Concerned - M&M MARS / New Tractor Trailer Lot and Waste Water Project.

Attention Hackettstown residents, this is a very important topic that could potentially change the peaceful nighttime dynamic of our quaint, historic town.

As of late January 2020, MARS Incorporated has sent out official legal notice (by law) to everyone that resides within 200 feet of their 700 High Street and 600 High Street property line. This notice was to inform of a "Major Site Plan and Use Variance". This site plan requires variances, exceptions and/or waivers. In my opinion, the notice should have been sent out to the entire town. As it seems that only a select portion of High Street residents were made aware of this project.

After a town meeting last night, it sure seems that this project will affect more than just those who reside within 200 feet.

MARS wants to make a tractor trailer parking lot that is capable of holding more than 50 full size tractor trailers that will be parked there. Approximately 20 or more of these trailers are refrigeration trailers that will have loud diesel powered generators on them which will be allowed to operate 24/7. Some of these trailers will be moving around all day and all night(from loading dock to parking lot and vice versa). Some will sit for days, or up to a week. They will be regularly shuffled around by a lot jockey driving a compact tractor trailer. This proposed lot is to be built at approximately 325 ft. off of High Street at their 700 High Street location (for exact details, specification, please go to the town hall).

For me, this portion of the project alone creates a tremendous noise concern. The possibility of 20 diesel engines running in the middle of the night at an approximate distance of a football field off High St. is a major concern. Not to mention the noise of a lot jockey truck, loading and unloading the trailers, air brakes, brake squeals and potential reverse beeps will cause noise pollution that could affect the residents beyond 200 ft of their property line. (MARS representation did mentioned the possibility of no reverse beeps after 7PM)

They also proposed an 18 ft high wall to help reduce the noise, but the engineers claim or "anticipate" it being around 50 or so decibels at High Street with a wall at nighttime. With 20 diesel generator engines and 53 ft trailers being moved around regularly on a 24/7 hour basis, I find this hard to believe. In my opinion, the sound truly can't be blocked or absorbed, only deflected. It certainly seems the sound could affect those who reside farther out than 200 ft of the property line.

They're also doing work on their waste water treatment facility - removing tanks and adding new equipment etc. One of the mentioned concerns with this portion of the project is odor - odors that can potentially travel farther than 200 ft from their property (please see the town hall for exact details).

I like MARS and all they contribute to our little town. I'm always proud to say that MARS is located in the town I raise my family in. However, I'm concerned that if this plan goes through as proposed, it could cause irreparable consequences that consist of constant noise, odors and eyesores that could possibly devalue multiple properties close by.

I strongly urge anyone living on High St., 5th Street, 6th Street, Oak St, 7th St and other locations within earshot, or in the vicinity of MARS to contact the Hackettstown Zoning Board of Adjustment or Land Use Board for more information about this project. Ultimately, this could impact us all.

I can only hope that our town representatives/land use board evaluate this with extreme caution, accountability and with Hackettstown residents in their best interest.

There's a meeting/hearing open to the public on 3/24/20 7 PM at Hackettstown Town Hall. Any questions, concerns or for specific details, please attend.

Thank you for reading this.

TrulyConcerned
Feb '20

Thank you for this information. We need to get this information widespread --- I'm pooped for the evening but will think about this tomorrow and urge you all to propose ways to generate this information to the residents of this area. Perhaps mass mailings, and in the local newspapers. Any thoughts appreciated.

happiest girl
Feb '20

would you prefer they move ?

I would imagine they pay huge ta monies to the town coffers.

I am grateful they have not left already.

steven steven
Feb '20

Truly Concerned: Thank you posting I put the 3/24/20 on my calendar to make sure I attend the meeting.

nancy nancy
Feb '20

“Select Portion” AS REQUIRED BY ZONING REQUIREMENTS..
You want to sink Hackettstown into a financial funk?
Piss off M&M.
May still have the rateable ( in the form of a vacant site)
But bye bye jobs.
Either participate within the framework or amend the process..

Stymie Stymie
Feb '20

Its a factory thats been around for decades..

Bug3
Feb '20

Build that lot! Could you imagine if mars left? Think about the basf building in mt olive 15 mins away that campus has sat vacant since the day they left let’s not have another giant campus empty. We already have the giant compac building Etc


No offense, but if you live on High Street you knew what you were in for being on one of the busiest roads in town and right across from Mars. It’s their property.

Eperot Eperot
Feb '20

#1 - Regardless of what Mars brings to Htown, our taxes are still high for Warren County.
#2 - "Eyesores"..? Have you seen some of the houses and people for that matter in Htown - ugh
#3 - Just like people make upgrades to their homes, its a business, they are going to make upgrades as well.
#4 - How long are they propose this project take?
#5 - I have much bigger fish to fry, as they say...then to worry about something petty like this. Buy some ear plugs and call it a day....or have a drink and relax a little.

