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Parking in Haddonfield: So … What do you really think?

On Monday, October 23, 2023, we posted a ten-question survey on our petition site.

Pie charts for the 200 responses received as of 2:18pm on Wednesday, November 1 were published in the November 3, 2023 issue of Haddonfield Today, along with about 90 comments from the first 150 respondents.

Those comments are published below, together with an additional 30 received from respondents 150 thru 200.

Having received 200 responses, we paused the survey on November 2, 2023.

RESPONSE 001 – Free parking on Saturdays and weekdays until 5:00 (five) PM.

002 – Very unfriendly

004 – The Mayor and two other Commissioners have severely damaged businesses in Haddonfield. It’s completely unacceptable their nonchalant behavior when questioned.

005 – Simply return to the longstanding, historic, business supporting coin meter and day/timeframe

007 – Even when it was free on Saturday so many people paid because it was never posted anywhere. Your patrons deserve a break! The money they spend at the stores and restaurants come back as taxes anyway.

010 – It’s not feasible to pay for a full hour of parking & go through all of the hassle with a kiosk or app if you’re just running into the post office to drop off a package for 1 minute, or running into a restaurant to grab take-out.

011 – Parking is difficult, especially if you have handicapped plates, and particularly at the Post Office.

012 – With every concept & decision related to parking, please keep the following at the forefront of your mind: disabled & elderly people (both often the poorest people) will be excluded from necessary shops like grocery stores & pharmacies if parking policies aren’t sympathetic to them. Some states allow disabled placard holders to have free metered parking. If in those places, metered parking is removed for kiosk parking, that takes away something very important to people having a rough time in life. Please make sure that whatever parking scheme is chosen, that it doesn’t make things harder for those whom life has already kicked around & that the state has recognized, lawfully, as worthy of exception. Thank you for your consideration.

013 – On Thursdays my wife and I used to dine in Haddonfield after work. We don’t anymore. We stop at the Haddon Diner with feee parking.

014 – I go to stores like Target instead of going into town when I remember the kiosk. I don’t go to the library often except for 2 min trips when I avoid the horrible kiosks


017 – Extending to 8 pm is frustrating and cumulatively expensive when attending events or running in to grab takeout downtown in the evening.

020 – This is the worst decision ever made by the commissioners. After 6:00PM and Saturdays need to be free. It’s not fair to the shopkeepers and to those of us who keep this town alive by our support. I had an appointment one day and after finding a place to park the app wouldn’t load on my phone. I was late for my appointment and parked in the Acme lot, something I never do if I’m not shopping there. Not fair to Acme. Haddonfield is already being ruined by the mass tearing down of old houses and replacing them with unsightly monstrous houses. This parking situation is making our town less attractive to shoppers and will contort our downfall.

021 – I would like free first 12 minutes back as well

023 – While I prefer to use a parking app, I want the ability to choose minutes over a full hour. Much like MeterUp allows you to do.

024 – I think parking meters are a thing of the past, but more Kiosks are needed. Including Saturdays was a big mistake for Haddonfield.

025 – Go back to the old schedule and meters.

026 – I miss the free 12 min feature on the meters so I could easily run in to pick up dry cleaning etc. I also don’t like the fact that people / employees can easily stay in their parking spaces all day. It’s harder to find spots close to my destination than it used to be. Finally I help facilitate an evening program downtown once a month. It starts at 7:30 pm. I now have to pay for an hour of parking for that 1/2 hour of time. I really don’t like that.

RESPONSE 027 – I believe any additional revenue the borough may gain from parking will be offset by the lost revenue of local businesses because people will choose to shop elsewhere. It is difficult enough for small businesses to compete without local governments making it more difficult for their customers to park in town.

030 – I don’t hate the idea of the app and kiosks but the hour minimum and. Now Saturdays is insane. I shouldn’t need to pay to run into the post office

031 – Pay to Park up to 5 or 6pm. Let diners dine for free. Bring back the free 15 minute parking at UPS and Post Office!

034 – I cannot even go to the post office without paying to park in the town I live in. I no longer go to any business in town. Including daily coffee & the post office. I no longer frequent the small businesses in town because of the parking situation and receiving a ticket when I was 3 minutes past my meter time.

036 – The current app is terrible. I’d prefer parkmobile.

037 – I am really annoyed than they took away the 15 minute grace period and also that I am forced to pay for one hour when I may only need 30 minutes or less .

039 – The free 12 minutes missing with the app is what is really annoying. I end up having to pay $1.33 so many times just to run into a store for 5 to 10 minutes, or for something in the evening that used to be free, which is adding a tax to get things done in downtown Haddonfield. I live in town, but don’t want to go downtown as much now.

040 – The kiosks half the time don’t even work when you find one. Crossing the street to pay at a kiosk should not be. I have lived in Haddonfield half of my life; parking should be free after 6 on weekdays and free on weekends. With all of the tax revenue that is generated from million dollar housing being built in Haddonfield, parking should be free especially for the residents. Taking away the free 12 minute parking to do quick errands or stop in the post office is just absurd. This new parking arrangement was never discussed with the residents hurts all who live, work, and enjoy coming to Haddonfield.

041 – I now avoid Haddonfield businesses I used to patronize due to the parking. Need an alternative for 5 minute errands. Town residents should have parking stickers for quick errands. We don’t stay long.

