Mahwah Approves Housing Plan at Golf Club

By Villeneuve, Marina | The Record (Bergen County, NJ), November 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

Mahwah Approves Housing Plan at Golf Club


Villeneuve, Marina, The Record (Bergen County, NJ)


MAHWAH -- The municipal Planning Board has approved a company's application to build 34 single-family homes on the 58 acres of the Apple Ridge Country Club in the township.

The board's unanimous approval will allow the company, Apple Ridge Mahwah LLC of Florham Park, to start the process of removing and replacing hundreds of trees and decontaminating the site of arsenic- and lead-contaminated soil.

The rest of the Apple Ridge Country Club property lies in Upper Saddle River, whose planning board recently approved the application of a related company, Apple Ridge USR LLC, to build 44 single- family homes.

The two ownership groups purchased the land for a total of $10.4 million in June 2014, according to property records.

For decades, the Carlough family used the 100-plus-acre property as an apple orchard before developing it as a private club and golf course in 1966. Recent soil tests by Apple Ridge USR and Apple Ridge Mahwah show widespread contamination in areas up to 24 inches deep throughout the property, a legacy of the use of then-legal lead- arsenate pesticides.

To prepare the land for a total of 78 single-family homes, the applicants will use a state-approved technique known as soil blending. At public hearings, experts retained by the applicants said that, by mixing contaminated soil with cleaner soil underneath, blending would dilute contamination in the top 2 to 3 feet of soil and bring it within state-acceptable levels.

"It's a first-of-its-kind method of remediation, blending soil and taking out every tree," Mayor Bill Laforet said at Thursday night's Township Council meeting. …

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