OPINION: Jackson Doesn’t Need “Junk Yard”

Photo by Jennifer Peacock

I was an observer at a recent Zoning Board meeting where a case was being heard regarding a proposed recycling site that would impact residents on Wright-Debow Road. My son presently owns a home off of this road and my husband and I lived close by in Millstone Township for 25 years and in Jackson Township prior to that for many years.

I heard my son speak passionately, as well as other residents on his block, about the many concerns they had with regard to environmental issues, truck and road safety issues, noise levels and other concerns that were apparent since this huge project of 48 acres would be turned into a “junk yard.” All trees would be cut down and heavy equipment would be stored on this property as well as taken apart to sell off for parts. All that’s involved in draining oil and crushing metal using special machines and claws to compact these vehicles was presented as testimony by the company and their representatives. They refer to it as a “recycling center” which really is another term for a “junk yard.”

Whether you believe that this business would be good for Jackson Township or not, is certainly up for debate. What I found most shocking was how the Zoning Board chairman and others treated the hard-working, tax paying residents of Jackson as if they were a nuisance and any worries that they had about their neighborhood and their home investments were inconsequential.

They listened attentively for hours to A & A Truck Parts’ presentation but only gave 5 minutes to residents and in many cases cut them off with snide remarks and limiting their inquiries to specific aspects of the project.

My husband was a previous member and chairman of the Jackson Zoning Board. I remember him telling me that their job was to make certain that whatever business or project that wanted to come to Jackson had to be for the good and welfare of its citizens. There are many Jackson citizens who are wondering why this township needs or wants another “junk yard?” How can we justify cutting down trees on 48 acres of property and destroying the quality of life of all the residents who live nearby and will be impacted by such a project?

Georgia Thatcher


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