042 – Pulled into Fuji’s parking lot on Saturday for lunch and remembered the Saturday parking fees so we drove away and went to Cherry Hill to another restaurant. Wouldn’t mind paying a quarter but $1.35 min every time – no way. I’ve paid taxes here for 30 years. This is the worst decision I’ve ever seen made in this town. Business owners will suffer. disappointed

048 – If you are a Haddonfield resident and pay property taxes, parking should be free. A sticker should be given out that you can display on your dashboard. We pay enough for living in Haddonfield, parking should be free for residents

049 – I can’t go to Acme anymore. Parking lot is full bc people park there instead of paying. I go to Haddon Township Acme. I go to post office in Cherry Hill. Not paying to park when all I need is to put a letter in the mail. This mayor forgets she works for us. She isn’t the queen of Haddonfield! I have friends who won’t meet me here for lunch or go shopping now. She and her two puppets are ruining this town! I am very angry that we are paying for her Communication Officer. I thought lawyers were well spoken and didn’t need someone to speak for them!!! Seriously I do not want to live here anymore! If she represents the women vote as much as she says, why does she answer to the men in the Democratic Party and do what they tell her!? She needs lessons from Tish Columbi!! Totally fed up with her dirty politics! I am very angry!

052 – I feel it’s bad for businesses in Haddonfield.

053 – “Remember Milton Shapp? He was the governor of PA who wanted to be remembered for getting rid of pay toilets on the PA Turnpike. I still remember him. I used to eat and shop in Haddonfield almost daily. Now I only go on Sundays.

055 – My biggest complaint is the fact that local residents now have to pay $1.35 simply to grab a coffee, run into a shop quickly, or drop something at the post office. Residents should have a 15 minute “free” parking option on the app. I refuse to pay extra every time I have to go to the post office. That makes mailing packages over the course of the year expensive. Residents should have better options.

057 – I understand the need to charge for parking on Saturdays but I prefer meters.

059 – I do not mind the parking app, but want the option for less than 1 hour without a fee. The $1.35 for a minimum of 1 hour is ridiculous if you are just running into a store for 5-10 mins. There should be another option. Maybe 1st 15 mins free.

RESPONSE 060 – Dropping off/picking up my dog at the groomer went from free to $2.70. I could go to a place with free parking. I feel this way now about many stores and businesses. If the town needs more revenue, allow all residents to pay $20 for a permit, not just seniors. Or, charge the landlords an operations fee for downtown services.

062 – Although this comment does not apply to me personally, the new technology is difficult for seniors and people without smartphones.

065 – Metered parking prevents spots from being filled all day. I think time limits/restrictions of 3 hours should be enforced. Encouraging turnover allows for more parking availability and easier parking downtown. The township should look into alternatives for extended parking or designate other lots for longer parking and keep the street parking restricted. It should also be free on weekends plan and simple.

066 – VERY inconvenient and annoying are the new parking regulations in Haddonfield

069 – I liked when paying for parking ended at 5 or 6 pm

070 – Go back to 9am to 5pm Mon to Fri pay for parking

071 – There has to be a better way…

072 – In addition to the change of hours, parking has become even more unfriendly to both residents and business owner/employees. Keeping a small business profitable is challenging enough in this town where rent is already too high for most businesses, but the town is now making it more menacing for our elderly shoppers, quick pick-ups, etc. My mother won’t shop in town anymore (after being a lifelong Haddonfield shopper), she has a smart phone but barely knows how to use it. And, as a business owner, it completely stinks getting parking tickets when we’re already trying so hard to add value to the town and community.

074– I do understand why there needs to be paid parking, but I find it somewhat unfriendly as a disabled person. I would prefer meters, because they are present where my car is, and I don’t have to wander off to find a kiosk, then return with a slip, then move on to my destination. I like the Westmont courtesy 15 minutes free meters; often that is plenty of time to get in and out on a brief errand. I do have a smart phone but do not use it for any kind of banking; I worked in IT and it’s just a matter of time before hackers will compromise phone security to steal funds. You also need to add crosswalks to the 400 block of Haddon Avenue. And you neglected to put a kiosk on that block, which causes no end of confusion for shoppers. Haddonfield is not doing any favors for these businesses!

075 – Was a feasibility/cost study done before the installation of the kiosk parking? How long is it projected to recoup the investment.

076 – I have started to use other businesses in other areas because of the inability to pay for short-term (<15 mins) parking in Haddonfield.

079 – This puts a heavy strain on Haddonfield businesses and visitors. Why would you do something that makes it more difficult to come to Haddonfield? Why push businesses closer to failure?

080 – Just a Slap in the Face to Haddonfield Retail and Dining Establishment

083 – Saturdays free is inportant to the business community, and the 12 minutes for quick run in the post office, dry cleaner, coffee….was very helpful

084 – Personally I was annoyed with the app at first. I was almost late to an appointment trying to get it set up. Now that’s it’s set up it’s very easy. My first thought when I saw them was how older people would struggle with this. It’s not set up for that generation to be able to use easily. And there should be free parking on the weekends. The retailers pay a high cost for rent and this was a real bonus for m as their weekends are their busiest days. Free parking was a perk for the shoppers. And the majority of the shoppers are people who would struggle with the app!”

