WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANKLIN BOROUGH…
is now the bellwether for development
in the Highlands
 
 
 
 
Seen from a neighboring horse farm, the line of tress in the background is the site of the proposed 300-unit Milly's Court development in Franklin Borough.
 
 
 
 
 
In a bucolic valley in Sussex County, at the headwaters of the Wallkill River and in the shadows of Hamburg and Sparta Mountains, a 300 unit housing development, Milly’s Court, is proposed on 72 ecologically sensitive acres, with steep slopes, habitat for 13 federally and state listed threatened and endangered species, exceptional resource value wetlands, a Natural Heritage Priority Site, and 2 active public community wells. 

Franklin Borough is a non-conforming Highlands Planning Area municipality. The Borough has limited resources to prevent a development that threatens the essential character of this peaceful community, which is proudly the "Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World". 

The New Jersey Highlands Coalition is working with a newly formed grassroots organization, the Wallkill Headwaters Association, to oppose the Milly’s Court project. We are also in contact with a land trust that is eager to purchase the property for conservation. 

In addition we are working with Eastern Environmental Law Center and Princeton Hydro, for the legal and scientific support to effectively challenge this proposal at the municipal and state permitting levels.
 
 
 
 
Why does this proposal have implications for the rest of the Highlands?
 
 
 
 
As New Jersey’s economy continues to improve, development interest in the Highlands is returning. This isn’t a bad thing as long as compatible developments are proposed in appropriate locations—and this proposal is neither. Simultaneous to our opposition at the municipal level, we are also having discussions with the NJDEP and the Highlands Council, urging them to return to the pre-Christie era method of determining consistency with the Highlands Regional Master Plan for permitting decisions in the Highlands Planning Area, regardless of a town’s conformance status—a requirement of the Highlands Act. If we are successful, Milly’s Court, and other developments that threaten important Highlands resources could never move forward. Eastern Environmental Law Center prepared a White Paper for us, providing a legal basis for a more comprehensive approach to consistency determinations in the Highlands Planning Area. You can read the White Paper here.

The professional services provided by Eastern Environmental Law Center, Princeton Hydro and others, invaluable as they are, while discounted, are not free. We need your help to pay the professional fees needed to defeat the Milly’s Court proposal. 

We need your help to fund an effective challenge at the municipal level, and to challenge the several state permits required for Milly’s Court to proceed. And once we succeed in Franklin, we will have laid the framework to defeat bad projects when they are proposed in any of the 83 Highlands towns with land in the Planning Area. 

Whether you can contribute $10, $100, or more or less, every dollar you give today will go directly towards defeating Milly’s Court—and will allow us to defeat similar developments when they are proposed. Just link to our Special Gift Contribution page on our website here. Be sure to specify “Milly’s Court” in the memo line provided. 

Let’s win this. With your help, we will. Thank you.

Elliott Ruga, Policy & Communications Director
New Jersey Highlands Coalition

 
 
 
 
Click here for a short video that demonstrates how the currently forested Milly's Court site is directly connected to the important core forest of the NJ Highlands.
 
 
 
 
 
Thank you!
 
 
 
 
About the New Jersey Highlands Coalition

We represent a diverse network of organizations - small and large, local, regional, statewide and national - and individuals with the common goal to protect, enhance and restore the New Jersey Highlands and to preserve the quality and quantity of drinking water both for the 850,000 people in the Highlands as well as the more than 5.4 million people in Northern and Central New Jersey who depend on Highlands water. For more information visit our website: www.njhighlandscoalition.org

Thank you for all of your support! 
 
 
      
 
508 Main Street | Boonton | New Jersey | 07005