DancerLife
Feb '20

I really don't have a dog in this fight so the Mars economic advantage over my NIMBY is pretty obvious. Plus, I can still get to 30 Burgers without being put out :>0 So, (no applause please), I will comment this one time.

I will leave the tanks out since, unless you got EPA or whatever, not sure how much hay you can make there. I just don't know. But for the trucks.....

First, what's the difference in trucking; this calls for 50, what is it now? How many more trucks are coming? You need to know the increase to be able to charge how different, in a bad way, it's going to be over the current situation.

Second, I think, IMO, that H-town needs Mars more than Mars needs H-town. We already lost the administration function to Newark, I think. We should be economically glad of the expansion. We can not afford to lose the taxes and jobs. I can't imagine there's anything that can't be moved to another place and they don't even have to go far. Perhaps 600 acres on the Delaware in White for example. That's a tough thing to tackle for what is probably the largest manufacturer we have.

Third: While IMO you can raise as big a stink as possible, it is your right, I would perhaps be fully prepared to fall back from that position to, a compromise of what sounds like, the biggest issues --- traffic and sound. Not sure what you can do about traffic, but sure as heck need to do something, lights, lanes, etc. Mars should foot that bill. On sound abatement, I am pretty sure an 18 foot wall won't cut it; sound abatement is based on line-of-sight and many of our citizens live above Mars. So this will affect everyone on the first half of Mt. Rascal who are screwed even though they are a mountain away. Who knows how it will echo back off that hill. Also up 517, all those apartments will see their value drop (owners should be helping you).

I live in the land of generators and it's just awful whenever there's a power failure. It's a constant drone that really gets on your nerves. However, indoors, nothing. I love the Sussex Horse Show and the 6 gene's that run the light ruin the show. My fancy dan furnace sounds like a jet engine and must disturb the neighbors (sorry, I just didn't know). This type of noise is insidious loud white noise humans should not be exposed to. I really feel for the folks affected.

So here's your info: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/Environment/noise/noise_barriers/design_construction/keepdown.cfm

Good luck and hope this helps.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '20

Want to see your property taxes hit near $20K?? Let those diesels run. The town wouldn't know what to do if they left. They sold out long ago.

Steve Steve
Feb '20

325' of High Street, looking at their map, looks like it may be in an existing paved area? Map?

chocochaser
Feb '20

They're an excellent company and a true blessing for the community. You know, they could move to a large city and screw the town, right? Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. If you buy a home within the distance of a huge facility, that's on you, not the company.

Leave Mars alone. What happens if they move because you don't it there? Financial ruin for the town and a heck of a lot of people.

DogDayAfternoon
Feb '20

Thank you to all who read this. This is only intended to inform Hackettstown residents of what this project entails and the potential negative impact that may come with it. There likely will be people with an invested financial interest that will come on here to discredit and/or troll. One can only speculate that there're several companies, employees, contractors that will gain financially from this project and want to push it through. You can't blame them for that. However, You can seek the facts and go see the site plans. I'm perplexed as to why only a tiny portion of this town was given notice. Perhaps, they want this quite. We can only speculate as to why.

Please go to the meeting or town hall and see for yourself. Some people will be opposed, neutral or downplay it. If I'm not mistaken, there's at least one member of the board that is directly associated with Mars. (Respectfully, that member stepped aside for the hearing). In addition, there's a member on the board that resides within 200 Ft of the property. (Respectfully, stepped aside for the hearing as well).

Steven, M&M Mars has been here for decades. I love that they're here.They're an awesome company that has had tremendous success. Without question, I agree they pay there share to this community. (IMO, I don't think they're going anywhere). With that success, they obviously have earned mass wealth and large corporate power. That said, perhaps they can utilize that wealth to come up with a better solution than constructing an 18 Ft wall and a parking lot for 50 plus tractor trailers, with a constant noise of diesel generator and trailers being shuffled around.

Hackettstown residents individually, or as a whole pay their share too. Regardless of how much I like MARS and all they do, we residents have rights too. Like protecting the values of our homes, the noise level at night etc.

I'm confident that they have the financial means to come up with a better solution.

We residents need to look out for each other and be aware of whats happening in our own back yard.

Please attend the meeting. There's a time limit as to filing anything against this.

Thanks for reading.

TrulyConcerned
Feb '20

" I'm perplexed as to why only a tiny portion of this town was given notice. Perhaps, they want this quite. We can only speculate as to why."