085 – Restore 12 min free parking. Quick park at library and several other businesses.

087 – This is hurting small businesses

088 – Really miss the free 12 minute parking!

089 – We pay enough in taxes.

090 – Return the parking to how it was. Changing to an app is fine but the hours and days are not. Driving business away.

091 – Commissioners must restore free parking immediately.

RESPONSE 092 – The meters were so easy, and now I have to spend my time finding a kiosk that might not be nearby or convenient to where I parked. If I choose to use the app to pay to park instead, it costs MUCH more for the same amount of time if I had used a kiosk. Also the Saturday parking hours have completely deterred me from choosing Haddonfield on the weekend for dining or shopping. Why choose to support a town that seems to not want any outsiders there?

094 – As a senior ( 81) I do not do a lot of shopping, but like having free parking after 6p (week-days) for dinning in Haddonfield and Saturday free for what little shopping I might wish to do. I DO NOT have a smart phone !!!

095 – I dislike the current parking scan and pay. I just want to drop off and pick my dog up from the groomers. Less than 10 mins. I circle the damn lot 3-4 times before a spot comes open. If it’s didn’t love my groomer I would shop elsewhere. I prefer coin meters on the Main Street through the center of town. Easy.

096 – Restore free parking on saturdays and after 6 and 15 minute free parking.

101 – I have gotten hacked a few times before with pay by phone apps. I tried the Haddonfield one the first time and it was glitchy. I also am hating the xtra hours we need to now pay

102 – Extra .35 convenience fee for app payment is a bit excessive

103 – I’m ok with parking M-Sa but 9am – 5 or 6pm. And near the Borough, schools, and post office there should be quick cheap parking.

105 – I pay too much in property taxes to have to pay for Sat. parking. It is an insult!!!

107 – Really miss the 12 minute free. I frequently run to shops to pick up gifts, candy, food. Also, I disagree with the change from 6p to 8. Would love to know the difference in revenue.

108 – If Haddonfield wants people to come WHY are they discouraging them and making it more difficult….as if finding a parking space wasn’t difficult enough. Also, why change to 8pm. It made me happy to have to go to 4 or 5p. Yikes, even most stores are closed by 5p, yet we still have to pay to park.

109 – I’d rather have free 12 minutes and smaller increments of parking than free Saturdays. (I hate new minimum of $1 plus a whopping .35 fee for use of required app!!!). I’d rather not use kiosk or app frankly but very little hope of reversal.

110 – The change in pay-to-park days is a blow to both Haddonfield residents and businesses alike!

112 – Increasing the pay for parking time (8:00pm) and day (now Saturdays) is a major deterrent to shoppers and visitors for coming here to Haddonfield.

113 – Can residents purchase a parking sticker for the year? Dealing with the app takes longer than the errand I have to run most of the time.

115 – Making people pay on Saturdays is not good for business. Also, making people pay via a smart phone ( and load software on phones ) will deter business. This feels greedy to me…

118 – I know change is a part of life but I do think having to use an app or a phone to pay for parking can be VERY difficult for older people and can discourage that age group from frequenting the downtown area.

119 – With this age of technology it should be easy to add a free parking option for the 12 minutes we all used to get for quick errands. We can obviously change the hours and day probably within a day. Getting it it back to some happy medium for everyone should be very easy.

120 – Bring back the option for free 12 minute parking! Lots of times I zip into town to pick something up, or drop off a package at the post office, now I have to pay $1.35 each time for a full 1 hour, when all I need is 5 minutes. GREEDY! Also, my wife got a parking ticket for the 1st time in 30 years of living here, all because the app confused her, she thought she was all set, but hadn’t fully hit the confirm button in the app. As a result of the new paid Saturday parking, my wife use to say cheerfully that she’s running into town to shop for gifts, now she’s been opting to skip downtown and shop online. Lastly, it’s not very inviting to our out of town shoppers.

121 – My stores sales are down 30% in October. These new parking stipulations are brutal.

122 – Commissioners will host the downtown businesses free parking on Sat and Sunday and after 6

124 – The old meters were charming and fit the look of the town. The new signs are cheap looking. Not easy to use for older people

128 – Paying for parking after 6PM most negatively impacts the downtown restaurants disproportionally.

RESPONSE 131 – The rollout – and fallout – of this new system has been handled so poorly that I am sincerely questioning the commissioners’ transparency and competency. Either they don’t understand their constituents or they think we are a bunch of compliant dopes.

132 – Often I need to park on King’s Highway just to pick up a take out order that I have called in. I typically go after 6 pm but before 8 pm. It is nuts that I should have to pay for a 10 minute park, and try to find a kiosk on top of it. Or at the post office to drop off a package – also about 10 minutes. The previous meters with 12 minutes free were perfect for this. I will most likely start ordering take out only at restaurants with parking lots.

133 – This new policy has caused me to shop other places. I liked to just park and wander around. I’d pay at a meter, but don’t feel like finding the kiosk.

135 – $1.35 per hour with only an hour option to run errands in town is taking advantage of residents. We have kids that we drop off and pick up at art class etc. I’m paying $2.70 each day to drop off and pick up! We used to get free 12 minutes to do quick errands. It’s also ludicrous that to use the app you don’t have a 15 minute option or 30 minutes. It’s ludicrous that the app company is charging a 35% up charge on a dollar to park w each transaction. The town is overpaying. This is not a sustainable solution for residents. I grew up here. I’m beyond irritated. You took it way too far. Bring back free 12 minutes, to pick up your mail at post office, to pick up your kids. Provide a 15 and 30 minute option. And stop up charging 35% on $1.00.

