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Wayne Auto Spa Owner Has 'No Intention' Of Stopping Turbine Fight

Owner Rob Burke due back in federal court with town on April 18.

The Planning Board memorialized an agreement between the board and Rob Burke Monday night that sets the parameters by which Burke can install a wind turbine at his business, .

The board initially in November. The memoralization is an action taken after the board approves an application.

The pole and turbine may only be illuminated by lights approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. The pole must be painted gray or white.

Approving the application is only one step in Burke finally being able to install the turbine. The council must also approve a written settlement agreement between the township and Burke. Representatives for the parties are over the matter on April 18.

The has yet to approve the agreement. Council President Joseph Scuralli could not be reached for comment.

Burke said he won’t stop fighting for his right to install the turbine.

“I have no intention of stopping,” Burke said. “If the town is unwilling or unable to come to an agreement, then that’s up to them.”

The Planning Board denied Burke’s application in October 2008 citing a lack of expert testimony and concerns about safety and noise. Burke originally wanted to install a turbine with 6-foot long blades on it, but a bladeless version will be installed instead.

State Superior Court Judge Donald Volkert overturned the denial in July 2010. In his decision, Volkert said that the board improperly denied the application due to the concerns.

The council approved an ordinance in December 2009 permitting wind turbines to be installed in industrial areas in the township but not at the Wayne Auto Spa.

Burke, an advocate for sustainable living and clean energy, already has solar panels operating at Wayne Auto Spa. 