No need to speculate as to why. With all applications, the applicants, by law, are to notice to all residents within 200ft from the property. Mars is following the law just as every other applicant that goes before the land use board.

Jim L Jim L
Feb '20

This will impact residents of Towpath Village the most in my opinion, and we did not receive any notices about the proposition. It is generally a very quiet complex, so this would be an enormous change.


"There likely will be people with an invested financial interest that will come on here to discredit and/or troll."

lol. yes you did


Eperot, It certainly appears the impact could extend out past those just living on High St. It was only those on High Street that received legal notice. (within 200 Ft by law) That doesn't mean that 'only' those on, or near High Street will be affected.

As a fellow resident, I'm just providing awareness and fair warning as to what they proposed. As a resident yourself, it's probably a good idea to educate yourself on this subject by visiting the town hall and/or the meetings. Especially if you choose to comment.

Those who are trolling and/or commenting in and attempt to create a fear of loss by MARS leaving town over this is pretty ridiculous. There's benefits for them here too. It's a win win.

With the vast resources MARS has, I'm confident a happy median, a better solution can be accomplished. No need for pitch forks and lanterns, just open communication, awareness and a better solution to their project.

TrulyConcerned
Feb '20

I applaud you for being informed and taking the time to write a well-thought out summary to let others know.

However your very well though out comments of "I'm perplexed as to why only a tiny portion of this town was given notice. Perhaps, they want this quite. We can only speculate as to why" insinuates impropriety where it is not warranted. As already mentioned, they did what they are required to do. If they went above and beyond the 200 feet, to 300 feet, then they people at 400 feet would complain.Where is the line? I can answer that: in the Land Use law.
Your message would be more effective without the unwarranted snide comments.

musicgal musicgal
Feb '20

More trucks to load = more candy produced.
More candy produced= more manufacturing jobs. And so it goes, and so it goes...

Stymie Stymie
Feb '20

The NJ Noise Control Act of 1971 sets the allowable noise levels at property lines at 65 decibels during the day and 50 decibels overnight (10pm to 7am). Municipalities are not permitted to impose more stringent requirements at the local level.

If they can meet that standard, as your post appears to indicate that they can, they don't need to do anything more.

https://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/noise-control.html

ianimal ianimal
Feb '20

MARS owns the town, they have for a long long time. They grease the local politicians when they need to and threaten to leave when the town tries to raise their taxes or pushes back in anyway.

It does not matter what you say or what you do, much like the rest of this state and country.

Never mind the taxes, 1/2 the town would be out of work if they left.

Be happy they hand out the free candy at the town fair and go about your merry way.

They don't care about you, nobody does. Take care of yourself as best you can because in the end the only person looking out for you is you!

Glass Half Empty Glass Half Empty
Feb '20

Mars has not always gotten what they want. They fought the traffic light on Rt. 517 and Bilby Road, and that went through. So no, I don't believe "they own the town" or "Grease local politicians."

musicgal musicgal
Feb '20

Re: Concerned - M&M MARS / New Tractor Trailer Lot and Waste Water Project.

For those asking where this is going. Here is a map of the plant. The old waste treatment units will be removed and replaced with a parking lot for trailers with a sound barrier wall built on the western side of the parking lot.

Jim L Jim L
Feb '20

"they own the town" or "Grease local politicians." I agree, nonsense type of comment in my opinion.


musigal,

"snide comments"?

I can see how my statement could possibly be misconstrued. Thank you for pointing that out for me. That said, in no way was I insinuating any impropriety whatsoever.

To clarify for you, I'm well aware as stated above about the law of 200 ft. MARS did that notification according to law and there's no questioning that whatsoever. In fact they've done everything they were obligated to do. Never did I suggest otherwise.

My comment as to being "perplexed" is with regard to the actual law itself. I was referring to the law being limited to 200 feet for legal notification. I believe in instances like this, where the impact may be greater than 200 feet, it should be a larger radius. That has nothing to do with MARS. Where law makers draw the
line as far as distance of notification is also what I was referring to as being perplexing. Seriously, who came up with 200 feet? What makes that the magic number?

As for the"quite" comment, I'm shocked that hardly anyone knows about this. I was referring to our town, homeowners, renters, local paper and other media sources etc. Many smaller projects have been publicized regarding residential homes, vacant homes, football fields and other smaller issues. These smaller projects have generated more public awareness and response than this large one.

I hope this effectively provides you clarification. Thank you for your feedback.

TrulyConcerned
Feb '20

Thanks jim for always pointing out the facts


Putting the parking lot on the back side of the existing stream seems to me to be less intrusive than the way it is done now, which is storing the trialers in Independence Township, driving them down Rte. 46 and up Rte. 517 to their facility. That seems like it would be more noise for the residents on High Street as opposed to the lot being where it is proposed and buffered by a wall.