138 – Free parking everyday means more $ to the merchants who are already paying ridiculous rent.

139 – I could live with Saturday parking and extended hours. However, I feel Haddonfield residents should have the option of paying an annual flat fee ($40?) instead of pay per park.

140 – I don’t really mind paying; it’s the method that is so annoying.

141 – I know longer shop in Haddonfield (other than at the Acme), nor do I go to restaurants in town. Why? Because it is too difficult to park.

145 – I’m typically fine with using a parking app and been around. Princeton does a good job- meters but you can also pay by app. But it’s obvious our town went for the lowest bidder or a friend/family member . HORRIBLE system, the signs haphazardly affixed to old meter poles are an eyesore and out of character for our quaint town, app is horrible – everyone is struggling. The hours to now pay does not support Retailers or the community. Just downright greedy. The free first few courtesy minutes are sorely missed by the community. A total fail!

147 – Liked the 9am – 5pm, Mon – Fri

149 – The town was collecting enough money from people paying at meters when it was free. Now that they took away parking, many of my clients who live in town won’t shop or eatdue to the difficulty parking and they don’t feel like paying. They say they pay enough in taxes already

150 – The manner in which the change to parking was done was underhanded. To not only change the whole system but then the time frame is maddening. I think the commissioners have forgotten that to be effective people care about speeding, quality of the roads, and services like garbage and leaf/snow removal. Instead, the mayor in particular seems bent on an agenda that is not moving the town forward. She has brought a level of divisiveness and this parking situation exemplifies how out of touch she and the team at Borough Hall are.

151 – The new Premium parking system is fine. But for a town like Haddonfield you need to offer much shorter intervals so you don’t pay for an hour to run into Starbucks, Saxbys, Passarellos, etc

153 – I shop / eat / have doctors in Haddonfield, so I’m there a lot and don’t mind paying for parking during the week. I will shop and eat elsewhere on Saturday’s now. I no longer go to the Haddonfield farm market. Doesn’t Haddonfield get enough in taxes? I feel really bad for the shop keepers. Very bad move, Haddonfield!

154 – I especially miss the free minutes to run into the library, post office, or to pick up takeout so I choose not to pay and take my chances. And I’ve actually changed my routine and now go to the Haddon Heights post office to do business. We have also not eaten at the downtown restaurants since the new parking hours have been implemented.

155 – Haddonfield has always had the free nights and weekends which has been a big part of why I think people choose to come to downtown haddonfield over other close downtowns. I dislike going to collingswood despite their good restaurant choices because parking is so challenging there. Haddonfield has always been easy and nice but now it’s making it more of a hassle and I’ve been less likely to want to come downtown. Also the no longer being able to park for a free 12 minutes like you could on the meters has probably hurt small businesses where people aren’t choosing to do quick stops anymore and choosing bigger parking area shops without parking fees.

157 – Pay to park after 6 pm hurts the restaurants. Pay to park on Saturday hurts the merchants.
Eliminating brief free parking hurts customers to places like the PO and UPS. I find the new parking system very annoying in general!

158 – Please fix this!!

159 – I am lucky enough to be a church member at Haddonfield Presbyterian, so I have a parking spot. With these meters we go elsewhere for dinner, or park in the PATCO lot. It must be a killer to folks who come into town and find this parking situation, as a friend did recently. It is a burden on the restaurants for out-of-towners.

160 – Also hate the service fee when using the app. there is not enough offered for shopping in haddonfield for me to pay to park anymore. There should be a drop in option for pick ups or running errands.

162 – Small businesses need all the support they can receive. Having FREE parking on Saturday helps to make downtown Haddonfield a destination for people to eat and shop.

168 – Arrogant commissioners, with poor priorities

169 – The new parking policy is very business unfriendly. There a lot of choices people make when deciding where to shop, and the hassle of paying for parking, using obscure kiosks, lands in the negative column. Haddonfield should be working to make our town user friendly and the extended hours and kiosks say we don’t appreciate consumers. Return to the previous policy asap before folks just stop coming.

171 – Not even Philadelphia requires people to pay for parking via apps in their own neighborhood. You are able to buy a pass. To log in and pay each time while also trying to maneuver small children is quite an annoyance. To pay 1.25 just to drop off library books is outrageous. No longer is the quick 15 min spot avail in front of post office when you have heavy packages. Very disappointed

172 – I don’t mind having to pay to park, especially as it’s a minimal amount. BUT I wish we used the same system as neighboring Collingswood and Philadelphia. I wish the town had been more transparent about the changes before they occurred. And I REALLY miss the 12 minute grace period for quick stops (EG picking up my kids from classes, grabbing dry cleaning, food take out, etc).

173 – The new system is not convenient.

174 – Allow payment for 15 and 30 minutes increments

175 – Bring back the free 12 minutes for quick errands line the post office and the free parking near the library. It’s currently not workable for the elderly or the library staff.

178 – System chosen is the most painful I’ve encountered. Other kiosks/credit card systems much easier. Why was this one chosen? Poor choice. Dislike kiosks. Cost not as much a concern as convenience.

