Oradell's Mayor and Council are drafting an ordinance to control the location of a cell phone tower in town. That designated location is one of the skating ponds in Memorial Woods. These woods, acquired by the town in 1924 as “West End Park,” are one of our town’s precious remaining open spaces, with wetlands, nature trails, wildlife, and two skating ponds that are part of the town’s winter recreational program. Destroying the woods by putting a 150-foot-tall cell tower, a maintenance building, an access road, a fence, and a loud HVAC unit – in short, turning a park into a commercial facility that would be visible from one of our town’s main gathering spaces – would damage the distinctive residential character of Oradell, create a more urban, commercial appearance, and have a negative impact upon our community and the value of our homes.
Oradell’s "master plan," a document used by the Planning Board to make decisions about land use, notes that "approximately 4 percent of Oradell's land area is devoted to parkland and open space areas. This amounts to approximately 7.7 acres of land for every 1,000 residents. The National Recreation Association generally recommends a standard of 10 acres of recreation and open space for every 1,000 residents...it is noteworthy that the Borough does not meet this nationally recognized standard."
If Oradell is already low on open space, why would our elected officials choose to develop that area?
Furthermore, Oradell is known as “a family town,” but families don’t want to live near cell phone towers; nor do they want to see cell phone towers near areas where children congregate, such as playgrounds, ball fields, and schools. A cell phone tower near Memorial Field would be a substantial detriment to the public good by devaluing this aspect of our town’s appeal, affecting the property values of neighboring homes, and potentially putting our town’s youngest students at risk for exposure to harmful radiofrequency radiation.
Tell the Mayor and Council: write a better ordinance on behalf of Oradell’s citizens. Reject Memorial woods as a potential cell tower site.