The new waste treatment plant is already in place and they were just looking for an extension to remove the old waste treatment plant while the new one is working the bugs out. Will there be an odor when it is removed? Possibly, but it's waste water, not sewage.

That is how I interpreted the meeting from last night.

Richie
Feb '20

It seems to me that the refrigeration trailers that will have loud diesel powered generators on them won't be running when the truck is empty right? And then once the truck is filled it will be traveling somewhere to make a delivery, not hanging around.

hktownie hktownie
Feb '20

I'm sure the sound will be no more annoying than the NJ Transit trains idling on the tracks. I can hear that all the way across town at night. Not overtly loud, but just enough hum to notice.

Steve Steve
Feb '20

What does MARS do for the town of Hackettstown actually? Aside from providing some property tax relief. I truly do not know what they do, not trying to be sarcastic.

Harris Harris
Feb '20

looks then like same amount of non-permeable surface and more efficient trailer logistics. SOLD

chocochaser
Feb '20

Maybe ask for some sort of sound proofing.
Saying they grease the wheels of politicians, etc, is just plain stupid. My gosh. Appreciate the jobs they give people and the money that's put into the local economy. If they suddenly uprooted there would be a massive loss.
I appreciate what they do community-wise and it's not just handing out some candy bars at festivals. Truly concerned - sounds like you just wanted everyone to side with you. Automatically thinking negative doesn't do anyone any good.

DogDayAfternoon
Feb '20

"Maybe ask for some sort of sound proofing"

They are providing it in the form of a barrier wall. Their acustic test showed they needed to add a barrier wall to meet the DEP decibels limits ianimal posted above.

Jim L Jim L
Feb '20

Thank you, Jim L. Sounds like they will do the right thing. I have faith in Mars that they will do what's good for the community, as well as the company.

DogDayAfternoon
Feb '20

No worries

Some Mars executive willl get appointed to the parking authority and all will be good

Bug3
Feb '20

DogDayAfternoon, With respect, "negative"? Are you even reading the posts? By measure of your own comments, it doesn't appear so. I was providing information about this project in attempt to make local residents aware. I'd say 'helpful' would be a better adjective to describe my posts. It's not a matter of "sides", it's a matter of awareness, communication and compromise to find a happy median. Please actually read and comprehend the posts you're reading before commenting. Making uninformed comments is counterproductive. Thank you..

Thank you to all who responded. Your feedback is appreciated. I said what I needed to say about this. Information is at the town hall. I encourage you to learn the facts about the project and if concerned, go to the meetings.

TrulyConcerned
Feb '20

Truly Concerned - excuse ME?

So rude. I know how to read and comprehend. I have two degrees. Thanks for your still, what I think is negative feedback.

DogDayAfternoon
Feb '20

Jim L: note noise is line of sight. I don’t think that wall will shield Mt Rascal or even Towpath. If the noise hits those, where it bounces next?

That would be my main concern with the plan; line of sight.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Feb '20

SD look at the pic I posted earlier. Townpath will be blocked by the Mars plant. And Mt Rascal is over a 1/2 mile up a hill from the parking lot.

Jim L Jim L
Feb '20

The refrigerated diesel reefer trailers that all the nimbys are concerned about can also run on electric mode and are almost silent then.I am sure that Mars will have a great deal of consideration for their neighbors.

murof
Feb '20

I love the smell of diesel in the morning.

dodgebaal dodgebaal
Feb '20

That's great for Towpath. But you still have to ask: what happens to that sound when it reflects from the building --- where does it go.

50Dbs is not too much actually. However.....since God has a miraculous sense of humor......guess what......sound travels much more at night, and for a reason. Here, from the first link: "I think the key here is the question of isotropy of propagation." Those who get that, raise their hands :>) But wait, there's more: "The speed of sound in an ideal gas goes as the square root of the temperature. Another way of saying this is that the refractive index for sound waves goes as the inverse square root of temperature. Colder air has a higher refractive index.