181 – I dont mind using a park app, but I dislike having to pay a fee just to be able to pay to park.

184 – I’m fine with the app, but different parameters need to be set to account for quick errands. It shouldn’t cost 1.35 to run in and out of a store in less than 5 minutes. Furthermore, the app should adjust according to the time. I shouldn’t have to pay for a full hour when I’m parking 15 minutes prior to the end of parking hours.

185 – A woman sitting next to me at the Bistro for breakfast, told me her and her friends have stopped eating dinner in Haddonfield because of change. They would come after 6. Elimination of free 12 minutes, when you are running in to pick something up is annoying because you need to take the time to pay for parking.

186 – Please restore the button to allow a few minutes of free parking for a quick errand.

187 – I tried using my phone to park, 4 times with 2 different cards the app told me my numbers were incorrect. I walked away and said give me a ticket. Also I have mobility issues and finding a kiosk was out of the question.

189 – I have not visited Haddonfield since this change. The machines didn’t work, and the Fee’s for the phone are absurd. I would come for quick errands and use a quarter but now it’s not worth giving local businesses my money as it’s time consuming and expensive to try and pay.

They should 1) Fix coin support and add more kiosks. 2) Give 15 minutes free parking for quick errands if they don’t want to fix the hours

190 – Finding a place to park on Saturday is hard enough without making payment even more difficult , especially for older people.

191 – I wish there was still a way to have the free 12 minutes on the app

193 – Parking is a huge issue in Haddonfield and unfortunately the Commissioners made a mistake in reducing Parking behind the Post office and Verizon to make low income housing. All 3 commissioners should be voted out for making an untenable decision. When the project is completed the traffic from the new housing onto the circle by the Acme will be worse than it is now ;what a disaster .

194 – Find it difficult to understand putting money into this new system which certainly does not benefit the owners of our retail and restaurants. In addition why is the borough so behind the surrounding towns who have addressed safer pedestrian cross walks!!!!

195 – This change is taking a step backward for parking downtown. Who decided on this change and why????????? Was this ever discussed at a public meeting so you could get an idea of how our residents felt about this? If not, why not???? How much revenue do you expect to make from this? Why are you making the hours until 8:00 PM????? Our merchants and restaurants should not loose customers because of parking issues. We shouldn’t do anything that might discourage people from shopping/dining in Haddonfield.

196 – Do not fix what is not broken. Haddonfield downtown is now vibrant. Do not go in the other direction. This is just a money grab because the crowds downtown have dramatically increased. But it will backfire. The elimination of the 12 minute free time was a particularly irritating part of an overall bad decision.

198 – Lived in Haddonfield 20 years with the meters and used myself plenty of the free minutes and lots of coins. Own a home in Ocean City 17 years. Moved to Moorestown in 2022. Both OC and Motown have old fashioned coin op meters. I still shop and get my hair done, go to doctors, meet up with friends in downtown Haddonfield. Not a fan at all of the kiosk, 100% smartphone technology parking implementation. It takes 5 times as long of a procedure and it costs more for short visits. Much of the negatives seem to have been captured in the print article but one more worth mentioning is that I think the little signs at each spot are poorly designed. The text is particularly hard to read at a glance from the drivers side when crawling down the street looking for a spot if you a “first timer”, i.e. new visitor to town. They are short and hidden by the parked cars such that if street is lined with vehicles both sides you might not get to see what one looks like until you chance on an open spot. Then it’s hard to see if it says “park here” or “don’t park here” or “10 minute parking” or something else before it’s too late. I had a dinner reservation and I passed by TWO open spots in front of Mia Mare because I couldn’t tell whether the signs said yes/no to park there. Since I’m a “Haddonfielder” and also had a dinner reservation at Mia Mare so I made a Uturn into Patco, looked left and realized those same signs were lining the entire street both sides. I was fortunate to locate a spot opposite side. But what about the chance new visitors or those just thinking of stopping?

199 – Let’s not discourage residents to shop in their own hometown.

200 – I have helped countless senior citizens with the parking kiosks. They will stop coming here and spending money in our town. I have lived here since 1969 and I am going to stop shopping in town. This is ridiculous! And it should end at 6pm and free on Sat.

Commissioners must respect approval process

To the Editor, fom Eileen Stilwell, Potter Street

The mad rush for final approval of the borough’s first affordable housing project before the May 11 election appears to be over.

On April 21, the Haddonfield Preservation Commission tabled the developer’s application to build 20 affordable apartments in the parking lot behind borough hall until its next regular meeting on May 19, despite pressure from the Borough and developer, Community Investment Strategies of Lawrenceville.

Armed with a team of lawyers and land-use professionals, CIS badgered HPC at the virtual meeting for a positive vote, so it could seek final approval from the Planning Board on May 4, seven days before the municipal election. HPC had no legal counsel that night to help clarify some of the complex issues. Members of HPC declined to vote, citing an incomplete application and an unclear vision of what precisely the developer planned to do within the historic district.

Any attempt by the borough to bypass the HPC and go directly to the Planning Board before the election in order to lock down one of its largest and most significant housing projects in decades, in my opinion, would be a grave abuse of power.

