FOFP propose The Pitney Farm Park and Homestead

Since the fire nearly one year ago, the Friends of Pitney Farm (FOPF) have sought a new and creative approach that allows community use of Pitney Farm, while respecting neighbors’ concerns and meeting Mendham Township’s fiscal needs.

We have listened closely to the opinions expressed on the use of Pitney Farm and considered those for and against past proposals. As a result, we have changed our original plan first presented to the Township in December 2015.

FOPF now propose, The Pitney Farm Park and Homestead. We propose to create and maintain a public park in the 7 acres of designated open space. We will also rehabilitate and restore the oldest surviving section of the farmhouse using approximately one acre at the center of the Pitney property. The remaining portion of the municipally owned area would then be available for residential use at the discretion of the Mendham Township Committee (MTC). Our new approach will:

* preserve a piece of Mendham history,

* provide limited community space, and

* protect and promote the public investment in the open space.

FOPF believes that our new plan is a significant contribution to the “win-win” solution that both MTC and township residents seek.

Mendham Township Committee Seeks win-win for Pitney Farm in 2017

FOPF sees room for hope based on the comments made by Mendham Township Mayor  Diana Orban-Brown.  In her address at the January 3, 2017 Reorganization meeting of the Mendham Township Committee, newly sworn-in mayor Diana Orban-Brown stated with regard to Pitney Farm:

“I think it is fair to say that everyone would have liked to have this resolved years ago.  But it is important that when feelings are strong and run-in so many different directions about a subject, all avenues must be explored.  The goal is to achieve the best possible solution – the win-win.  We shortly will have in our hands an appraisal and an engineering study consistent with current zoning, and this Township Committee will be making decisions that will put this situation to bed once and for all.”

Fire Guts Historic Pitney Farm

An overnight fire has badly damaged historic Pitney Farm.  The colonial-era mansion in Mendham Township was gutted in an early morning blaze Wednesday, February 24.
Firefighters responded to the unoccupied mansion on Cold Hill Road, parts of which date back to the 1720s, at about 2:37 a.m. to find the home engulfed in flames.  The cause of the blaze is under investigation by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.
“We’re all shocked and devastated,” said Omie Ryan, President of the Friends of Pitney Farm, on Wednesday morning.  “Until we get an understanding of exactly what survives, it is hard to speculate how we go forward. The emphasis of the Friends was to save the mansion and the character of the property.”

 

Summary Plan Presented to Mendham Twp

The following summary business plan presentation was made to the Mendham Township Committee on September 8, 2015 by the Friends of Pitney Farm.  Our comprehensive business plan and 5-year budget, detailing a financially sustainable operation, has been developed and will be available on this web site. Through our plan, the asset value of Pitney Farm — still owned by Mendham Township — will continually increase as the Friends restore and renovate the property year after year.  The community will have the use and enjoyment of Pitney Farm without adding further to the taxpayer’s burden.

If allowed to lease the Pitney Farm property from Mendham Township, the Friends of Pitney Farm, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, will preserve and adapt Pitney Farm to meet the arts and educational needs of the community.  The Pitney farmstead exemplifies 300 years of New Jersey history.  It has changed with each generation, progressing from subsistence agriculture, through light industry, to specialized agriculture and country home.  Our plan — to transform Pitney Farm from an historic farmstead and private residence into a “Gathering Place for our Community” — represents the next step in its evolution.  Our vision preserves this community’s historic heritage while repurposing this priceless remnant of our past to meet the needs of this and future generations. Continue reading