At night, it can be the case that the temperature close to the ground is colder than higher up - a temperature inversion. A wave travelling away from the ground will be bent back towards the ground by the decrease in refractive index with height. This (along with the fact it is generally quieter!) can enable you to hear distant events at night." OK, you can hear more at night.....I get that :>)

https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/128144/how-far-can-one-hear-sound

For the non physics majors amongst us, here's one I can understand. Louder at night than day. Line of sight matters. Things reflect and bounce. Bass travels more than treble (don't ask me to explain since frequencies don't matter in a clear space, but we are not clear). But here's the sound-effects-for-SD version: http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/Libraries/I805-Corridor-doc/SAN_I805S_FS_Traffic_Noise_Basics_Fact_Sheet_120814.sflb.ashx

Note that diesel trucks are driving in and out at way over 50dbs and they are lower frequencies. If they retard the pistons coming down that hill (we don't have that law forbidding that, do we?), you're gonna hear it in Liberty (kidding, but not by much, I used to hear it 5 miles away at night off a superhighway as they dropped from those Appalachians. Only in the past couple decades have we regulated lower sound limits from trucks. So, the older ones are louder.

So, the wall only protects on campus sounds. And, again, anything line of sight can be affected. As to Mt. Rascal ----- it's line of sight I think. There are trees so worse at night, worse yet in winter. And, if that's the case, kiss those silent nights at Christmas goodbye. Again, no expert, but that's where my concerns lie.

I think it's a workable problem, easier in the planning stages than in the WTF-did you do- phase and, frankly, easily solved. Walls, berms, plants, whatever, all mitigate the issue.

But I would know before I would accept.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '20

I personally love that Hackettstown is a factory town. Bring it on, I truly appreciate the faint hum of the HVAC system late at night as they fire up their roasters, the smell of the chocolate and peanuts, the train horns blowing at 4:55 am, the helicopters landing at the hospital (not that i like people being hurt), the bells of Centenary... these are all the sites, sounds and smells of a bustling little town. I say build it and build it bigger. This company is one of the 3 pillars of Hackettstown (Mars, Centenary, Atlantic Health) that support the overall plan of the town. With these and the train making its last stop with a direct connection to the greatest city in the world is what enables us to live in a great little hidden gem. Thanks for posting, I will be marking my calendar to attend the meeting in support!


SD, do you live in close proximity to the Mars facility ?

steven steven
Feb '20

Gjl - perfectly said thank you!


Gjl-
“My Little Town”—Paul Simon

Stymie Stymie
Feb '20

Gjl, I like the cut of your jib, sir (or madam)...

ianimal ianimal
Feb '20

Thanks @Stymie,
Just put that on my Apple Music (have not listened to Simon & Garfunkel in a while) Love it. You can take that a couple of ways, one is that things are dark and drab and that there is nothing but the dead and dying back in our little hackettstown OR you could see that these little towns of bustling optimism are the best place to grow up and launch a future filled with unknown potential and promise (as of the songwriter). Too often we seek nostalgia of something which we wish to recreate but miss the mark and don’t see the beauty of what we have (which is what we were looking for all along).

Thanks for the reaction


gjl, the voice of reason

dogparklive dogparklive
Feb '20

Why Steven? Does that somehow change the physics of sound?

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Feb '20

Let’s just tarmac everything (progress)

Scooter
Feb '20

Gjl

I moved back to Hackettstown precisely because of some of those noises, which to me were the reassurance that I was "home". I remember my Grandmother's house and the sound of the trains passing by on the rails. Whenever I heard them, I'd just kind of smile and go back to sleep, assured that all was right in the world. I guess a lot of people won't understand that idea either, but I get it.

Of course I do think that there are better ways than just a sound barrier to help ameliorate the sound. Hard barriers generally reflect some sound unless treated, but an even better idea is to plant an evergreen barrier a certain distance from the hard barrier. Arbor Vitae is often a great choice for this and can be pattern planted for maximum effectiveness. It works year-round to absorb the extra noise and with any wind creates a sort of white noise that helps cover up other noises.

Phil D. Phil D.
Feb '20

Excellent analysis Gjl

Stymie Stymie
Feb '20

The reefers aren’t that loud in the refrigerated trucks . Hell the nj transit train is louder then the factory . I would suggest soundproofing you’re homes if it bothers you that bad .

Bryan Bryan
Mar '20

SD,
No, physics are what they are.... just asking a question

steven steven
Mar '20

Re: Concerned - M&M MARS / New Tractor Trailer Lot and Waste Water Project.

Truck traffic and yard jockeys moving trailers around the Mars factory has been going on for many years.The factory has been on a 24 hour a day schedule for a long time.The small lot that they are proposing is just another way to expand the shipping and distribution end of the business.The Mars plant has a railroad spur that could be used to ship and receive merchandise too. The railroad siding has not been used in many years.

murof
Mar '20

Let Mars expand and grow their business in Hackettstown. It is good for the local economy.


Steven, I noted in my first post: nimby. Why do you care?

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Mar '20

They already sent jobs to Newark that they temporarily moved here from Chicago for tax incentives. Just tell them no on expansion and watch them move to another tax haven.


CJ - Wow, are you clueless...