A potential end run for the developer might be to seek planning board approval  based on the footprint only of the Snowden project, excluding facades or relevant information about public safety, or the project’s ability to blend with and preserve the integrity of  the historic neighborhood. The presentation, no doubt, would suggest that HPC’s approval is anticipated at its next meeting.  Should this occur, I would urge HPC members to find some other way to serve their community, since such action by the borough would indicate their services  would no longer be needed.

Why have an historic commission if you ignore it? Why waste the enormous time volunteer board members invest in each application? Perhaps, it should be disbanded, if it is nothing but window dressing.

Should the commission decide to bypass the HPC, it should be done by public vote, so voters know which of the two incumbents running for re-election voted in favor.

Should they follow the rules — signaling that they, not the developer, are in charge — they should be applauded for their judgment.

Commissioners schedule new Bancroft hearing

The Commissioners announced today that they will hold a public hearing related to Bancroft on Tuesday, April 27, during their regular meeting already scheduled for that date.

The Commissioners were ordered to hold the hearing by Superior Court Judge Nan S. Famular. She is presiding over a dispute between the Borough and a group of residents that includes two former mayors, Jack Tarditi and Tish Colombi. She is requiring the Commissioners to re-do the portion of their January 16, 2018 meeting relating to the adoption of an amendment to the Bancroft Redevelopment Plan.

The reason for the “re-do” is that the Judge said she cannot evaluate the plaintiffs’ claims because the minutes of the Commissioners’ January 16, 2018 meeting did not note their specific reasons for approving amendments to the redevelopment plan. She ordered the Borough to record this “re-do” and provide her with a transcript.

Here is the Borough’s notice for the meeting:


 that, as directed by the Honorable Nan S. Famular, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, in her “Order Denying Motion to Vacate Ordinance 2018-01 Without Prejudice and Remanding to Borough for Further Proceedings” dated as of April 1, 2021, the Board of Commissioners of the Borough of Haddonfield (the “Borough”) will hold a Public Hearing at its regularly scheduled public meeting on April 27, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. to be conducted via Zoom, a video and teleconferencing service, regarding Ordinance 2018-01 of the Borough, at which the Borough Commissioners shall place on the record their specific reasons for approving the “Bancroft Redevelopment Plan”, as amended January 16, 2018, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-7(d) and (e).

During the week prior to and up to and including the date of such meeting, copies of Ordinance 2018-01 will be available at no cost via the Borough’s website at, by email request to the Borough Clerk at [email protected], and during regular business hours at the Administration Office of the Borough Hall, Room 101, for the members of the general public who shall request the same.

INSTRUCTIONS TO ATTEND/OBSERVE MEETING:  Members of the Public are welcome and encouraged to participate in the electronic meeting. The meeting will be held via Zoom. There are two options to join the meeting 1) through the Zoom App via a smartphone, computer or tablet via video link, or 2) phone audio using the following Zoom meeting access information:

Meeting ID: 830 4191 1942
Passcode: 329789

Telephone:  Call # 1-301-715-8592; 1-312-626-6799; 1-646-558-8656; 1-253-215-8782; 1-346-248-7799; or 1-669-900-9128
Meeting ID/PIN: 830 4191 1942

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:49-2, as amended, further notice is hereby given that the purpose of the forgoing ordinance is to amend the “Bancroft Redevelopment Plan” to reflect as set forth in Exhibit 3 to Ordinance 2018-01.

A case for placing a cell tower at the Public Works facility

By Mayor Neal Rochford

I believe every Haddonfield resident should have strong and reliable cell service.

For years, Haddonfield residents have come to me and voiced their frustration with the poor cell reception in town. This issue has only grown more apparent as so many of us have shifted to working from home during the past year. With or without COVID, work from home is here to stay and Haddonfield residents need reliable cell service to ensure that we can maintain the communication needed to be successful in our jobs. Residents also need reliable service to stay in contact with family, handle emergencies, participate in remote learning, and so much more. Capacity needs to be upgraded in order for Haddonfield not to fall behind in the Information Age.

In 2017, the Commissioners were given an opportunity to remedy this issue when we were approached by Verizon to build a new cell tower, which would greatly enhance the cell coverage throughout Haddonfield. The Commissioner of Public Works at the time worked with Verizon to find an ideal location for the tower, eventually agreeing on a site at the Public Works facility. The site is isolated in an area used for storage and the view of the tower would be minimal as there is plenty of tree coverage. Verizon determined that the site would greatly improve cell coverage in areas of Haddonfield with poor reception.

A contract was worked out and signed off between Verizon and the Borough. We made a mistake in handling the process. The project should have gone out for a bid to lease the site and awarded by resolution. The Borough should have been more inclusive in presenting the tower project to the community. 

I believe the Borough should proceed now to have the tower built with better communication with our residents. It may not happen in the short time I have left in office, but I feel strongly that it should be addressed quickly. No matter where the Borough decides to place the tower, there is going to be some opposition. I believe the greater public good is being served by improving cell coverage in Haddonfield.. 

Let’s look at some of the opposition to the tower:

The tower would emit radio frequencies that cause health problems: Studies by the FCC, FDA, National Cancer Society, World Health Organization, and Canadian Government have found no evidence of adverse health risk from the towers. The amount of RF signals coming off the tower is well below FCC guidelines. Thousands of towers sit on government buildings, hospitals, universities, and private buildings throughout the country without issue. I have never received a complaint from a resident about ill health effects caused by the other cell towers in Haddonfield, including the one at the water tower that has been in place for years.

