Dumpster situation creates divisions in Bishop’s Landing

In Millville, it seems, one man’s trash receptacle is another man’s nuisance.

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the Millville Town Council approved a revision to the final site plan for Bishop’s Landing 1 and Bishop’s Landing 2 (formerly called Dove Landing) to remove all dumpsters from both parts of the community.

The move has divided the community’s part-time and full-time residents, as the part-time residents have fought the move to take the dumpsters out. They have said they need them to dispose of trash when they are in town for a weekend and don’t want to leave their residential trash cans on the curb until trash is picked up on Mondays.

Full-time residents have complained that the dumpsters have been misused by visitors, non-residents and contractors, who sometimes fill them with large items, including televisions, decking materials, furniture and computers.

Millville Mayor Steve Maneri said he considers the dumpsters “more of an HOA matter” and that the Town’s concern is that the developments have adequate trash removal services.

“The dumpsters were planned for overflow, for weekend people,” Maneri said. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

In recent months, the Bishop’s Landing community has tried to resolve the conflict by forming a 10-member committee to address it. The division remains, however, and it spilled out at a Dec. 6 town council meeting, with both sides speaking out during a public hearing on the site plan approval.

Homeowners’ association representative Craig Kissel said there had been a “vicious set of attacks” against members of the dumpster task force and that the core issue with the dumpsters is that “people can’t manage themselves.”

He said he has seen the dumpsters overflowing, with trash of all types left alongside them.

“Who do you think picks that stuff up?” he asked, indicating that residents of the community had been cleaning up the messes.

“The solution we came up with is they need to go,” Kissel said.

The dumpsters “were originally put there for convenience,” said Joni Keller, one of the task force members. “If everybody follows the rules,” she said, there is no problem.

“I didn’t retire to this neighborhood to go around and pick up trash,” Keller said. “It’s not a complicated process to get rid of your trash.”

John Mesher, who introduced himself as an attorney and professor of law, said he is concerned about the process through which the dumpster situation had been addressed thus far.

He said the residents had been promised dumpsters by the developer and that that agreement “cannot be amended without a formal, special homeowners’ meeting” in which it could be addressed by the community as a whole. Mesher said that, according to the HOA regulations, the change should be approved by a majority of the Bishop’s Landing homeowners.

Millville’s town solicitor said the covenant is between Beazer and the homeowners, and the Town is not a party to that covenant.

Mesher said he would like to see the Town delay its decision on the site plan approval with the dumpsters removed, until the homeowners could meet and vote on it.

Glenn Mandalas, an attorney representing Beazer Homes, the community’s developer, asked that the dumpsters be removed from the site plan “and let it be an HOA issue.”

The council approved Beazer’s request to remove the dumpsters in the entire community from the final site plan. Also approved within the same request was the removal of a community garden and a clamshell parking lot, and the addition of horseshoes pits. Council members and Bishop’s Landing residents Ron Belinko and Peter Michel recused themselves from the vote, while the other three council members voted in favor of the request.

Following a separate public hearing, the council approved, also with three in favor and Michel and Belinko abstaining, the addition of 18 single-family homes and 67 townhomes to Bishop’s Landing 2. The homes will replace the originally planned Home Depot and strip shopping center on the site.

As part of that same request, the developer asked that the final site plan be revised to enlarge a pool and to move pickleball courts.

In other business, the council approved a change in the final site plan for the Sea Edge development, to remove a pool and pool house and add a dog park and pavilion. The vote was 4-1, with council member Sharon Brienza the lone dissenting vote.

“I’m just not in favor of the dog park,” Brienza said. She had commented during the public hearing that she found it “ironic” that Bishop’s Landing wanted to enlarge a pool, but Sea Edge wanted to remove one in favor of a dog park.

Tom Ford of Land Design Inc. said the decision by Ryan Homes to include a fenced dog park was based on marketing information. Brienza questioned the need for it, given the extensive walking options in the community, to which Ford replied, “There are a lot of places to walk your dog, but no place for them to run” without the park.


By Kerin Magill
Staff Reporter