WHAT TO DO IF AN ASPHALT PLANT IS PROPOSED IN YOUR TOWN!
1. Read the documents and view the videos. Many other towns had people, whom faced asphalt plants proposed for their neighborhoods, fight those proposals. The information they gathered should be read and understood. Mostly there are many references to what they did, and you could put that info to use. (goggle and research the issue.) Get all the information from the board's secretary about the proposal so you are intimate with all the details!
2. Spread the message: start a facebook page and get it to go viral in your community. There is strength in numbers! Talk, call, e-mail, instant message, text, and any other means of communicating this issue! This is what Franklin Township residents did to fight an unwanted huge truck facility next to the Musconetcong river.
3. Sign up to speak at your Town-Hall, Planning or Land-Use Board hearing. The applicant of an Asphalt plant has a right to have each board hear their testimony of why they should be
allowed to build it in your town. BUT, the PEOPLE, also have just as much right, to CROSS EXAMINE (their experts) and GIVE YOUR OWN TESTIMONY. If there are many PEOPLE to properly ATTEND to the HEARINGS and testimony, boards will respond much more favorably. If you have overflow crowds and the board(s) lock some of you out, you will have legal recourse. Note: the board should adjourn the hearing and find a larger venue. There are rights to the public that they must give accommodation to all interested parties
, failure to do so may void any action they take, if you take it to Superior Court. If they vote for giving the applicant their way, you will likely have that decision made void in court, because your civil rights were denied as interested parties.
4. Write down your testimony and either send it to the Boards secretary or hand it to her/him at the hearing
. The more actual paper testimony you submit, the more ammunition you have on your side, if this goes to an appeals court! (paper evidence is more noticed by the courts than verbal)
5. Cross examine their witnesses at the hearing. Let me explain! There will be TWO OPPORTUNITIES TO SPEAK at a land-use hearing. The first is for you to directly ask the applicant's witnesses questions about their already given testimony (cross-examine). This opportunity is for those of you who have the savvy to cross-examine the opposing witness. For example: their highway and road engineer may have said they have studied the impact on nearby roads. You can ask him if his study actually studied the impact on the busy highway interchanges a mile of so from the site, or whether he studied where there are actually a number of traffic fatalities near the site? By cross-examining in this manner, you have entered into the record information that is relevant and if he says no, this will be huge in showing that they are avoiding the grave concerns of the community.
6. Give your testimony! This will probably help the board in a huge way if the applicant tries to appeal a NO decision. If an appeals Judge reviews the hearing and sees mounds and mounds of verbal testimony against the plant, that Judge, or even a higher appeals court's panel of Judges, will side with the Board in making the right decision of voting no! Remember the relevant facts against the plant weighs heavier than mere emotion or opinion. You need as many facts entered as opinions!
Note: the law is clear, the burden of proof is on the applicant to show that their "building" or "facility" will be such a great benefit to the host community that they should get their way to build it there. YOU AND YOUR VOICE, is paramount to show that the community DOESN'T AGREE with the applicant.