Sometime later this week, members of the Hillsborough Planning Board may receive a certified letter from residents living near the proposed Harding Corona LLC drug rehabilitation facility on Route 206, as those residents step up their pressure on the township to block the project.
The board will continue its hearing on the proposed facility, located on the east side of Route 206 at the intersection of Old Somerville Road, on Dec. 6. The facility proposed totals 34,115-square feet in five buildings for residential drug rehabilitation treatment, reduced from an earlier concept plan that was not intended to be a residential facility, but totalled 73,000-square feet in two buildings.
About a dozen residents living near the area attended the Planning Board's October meeting, and those opposed to the plan are stepping up thier efforts to block the facility. In addition to the letters being sent to board members, which question the township's zoning for the area, the residents have launched a Facebook page to reach out to others who might oppose the plan, as well as a petition drive.
While the residents have concerns about the operation of the facility, and the possible safety issues they say it presents, the key to their argument rests on challenging the area's zoning. They say the "extended care facility" definition in the Highway Service zone doesn't permit a residential drug rehabilitation facility, and question the procedures followed when the zone was created in 2008.
"Our concern as residents about the process of this rezoning for these land uses as defined in ordinance 2008-20 was not done in an appropriate manner, according to proper procedures," the letter being sent by the residents states.
The letter says the ordinance was passed without a proper opportunity for residents to comment.
"Understanding the rules the Planning Board meetings adhere to, we would
appreciate your support in directly addressing our concerns as our representative
Board member. We believe that it is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that all
the right questions are asked on the behalf and for the good of all Hillsborough
residents," the letter says.