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Local Group Challenges Dumont Over Farm Redevelopment

Lili Binney and Rachel Bunin with their sign in front of the now closed D'Angelo Farms.
Lili Binney and Rachel Bunin with their sign in front of the now closed D'Angelo Farms. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

DUMONT, N.J. -- Members of Families Advocating a Reasonable Plan in Dumont intend to voice opposition to what they say is over-development at the Oct. 20 Borough Council meeting.

FARM'D members are seeking answers on the repair or possible relocation of Borough Hall to D'Angelo Farms.

Landmark Dumont LLC is contracted to turn the seven-acre D'Angelo property into affordable housing.

Increased development would hurt a borough that already has one of the highest tax rates in the state, and is one of the most densely populated areas, with 18,000 people living pressed into an area of less than two square miles, said Rachel Bunin, who lives a block from the Washington Avenue site.

"If Landmark wants to buy it, that's its right," Bunin said, "but what they want to build here is not up to them. We have zoning laws."

Neighbors want to retain the small-town feel.

"People talk to each other in the supermarket," Binney said. "We can't take the tax increase, the cost of the infrastructure, or 200 more family units in the area."

Many blue collar workers, senior citizens and those living with disabilities may not be able to afford it, she noted.

"We know they are going to build on the farm," Bunin said, adding that all the group wants are answers.

That includes whether hundreds of thousands of dollars may be owed to the borough in back taxes since the farm closed two years ago.

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