Dr. David Kinsey, the applicant’s Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) expert, spent more than two hours answering question on his testimony that the proposed 24-units of affordable housing were inherently beneficial to the borough.
raised whether the application is less beneficial based on the number
of affordable housing units being reduced from 40 in a previous proposal to 24 in the current proposal.
Kinsey cited a case where a site was referred to as "kind of suitable," and then equated a project being inherently beneficial to a pregnancy.
“One is either pregnant or not and I believe the same thing stands for inherently beneficial. In my mind, it’s inherently beneficial,” Kinsey said.
Al Alonso concluded his cross-examination of Kinsey’s four recommended methods, or approaches, to meeting the borough’s COAH obligation by approving this project. Alonso questioned each of Kinsey’s approaches but two in particular seemed inadequate.
Kinsey’s first approach was centered around the Growth Share standard.
“’Growth Share’ provides a municipality with a mechanism to predetermine its future affordable housing obligations by careful and deliberate land use planning,” explains the New Jersey State League of Municipalities website.
Alonso’s questioning on this first approach yielded a result that was agreed upon by all parties. The Supreme Court has since invalidated the growth share standard.
Kinsey reiterated repeatedly that none of these approaches were recommended singularly.
“I would hope that after reading my report would consider the totality of the approaches,” Kinsey explained.
Kinsey’s second approach involved using square footage of the development to calculate the number of jobs that would be created. The result, according to Kinsey’s recommendation, was that the development would create 132 jobs.
Again, Alonso had a strong rebuttal. The Shop Rite that exists on River Road would be moving to the location. The 120 “created" jobs that the proposed Shop Rite would create, are not necessarily new at all. When Alonso questioned the possibility that many of them could be employees who were simply transferring up the block, rather than "created" jobs, Kinsey would not speculate.
The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 23 from 7-10 p.m. at Borough Hall. Public comments will be the centerpiece of the Jan. 23 special meeting.
Check out the video of the interaction between Kinsey and Alonso above and tell us what you think in the comments section below.