The tower would only benefits Verizon customers: Verizon would be required to sublease the tower to other carriers. Everyone who has cell service in Haddonfield would benefit.

The Borough did not get a good deal: Some have claimed that Verizon or a similar carrier should be paying hundreds of thousands per year to lease the land. Based on our research, there is no evidence to support a significantly higher lease than what was negotiated.

The tower will adversely affect home values: The real estate market in Haddonfield is strong, with home listings often selling in a matter of days and with multiple offers above the asking price. I have not received one concern from a Realtor that a tower near a residential neighborhood would cause home values to drop. In fact, I have spoken to Realtors that have told me that some home buyers test to see how strong cell service is in the home before buying.

The cell tower is being placed in a park: The proposed tower would be sited in the Public Works facility next to a wooded area. The Public Works facility is so isolated that many residents are not aware of its location. The area is currently used for storage that would be moved to another location within Public Works. Very few people ever venture into this area and the trees in the park area will block much of the tower from public view. 

Deed restrictions: There have been other issues such as deed restrictions on the site that can be resolved. The parcel in question has changed back and forth with the County several times in the last century. Several times in the last fifty years the Borough has worked to untangle the Public Works facility in the deed from the County when it was conveyed to the Borough. 

In conclusion …

I hope everyone will take a good look at the proposal and see that the benefits of a cell tower far exceed any negatives. It won’t benefit future generations if Haddonfield is known as a great town with lousy cell service.

Haddonfield should embrace this opportunity to strengthen our connectivity for the future. Part of the mandate for the Commissioners — present and future — is investing into the infrastructure of Haddonfield, including strong, reliable cell and data service for everyone!

It is my hope that the candidates and future commissioners will show leadership on an issue that affects the quality of life for everyone in Haddonfield.

Mayor Rochford to retire at end of term, in May

Haddonfield Mayor Neal Rochford has announced that he will not seek re-election to the Board of Commissioners. The election, for three commissioners serving concurrent four-year terms, is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11.

Mayor Rochford posted the following message on his “Haddonfield Mayor Neal Rochford” Facebook page today:

“Dear Friends,

“I am announcing that I will not be running for another term on the Haddonfield Board of Commissioners. As I look forward to embarking on my next chapter, I leave proud that I was able to serve three portfolios: Finance, Public Safety and Public Works during my time in office.

“It is our engaged community that makes Haddonfield truly a special place. Without a doubt, the appeal of Haddonfield is due to the contributions of countless residents who volunteer on boards and committees around town. I leave with a sense of pride, knowing that Haddonfield has continued to be the go-to town in the region for visitors and residents alike.

“One of the best aspects of Haddonfield’s elections is that they are nonpartisan. I hope that this tradition is not diminished by the strongly polarized political environment we are currently living in. I wish the future commissioners all the best as they continue to work together on the issues that will define Haddonfield for generations.

“While there are many people I would like to recognize, I want to give a special thank you to the borough employees who are the backbone of the municipal workings. Working alongside you all has been a wonderful experience.

“Lastly, I give a heartfelt thank you to the community for allowing me to serve as your commissioner and mayor. It has been my honor to serve my community and I have wonderful memories of my time as commissioner and mayor.”

  • * * * *

Neal Rochford first ran for the Board of Commissioners in 2001, placing fifth in a field of eight. (Tish Colombi, John Reisner, and Jack Tarditi were elected that year. Having received the highest number of votes, Tish Colombi became the mayor.)

Neal entered the fray again in 2005, and placed third in a field of five. (Colombi and Ed Borden served with him for the next four years.) He took on the Revenue & Finance portfolio.

He came fourth in a field of six in 2009 — Colombi, Borden, and newcomer Jeff Kasko formed the Board of Commissioners at that time — then returned to the board in 2013 with Kasko and newcomer John Moscatelli. Rochford took on the Public Affairs & Public Safety portfilio.

At the 2017 election, Kasko, Moscatelli, and Rochford ran unopposed. As the recipient of the largest number of votes, Rochford became the mayor. He continued as Director for Public Affairs & Public Safety until a special election was held in November 2019 to fill the unexpired term of John Moscatelli, who had resigned that summer. (Rochford and Kasko appointed Robert Marshall to serve as interim Commissioner until the election.) When Colleen Bianco Bezich was elected in November 2019, she took on the Public Affairs & Public Safety portfolio, and Rochford picked up Public Works, Parks and Public Buildings.

Neal Rochford was active in many community matters before he first ran for office, involvement that was recognized publicly when he was named Citizen of the Year in 2003. He was a key member of the committee that established First Night (the New Year’s Eve celebration) in the late 1990s, was treasurer for the HATCH (dinosaur sculpture) Committee, and served as president of the Rotary Club of Haddonfield.

Judge reinstates Bancroft lawsuit

During a Camden County Superior Court hearing today, Judge Nan S. Famular agreed to a request by a group of Haddonfield residents, among them former mayors Jack Tarditi and Tish Colombi, to reinstate a suit they had filed in 2018 against the Borough of Haddonfield and its commissioners, objecting to aspects of the proposed redevelopment plan that failed to promote senior housing. 