Informed.
Mar '20

Yes, but I think they backfilled the building so we just added other people, probably not as affluent of jobs, but jobs.

I agree that there are probably not to many barriers for Mars to move the factory.

However, the sound issue is pretty easily mitigated especially if decided in the planning stage. Traffic is harder but it’s not like there impacting Htown center.

While they’re talking 50 trucks I think, no one has said what that means in terms of increase. That seems relevant.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Mar '20

Informed,
Where was the clueless part of my statement?
https://www.nj.com/politics/2017/11/candy_maker_mars_gets_30m_10-year_tax_break_to_exp.html
New plants in Mexico 2018
And Kansas 2014
https://mexico-now.com/mars-petcare-opens-us-50-million-plant-in-queretaro-fourth-overall-in-the-coutry/
And tax breaks don't mean they stay.
https://www.nj.com/morris/2018/11/big-tax-break-luring-honeywell-out-of-nj-after-they-got-40m-not-to-go.html


"While they’re talking 50 trucks I think, no one has said what that means in terms of increase. That seems relevant."

Right now those 50 trailers are stored around the Mars plant and at Rogers Rental on Rte 46. Which means everytime they need an empty trailer they have to bring it down Rte 46 to Rte 517 to the plant. With this parking lot, they will all be stored on site and only leave the plant once filled and ready to go out on delivery. So by storing all the trailers on site it will eliminate trailers coming down Rte 46 and Rte 517 as Richie mentioned up above a couple of days ago.

Jim L Jim L
Mar '20

So for the area, the entire area, this sounds like a big plus.

For H-town center, this sounds like a plus.

For 46, and those big bangs as empty trailers hit those cement joints, sounds like a plus all the way up Russling and Petersburg road.

And for North of 517; it's a wash (considering all Rodgers Rental parking probably comes down 517 to begin with).

Hmmmmm. this seems very positive as a traffic and noise reducer. (still need those walls, and I would still be checking line-of-sight to Mt. Rascal.) But thanks JL.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Mar '20

Rogers Rentals and trucking has been serving the Mars factory for years.Most of the trucks come down Rt 46 from Vienna hill.There has never been a problem with their trucks before. Too many nimbys complaining here.You should have been in Hackettstown when coal trucks used to run through town.Several coal trucks ran through town after loosing their brakes and almost caused accidents.

murof
Mar '20

They should make the parking area bigger so they can plant Arborvitae trees on the inside of the wall. It will help muffle the sounds before it hits the wall. This will keep the wall from turning into a speaker box. Also they are easy to trim and can grow higher the the wall. That will add privacy and added sound reduction to higher elevated residences. And they are green so hug a tree.


CJ.

Thanks for reinforcing the point I made above about the Arbor Vitae trees being planted to muffle the sound reflection. They can be made several rows deep with each row alternating. Helps ameliorate exhaust as well.

Phil D. Phil D.
Mar '20

If facing right, walls can be slotted to promote vines too. Mars’ entire front was restored habitat a number of years ago. Very proactive on that one. All of this is not real hard, or expensive, just takes thought. Mars seems pretty good about that stuff.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Mar '20

CJ - That's great. An article from 2017 and two from 2018. Congrats, you know how to use Google. As the business grows, employees will be shifted around as needed. Fact: Hundreds of people from the IT services group will be moving into the Hackettstown office this year.

Strangerdanger - Doesn't get much more affluent than that.

Informed.
Mar '20

Well, actually it does, but.....

That’s new news since the administrative moves and, IMO, great news for Hackettstown. Thanks.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Mar '20

SD - It does? In Hackettstown?? Yeah, right. Hundreds of very well paid people - better paid than the people they are replacing - is a very good thing for the area's economy.

Informed.
Mar '20

Yes, it is very good Mars is moving some IT into Hackettstown, yes they are good paying career jobs. I just knew previous folks in Regional Sales Manager types who certainly exceeded most IT job pay levels. The Controller was also in H-town, I am sure that's a higher pay. The initial reports were 370 jobs shifting to Newark, about 90 jobs being shifted to Hackettstown from Chicago. The original end date was 7/2020 and a later update said the 370 shifted to 300. Better for the economy ---- 300 to 90 most certainly won't but probably won't be noticeable either.

Mars is a nice company for Hackettstown in my book, seems like a great neighbor, a lot of jobs at many levels from logistics to factory to IT and beyond. A little kinky at the top, but hey, America needs family-owned big time, so be unique Mars --- it's fun to watch you change those company names.

Plus, we used to send all our visitors in for the tour, of course there was none, but the huge box of candy was fun. So was the beta tests from those Regional Sales types with the Ethel M brand ---- yummy.

