005.

Although the applicant has already rested his case, Stop 18 Homes—a group formed to oppose the application itself—has called in engineers and experts in endangered species to testify as to why the development should not move forward.

At this point, the planning board is expecting to hear questioning of John Thonet, one of the experts hired by Stop 18 Homes, who was unable to attend the most recent meeting.

At the last meeting, held in early November, resident Bob Vaucher said he knew there were cars on the property, and that there may have been some garbage dumping on the property.

Residents also commented at the most recent meeting that they are concerned about losing the character of the neighborhood by building homes on the property.

Continued concerns have been about whether the habitat already on the site will be impacted by the building, Some have said they would like to see additional studies on the property concerning the ecological impact of building there.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the municipal complex. If a decision is not reached, the application will be continued to the regular planning board meeting, scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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