Living in the West Essex Highlands, and in general in this corner of West Orange, is about as good as it gets in residential Essex County. The area is convenient to all manner of road and highway, convenient to all the necessities and amenities of Essex County, and quite lovely to look at. The forested areas and golf courses as well as home landscapes all provide a green, pretty and natural buffer to noise and pollution.
There is a common ground for having chosen this location for those who made this choice. And it would make sense that all the area residents, within the Highlands and in the surrounding neighborhood would be in agreement that we have something special and something worth fighting for. There should be uniform support for curtailing land development and natural resource encroachment. There should be.
But as human ear and human mind acquire information, any number of interpretations may result. Most of us living in the Highlands would like to see no development at all of the adjoining woods. Some of us would allow a reasonable amount to happen. And there are a few who have no opinion. The discordance in view does at times lead to conflict, even among the most responsible of people. We all have our own interpretations of words. Words such as reasonable. Words such as opinion. Words such as responsible.
As things stand, the disagreement is kept to civil proportions with a few verbal encounters here and there, and maybe a gentle push where appropriate and necessary.
But when the passionate meet the obstinate, there is no telling what the next step will be, or when push will come to shove. I am hopeful we will never cross that line.