I am sure they will do a great job with the sound abatement and, if JL is right and I am sure he is, overall the sound will be decreased for the area. They like plants too (not factory but the green stuff) which is a good thing for the neighborhood. Just need to "trust, but verify" the situation at home base for sound.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Mar '20

Please be advised the March 24, 2020 Land Use Board Meeting has been cancelled.

All Notices by applicants shall be carried to the April 24, 2020 Land Use Board Meeting.

Jim L Jim L
Mar '20

Please note that tomorrow night's Land Use Board meeting will be held via zoom. Instructions for joining the meeting will be on the town's website.

This Mars' project has been postponed until the May meeting. Once we get closer to the May meeting's date we will get a better picture if that meeting will be in person or via zoom as well.

Jim L Jim L
Apr '20

There aren't going to be any crowded-house public meetings any time soon. Council and Land Use Board meetings will most likely be conducted remotely at least through the end of the year and likely through virus season of 2021...

ianimal ianimal
Apr '20

Please note Mars presentation will be held at the May 26th Land Use Board meeting. The meeting will be held via Zoom. Instructions on how to join the meeting via video and/or audio will be posted on the town website along with a nixle alert.

the site plan and documents will be posted on the town website as well.

Jim L Jim L
May '20

Good meeting last night albeit a long one! LOL

The proposal at the Mars site looks to be on it's way. The steps taken by the applicant to minimize any impact to the surrounding area including sound and site concerns seem to have been addressed nicely. In my opinion the LUB has been quite diligent in attention to detail regarding this project and it's impact to the area.


Thanks Greg, yes got to love these long meetings. For those that were not on the zoom meeting, the LUB and town engineer had the applicant add a sound barrier wall alonga portion of north side of the new lot. Along with more landscaping to improve the sightlines for the neighboring residents. Also changed the time the backup beepers will be turned off from 10pm to now 7pm to help quiet the noise on the site.

The applicant re-noticced a couple of times for this June Zoom Land Use meeting so it was a little disappointing that no one from the public spoke at the meeting last night.


Not my business, don't live in hearing distance, but is there a way to understand line-of-sight in all directions here since LOS has a lot to do with sound travel. Great that they added a North-side wall. Plants cool too.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
June 24th

last night they presented the line of sight diagrams. they were very detailed.


Re: Concerned - M&M MARS / New Tractor Trailer Lot and Waste Water Project.

Congrats to the town and fyi Jim L; you don't need a mask, it's all online!! And they used SCE, IMO, a top-notch firm. I am confident in SCE's engineering, plant selection, wall engineering, etc. They tend to over engineer and only use top-grade materials, no short-cuts which, in this case, is a real benefit to the town and the neighbors. Thank you once again Mars, you really do care!

However......and I am sure this is all copesetic, legal-wise, all line-of-sight engineering is done to the first floor windows across High Street, and I am sure, other directions. On High Street, they engineered line-of-sight to 701, 705, and 709 High Street residential locations. That's the block just below the Mars' house. They engineered line-of-sight to the first floor windows. This means that anything above the first floor, on High Street or West, behind High Street, including Mt. Rascal Road in Independence, is not protected by the sound blocking wall or sound baffle plantings. Also, anything outside of 701-709 High Street is outside the field of study. I take it the four other directions suffer the same fate, or glory, however, my interest is High Street and beyond because Independence will benefit from this engineering as well as Hackettstown.

As I have said earlier, the "engineering" of noise is vastly different in the night as the day, and I have to imagine, based on this engineering, that Mt. Rascal will get the resulting night time noise ----- full bore.

Jim L.; thanks for the guidance, think I got anything wrong here?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
June 25th

" legal-wise, all line-of-sight engineering is done to the firstfloor windows across High Street"

Actually SD, if you look on the sightline drawing that you shared you will see they used both first floor and 2nd floor windows as their sightline. they only used first floor when the house was a 1 story house and used both first and second floor for the houses that were 2 story. It's almost like they knew what they were doing when they did the report, :)

And you keep bringing up Mt Rascal. Do you realize how far and how many buildings, hills, trees separate MT Rascal from Mars? There is no sightline report that could possibly show a direct line of sight from Mars to Mt Rascal.

And anything behind High Street is far enough away that the sound decibals will below the state standards. Not to mention the sound would have to travel over the houses on High and then around all the landscaping from the homes on High and behind. The nearest end of Mt Rascal is 0.7 miles from the parking lot with a huge hill, trees and even a large self-storage building that will act as sound barriers. The other end of Mt Rascal has a huge wooded area between it and High st. So where on Mt Rascal do you think noise will be an issue?