Tarditi and the other plaintiffs had withdrawn the suit in 2019 without prejudice — meaning they retained the right to reinstate it in the future — based on a settlement agreement in which the Borough committed to the development of age-restricted housing at the site.

The plaintiffs requested reinstatement of their case because, they claimed, the commissioners had failed to abide by the settlement, which was spelled out in an order entered by Judge Famular in October 2019. The order noted that the borough would take steps to achieve and promote age-restricted housing on the site.

The borough’s attorney alleged that the borough had been unable to find a viable alternative to the “age-targeted” townhomes proposed by the site’s designated redeveloper, despite efforts to do so.

In the suit filed in March 2018, the plaintiffs called for the revised redevelopment plan the commissioners adopted in February 2018 to be set aside, and for the original Bancroft redevelopment plan to be reinstated. The 2018 plan called for fewer design restrictions and increased floor area per townhome — changes the developer had requested. The Planning Board voted overwhelmingly against the developer’s requests, but the commissioners set their objections aside and adopted the revised plan.

It is not known at this time if the Planning Board will schedule a hearing on the developer’s pending application until the issue is resolved in court. Judge Famular has not yet set a date for a hearing on the plaintiffs’ reinstated suit.

Planning Board cancels Bancroft hearing

The Haddonfield Planning Board has canceled a special meting, scheduled for Tuesday, January 26, at which it would have considered a development application for the portion of the Bancroft property on the Cherry Hill side of Hopkins Lane.

The action was taken, apparently, after questions were raised about apparent legal deficiencies in the application.

The application proposes the construction of 80 market-rate townhomes and 10 affordable units.

The Historic Preservation Commission completed its work on the application on December 30, 2020, a necessary prerequisite for Planning Board consideration.

New Year message from the mayor

The following message, from Mayor Neal Rochford, was posted on the Borough’s Facebook page on December 31.

This year has been like no other. No one could have expected our lives and our way of living to change so rapidly, the way it did with the Covid-19 virus: schools closing, businesses interrupted, widespread unemployment, sports, and an entertainment shut down. Also a byproduct of the pandemic: social isolation and families that cannot see one another.

At the borough, us commissioners had to take drastic action to preserve services that are vital to our resident’s well being. Police, fire, EMT’s service, trash collection, storm remediation, borough hall services, and the library needed to continue. Our borough employees were instrumental in keeping services ongoing. With their cooperation, the borough has been able to meet our goal to serve our residents despite the many hurdles presented by Covid-19. The borough will continue to preserve vital services during the pandemic.

In the next year, I expect the first quarter to be challenging. The virus will continue to infect large numbers until the new vaccines take hold. Please continue to follow mask rules, hand washing recommendations, and social distancing. I urge everyone to obtain the vaccine when it becomes available to you. I would take the vaccine today if I could, however, I will not do so until our police, fire, EMTs, and public works crews receive the vaccine first.

Heartfelt thanks to so many individuals and families who have stepped up to volunteer and help out others. There have been many initiatives from our residents to assist others that need help during the pandemic with food, clothing, and services. Your support of the business district has been instrumental in keeping shops and restaurants open. Another group that deserves recognition are our families with school-age children and educators who have had to transition to a remote learning model. You are awesome for adapting to a new model of teaching.

Let’s make 2021 the year of normal again. In the spirit of positivity, share something that you are grateful for. I’ll start by saying that I am grateful to serve our borough and for all the volunteers that make this town great. Wishing you and your families a Happy New Year!

Special Board of Health meeting

A special meeting of the Haddonfield Board of Health will be held on Tuesday, November 24 qt 8:30pm, or directly following the scheduled meeting of the Board of Commissioners, whichever is later.

To register to attend the virtual meeting, go HERE.

Bancroft update

The Board of Commissioners released the following statement with respect to the Bancroft property on Wednesday, October 13.

The Board of Commissioners has spent several months communicating with Two Hopkins Lane Urban Renewal, LLC (“2HL”), the designated redeveloper of the Bancroft site, in an effort to spur the productive re-use of the Bancroft site.  2HL has recently submitted site plans for the Bancroft site, seeking approvals to construct a proposed redevelopment project consistent with the terms of the redevelopment plan and redevelopment agreement between the Borough and 2HL.  

The filed site plans (the “2HL Plans”), which are on file within the Community Development Office, are nearly identical to those submitted in 2019. The 2HL Plans will be made public on the Borough website once deemed complete in accordance with applicable land use laws, and may also be obtained by residents via request pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”).  Importantly, the 2HL Plans will be subject to multiple public hearings. The 2HL Plans were already under review by the Historic Preservation Commission (“HPC”) back in 2019, when the review process was halted due to litigation. HPC will now convene a sub-committee to re-examine the 2HL Plans this fall. After appearing before HPC and receiving their Certificate of Appropriateness from the Planning Board (“PB”), 2HL will then apply to the PB for site plan and subdivision approvals. The Borough anticipates that the Planning Board will hear the 2HL Plans during the fourth quarter of 2020.

As always, the Board of Commissioners will continue to pursue the productive re-use of the Bancroft site in a manner beneficial to the residents of the Borough, and will provide regular updates to the public moving forward.

The page on the Borough’s website titled “Bancroft Site – Redevelopment Plan” may be accessed HERE.