Rob Burke April 10, 2012 at 06:56 PM
We plan on having a garden organized in boxed sections. I'm offering folks in the community the opportunity to use these gardens to grow vegetables. There won't be any charge and I will do this on a first come, first served basis. The requirements will be very simple: you must maintain the garden and keep it neat and clean; and some portion of what you grow must be contributed to the local food bank established for flood victims. I am trying to arrange with a local farmer's market the ability to trade food from the garden and eggs, for certificates with cash value that can be spent on anything at the market as needed. Anyway, the offer's open. We plan on being up & running within the next two weeks. Anyone willing to pitch in and do some of the heavier lifting to get set up is encouraged to swing by asap!
Al Scala April 10, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Let me guess. The one no vote was Scuralli or Jimenez
Sandy Fantau April 10, 2012 at 07:43 PM
If I'm not mistaken Mr. Burke had or has a permit that alllows him to dump his waste Water (gray water) into a stream that runs in the river. (Greywater is wastewater generated from domestic activities such as laundry, dishwashing, and bathing, which can be recycled on-site for uses such as landscape irrigation and constructed wetlands. Greywater differs from water from the toilets which is designated sewage or blackwater to indicate it contains human waste.). He felt that this was bad for the environment and chose to hook up to the Wayne sewer system instead. The man believes in going green. In the big picture of things, what real difference does it make to the people who live in Wayne. I just hope this gets settled before more money is wasted.
Rob Burke April 10, 2012 at 08:09 PM
You are correct, Sandy. The person I bought the car wash from had a permit that allowed him to pollute the river with all of his waste water from the car wash. Yuck! I understand the sections that flow through your neighborhood would regularly foam up with suds. Its astonishing that this was legal. That being said, one of the first things I did when I got here, was to connect to the municipal sanitary sewer system. No more dirty water from the car wash polluting our rivers. That's just unacceptable. At the same time, I also installed two furnaces that heat the facility by cleanly burning used motor oil that we collect when we perform oil changes. And I also installed 58 solar panels to generate clean, renewable energy from the sun. You know the rest of the story...
Justice April 10, 2012 at 09:38 PM
The town should pay you for everything you are doing to make this area environmentally safe. You are the one providing a service, education and a great civics lesson. Kudos to you.
Joe videodummy April 10, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Going back a spell, the car wash was owned by a Wayne Policeman named: Well you get the idea. I can remember when the suds ran right down Hamburg Turnpike, and the same gully would fill with the wash-down from the body shop next door, turning the stream into the "color " of the day. The truth is Bob, that you are the first property owner that game a damn about any of the properties on that corner. Home-owners and residents can only complement what you have done so far, and what you continue to do in the wake of the constant harassment and resistance the township officals offer. Many of us see what they bring to the table, and what you bring to the table as well. We're embarrassed to speak about them as "our councel members", and we're forced to remind who we are talking to, that we didn't vote for them. You should consider painting the first 10' of the pole "gray-water" as a reminder to every-one that this is what the color of the river could look like.
Rob Burke April 10, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Thanks for your post, Joe. I'd like to say that the time has come to focus on the positive and make whatever effort we can toward a positive going-forward effort. I want to think that if collectively we come to the proverbial table with a positive attitude and willingness to compromise while still focused on changing things for the better, that we will be met with the same attitude by the folks who make the laws. Just a thought -- I realize its an idealistic hope, but what the heck. Its worth a try.
Rob Burke April 11, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Thanks for your kind words, but I really don't deserve so much praise. I haven't done anything extraordinary, just trying to make a living and to make a positive contribution. Hoping my kids will learn from my experience and that they are proud of me. Not sure I want them to do as I have done, though. The financial and emotional burdens are high and not always so easy to cope with.
Rob Burke April 11, 2012 at 10:10 AM
Hey Sandy, any idea what happened to scondo & lean bean & simple Rex? Surprised they didn't weigh in here. Well, maybe they will now that I posted this.
Rob Burke April 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Hey Dan - why'd you edit your story after you published it to eliminate the community garden and chicken hens project that was even the subhead line of this article? Was that something you did on your own? Or did someone ask you to do that? Not sure I ever saw a post published article edited before. I also don't think other things you still have in the article are accurate, so if you're now in the business of revisionist publishing, give me a call so we can correct them.
Tom Troncone (Editor) April 11, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Hey everyone, we're having an issue with comments not appearing on the site. We're working on it right now. There was a question in one of the comments about this story being edited after it was published. That's nothing new, I go in and edit stories all the time after they are published. Be glad to answer any questions. Thanks.
Rob Burke April 11, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Tom -- Your edit changed the sub-headline and eliminated the whole story about the community garden I am planning. Your edit makes some of the comments not make any sense. Is there any reason not to restore the story to its original content?
Cathy Kazan April 11, 2012 at 08:12 PM
The poll results say it all. Wayne residents want this to happen. As a taxpayer, I am tired of the wasted money on frivolous litigation. Mr. Burke has made all the comprimises he's been asked to. Enough already. We need to be more business friendly. This man pays his fair share of taxes and this is not a negative rateable. Good luck Mr. Burke.
Rob Burke April 11, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Thanks, Cathy. I appreciate the kind words and support. And I guess the poll results must mean something.
Rob Burke April 11, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Tom? Are you there?
Rob Burke April 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Tom? You said you'd be glad to answer any questions. Will you answer mine?
Tom Troncone (Editor) April 22, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Sorry, Rob, had not seen these questions until now. In the story you were quoted as saying that you were going to raise hens and plant a community garden at your car wash. I took this out because there was no way for the reader (or me) to know whether you meant this seriously or as commentary on two recent topics that had been in the news. I would think the latter.
Rob Burke April 22, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Tom: The plans for a community garden and chicken hens is quite serious. We're building the fence in the next two weeks and then we're installing the shed to be converted into a chicken coop. That you had no way of knowing whether I was serious is a bit of a concern -- neither did you have no way of knowing whether I wasn't serious, and you didn't interview me. Dan Hubbard interviewed me, and he evidently thought I was serious. Did you even bother to ask him if he thought I was joking? Either of you could have called Victor and asked him, since I told Dan that Victor was helping with the design. And yes, Tom, I was also serious about using this for educational purposes as well as charitable purposes. Though its a bit late, I'd appreciate it if you would restore the portion of the article that you deleted. I'd be happy to let Dan know when the coop is installed and the chickens arrive. Thanks Rob
Rob Burke April 27, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Well, anyone who checks back here should know two things. First, Mr. Troncone has blown me off. That I've submitted a permit application for the chicken coop & fence is irrelevant to him. Second, Mr. Troncone said he'd be glad to answer questions. Well, though he briefly engaged me via email on this topic, he hasn't had the courage to admit he made a mistake nor has he taken action to correct his mistake. Instead, he simply disengaged and stopped interacting with me. Any objective observer would be critical of Mr. Troncone's actions in this matter. Nevertheless, a group from town has already approached me to house their hens at my Victory Garden. So despite Mr. Troncone's deletion of the story's description of this project, word is evidently spreading.

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