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Sparta Responsible Development’s (SRD) mission is to connect concerned citizens who will  encourage responsible development that protects our people, our resources, and our future.
SRD supports economic development that:
· Is consistent with the scope and scale of our community 
· Engages and considers the surrounding communities
· Weighs the overall societal costs to Sussex County

Sparta Township describes our Community as “…a thriving community situated in rural Sussex County, New Jersey approximately 45 miles northwest of New York City.  Sparta covers more than 38 square miles with rolling hills, beautiful lakes, picturesque farms, and inviting residential developments.” (

With community awareness and engagement severely decreased during the pandemic, development pressures drastically increased and now threaten the town fabric so proudly described above.

SRD was formed to ensure that the community is fully aware and has a voice so that thoughtful discussion and engagement may take place in future development schemes of Sparta, NJ and surrounds.  We seek to ensure the long-term viability of the aforementioned “38 square miles of rolling hills, beautiful lakes, picturesque farms, and inviting residential developments.”

A sincere thank you to all for your tireless work and support, and relentless involvement.
Let’s continue to brave the icy currents and endure what storms may come, unified together, with determined resolve and hope.”
- Anand Dash – SRD, Sparta Resident
SRD is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization which has a community working group of 50
ambassadors and a Facebook discussion group of over 1,500 participants who have
joined together to encourage responsible development that protects our people, our
resources, and our future.
Our team is dedicated to preserving the unique character of Sparta and Sussex County and is giving a voice to the residents that will be affected by this project throughout the region.   


Peter G. Steck
Community Planning Consultant

EXPERT: Town Planning
(Hired April 5, 2022)

Engaged in private consulting as a land use planner since 1981 representing municipalities, development boards, developers, and neighborhood associations. Work performed in OVER 200 New Jersey Municipalities. Expert testimony presented in Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union, Mercer, Morris, Monmouth and Sussex Counties Superior Courts and before the New Jersey Meadowland Commission (now New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, various appraisal commissions, and the New Jersey Tax Court.

He will  provide background on prudent town planning and zoning  and opine about whether Sparta’s municipal land use code and Ordinance 21-01 contemplates Diamond Chip’s proposed use as a permitted, conditional or prohibited use. 

Tom Maguire
President, Forensic Environmental Services, Inc.

EXPERT: Hydrogeology
(Hired July 5, 2022)

President of an environmental consulting firm specializing in regulatory compliance and contaminant hydrogeology, assessing and remediating contaminated soils, ground water, hydrogeological impacts and soil vapor.

He will opine on the potential negative impacts to water quality, groundwater recharge and the  Aquifer.

Rob Simon
Director, Herold Law, PA

EXPERT: Land Use Law
(Hired May 20, 2022)

Robert F. Simon’s practice includes land use regulation before local zoning and planning boards; real estate-related litigation including land use, tenancy, tax appeal, condemnation, and title actions; and commercial and residential real estate transactions. Mr. Simon has also been qualified as an expert witness in real estate litigation matters by the Superior Court and District Court of New Jersey.

Mr. Simon is handling the Complaint Neill and Anand filed in Superior Court challenging the Zoning Board’s denial of their application for interpretation.


DONATE - We urgently need funds to pay for expert witness testimony for our legal battle.

Natural Partners: Because we are fighting for policies and practices that protect the New Jersey Highlands, SRD falls under the 501(c)(3) nonprofit status of the NJ Highlands Coalition (NJHC).

Make a tax-deductible donation to the NJ Highlands Coalition with SRD in the memo using the Donate Now button or Mail your check to New Jersey Highlands Coalition, 508 Main Street, Boonton, NJ 07005.  Your contribution will aid our efforts in hiring credentialed experts to provide testimony to the Sparta Township Council, Sparta Planning Board, and Sparta Zoning Board.

TIME & TALENT - We need your time to attend and engage meetings of the Town Council, Zoning and Planning Board, plan fundraisers, research the societal costs/externalities including: traffic, environmental, etc. and to aid in developing strategies to inform the surrounding communities of this development. SIGNUP HERE

JOIN - Join our Facebook Discussion Group: JOIN HERE

4 days ago

Photos from Heather Diane's post ... See MoreSee Less
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4 days ago

🌏💦🌳🤩 What a high moment for the NJ Highlands, the New Jersey Highlands Coaliton and for Sparta Responsible Development! THANK YOU to Anand Dash and all the volunteers, donors and sponsors who brought environmental awareness to new heights today by going Over The Edge to Make Every Drop Count! 📣 YOU can have an impact too! Please attend the May 1st Sparta Planning Board meeting at 7:00 pm - in person -to hear the application for 700,000 square feet of Mega Warehouses proposed on land that sits above the Germany Flats aquifer!Learn more:’s continue shining the light on the critical importance of clean drinking water that comes from the Highlands Region, which covers less than 15% of the state, yet provides clean drinking water for 70% of New Jersey residents! Since 1998, the New Jersey Highlands Coalition has advocated for capacity-based planning that is consistent with preserving and protecting the region's natural and cultural resources. ... See MoreSee Less
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4 days ago

Over the Edge with Anand Dash and NJ Highlands Coalition. ... See MoreSee Less
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4 days ago

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5 days ago

Let's welcome our new members!Paul Navarro,Jen Barrett Tsamadias,Matthew Rider ... See MoreSee Less
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5 days ago

Tomorrow! 💪🏼🌎🌳💦🫣Join us this Saturday from 10 am - 1 pm at the Hilton Meadowlands hotel as the Coalition goes Over The Edge. Come cheer on our staff, trustees, conservation allies, and new friends as they clip in, lean back, and complete a 200' rappel to raise environmental awareness this Earth Day Weekend. Bring your favorite lawn chair and water bottle and watch courageous commitment in action! The Edge PSEG PerformLine Wakefern Food Corporation Peapack-Gladstone Bank Private Banking since 1921 Hilton Meadowlands WRNJ Radio Mendham Alliance for Preservation & Conservation Sparta Responsible Development Morris County Park Alliance Passaic River Coalition REI The Gravity Vault ShopRite ... See MoreSee Less
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