At their regular Monday meeting on June 19th, township supervisors approved the request to sub-divide off the apartments from the larger Granite Ridge property. As noted by the supervisors, there were no grounds to disapprove the request as it met all requirements for a sub-division. They were very clear the move did not affect zoning in any way and the property remains R-2 Suburban Residential.
At the start of the meeting, during public comments, a number of residents voiced their concerns about the potential placement of the migrant detention center. Bill Unger, Granite Ridge property manager, was in attendance and responded to their comments and concerns. During his comments, he stated clearly they had no intention or desire to try working around the current zoning which does not allow the property to be used as a detention center. He also stated that Culmen International was now looking at other properties for that purpose. He said Granite Ridge was talking with other entrepreneurs and investors about potential uses of portions of the property.
The objections raised by residents and the responses by Bill Unger were very much in line with those previously heard.
Granite Ridge and the Ehrenfeld Companies appear to have disastrously squandered their initial level of trust within the community by proposing this migrant facility in the first place. It’s hard to understand what they were thinking. What could have and should have been a positive relationship is now viewed with suspicion. When Bill Unger again said in the Monday meeting they could not rule out this sort of facility at some point in the future, it gives everyone in North East ample reason to hold them at a distance and why simple requests for sub-divisions are resisted.
Jonathan Ehrenfeld, Bill Unger and everyone else involved in the property should sit down and rethink what they are trying to do here. Unless they want to face opposition at every turn, they need to say it’s off the table or they and the entire North East community can look forward to a long road where both sides are continually facing off against one another and that benefits no one. Our community would much rather work with the owners of Granite Ridge to build something positive for everyone and only Granite Ridge can make that happen. Will they? We’ll see.