I live on Mount Rascal so I'll add in some comments. A few weeks ago I was in my room with the windows open. I don't remember the time, but it was definitely night time. I could clearly hear back up alarms from something. I can't confirm it was from Mars, but I don't know where else I would be hearing them from. I have never heard alarms with the windows closed. The alarms I heard didn't bother me though so whether my windows are open or closed, Mars can do whatever it needs to do.

Smilingbecs Smilingbecs
June 25th

Perhaps just an artifact of your style, but feels like you cop a rude tude, Dude. I thought I was pretty tame, cut n dry, except perhaps for the word: "however." You start with "actually," which often is a code-word for "you're freakin wrong and I'm about to show you....." and then continue on. I'm sure it's my fault, but I am just trying some ideas, hopefully facts, that can help folks determine position on this expansion. Just saying that as you move from failed-paperwork-unpolitician to elected man-o-the-peeples, that perhaps, you want to be open to diverse views, discount none, taking advantage of all information sources. Perhaps it's just that I am too strident myself. Or you can keep shooting everyone down.

I have nothing but praise for Mars and ICE, and the sound report looks pretty spiffy too.

Glad you looked further. I relooked and yes, I was doing a skim job for sure, trying to get some ideas out. I have relooked, have even more questions, but please realize I don't live there, I did not attend the meeting, I am in no way being comprehensive, just spit balling some ideas. Feel free to push back, but perhaps you might look deeper too.

"It's almost like they knew what they were doing when they did the report, :)" I am sure Mars/SCE know exactly what they are doing, are being very fair, and have our best interests in mind. They basically live and work in the area. I hope the following might get folks to think about some things and ask questions. Feel free to correct my assumptions. Once it's in, it won't get quieter. The time is now, any changes still pretty inconsequential.

First, I take it the 5.26 updates are current, that's three meetings ago. Second, I refer you to Update 1 where Mars/SCE basically report/design on NJDEP recommendations while giving credence to the town's lame regulations. This is better for the town. The State offers this template to any town, H-town has not adopted yet. Also note how close the results come to the night-time db maximum. Remember, this is a test under current conditions I think; this is not the real thing. Not a lot of buffer in the results/NJDEPrecommendations there, especially at night when sound travels the most (not because it's quiet, but because of science, see previous tome way back). Also, remember the tests were made at "the west side of the site" which theoretically could means at street's edge.

Second, actually......I was 100% correct, but not comprehensive. I looked at High Street, you correctly added Oak Street from the same chart. All the houses I noted were one story, on High Street, moving down the block from the Mars house. Oak is one more house down and set back about a lot's worth off High Street. So, yes, at the farthest distance studied, and one that's slightly off the main drag, they used the two story. You are correct, I did not look at it. I am wrong. Sort of. If you had attended the meeting, you would have known, they actually used two more two-story homes starting at 801 High Street, one door down from the Mars House continuing five houses down to the 100 Oak Street address. Why the Mars House was left out who knows, but obviously the rest of High Street going that direction is commercial.

For consideration. Going the other way, why did they stop at Oak Street? Are the tanks remaining to block (resonate) the sound? Why didn't they use all the lines of sight? Basically if you are in line of sight, you will get the sound waves. Others may get reflected waves. So, why stop at the first row of houses OR the higher terrains that surround the area in that direction if there's line of sight? Won't the sound bleed behind High Street around the houses, or over the houses to the hills beyond? Or through Wells Fargo to the apartments? Perhaps they answered all of this somewhere else, in which case, I apologize. However.....

With regard to Mt. Rascal, that road is at an altitude over the High Street roof tops of most below and it wraps around like a big bowl, maybe even a big rock reflector. As Smiling B notes, can hear sounds from below, even in the summer. These may be line of sight or reflected. Rock reflects well. You note the area is wooded; this is true. And it's true that trees loose leaves which is why Mars/ICE is wisely using conifers for all the plantings, many already existing, although I might ask about berms as well. So, night time in winter will be the loudest. Smiling B can hear stuff, but can anyone on Mt Rascal SEE the Mars campus, especially when the leaves are off the trees? That would be line of sight.

And how about the other three directions: all OK? Did not see data there in terms of any of the reports so I am sure there's a simple answer.

I really hope this project goes through and everyone is happy with the results. Now is the time to ask questions though, I believe, right Jim L?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
June 25th

Noise can also be addressed through a Nuisance Code. Google: NJ Noise Ordinance vs Nuisance Code Aug08

OnTheEdge OnTheEdge
June 25th

“. Now is the time to ask questions though, I believe, right Jim L?“

Nope. The time to ask questions was during the public meetings where those questions and or concerns could be addressed properly. I’m out of this thread as the issue had been resolved.


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