Reading through the “History of Mountain Lakes” on this Boro website, points out some facts how the town developed within Hapgood’s original ideas and goals!.. Much of his vision has guided us well for the first century of building homes carefully within our given landscape, informing our zoning laws.
From our “Mtn Lakes history” on this Boro website :
“His (Hapgood) houses were solid and boxy in appearance. They were large yet non-ostentatious homes with variations of colonial or neo-classical detail.” “All (houses) showed a clear relationship to the natural environment and promoted outdoor living. They (Hapgood’s houses) were made to FIT into the landscape, LOCATED ON NATURAL RATHER THAN GRADED terrain. Narrow roads WERE CURVED TO FIT THE CONTOURS OF THE LAND.”
NOTE: The King of Kings’ developer will have to, unfortunately, GRADE THE STEEP HILLSIDES of the KING OF KINGS property down to LEVEL property or below level to build close clusters of condos and to put in foundations to accommodate the tallest residences that the town ever previously allowed IF the developer can change our zoning laws.
(This zoning change written by the developer’s lawyer was presented to council at the developer’s presentation of his plans to our town council meeting.)
Trees as grand as we have now, will be cut down or die by the developer who grades the steep slopes to the level of the stream at the bottom of the hillside and/or below it. Grading like that will disturb the stream. Habitat will be lost.
Once our grand oaks and pines are cut down by a developer, no newly planted developer’s dogwood trees can match the century-plus old green tree canopy that is already on the King of Kings property.
Council, please carefully weigh any change to our present zoning proposed by the developer of the King of Kings property.
Remember that Hapgood’s vision for siting and developing his homesites and roads to “fit into the landscape” (as quoted above) has served us well and informed our past zoning laws to make Mountain Lakes such a special place. .
Another quote from our Boro website: “This town’s ability to regulate its growth and thereby control its destiny, cited as unique by Mel Scott in American City Planning Since 1890, is carried on today with renewed dedication to its “original ideals”.
Please carry Mountain Lakes into the next 100 years with pride and integrity!
Long time Laurel Hill Road resident