Affordable Housing Plan 'Inherently Beneficial' to New Milford, Expert Testifies

The New Milford Zoning Board heard the testimony of an expert on affordable housing Tuesday evening.

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.

Questions were 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. 

Lori Barton January 15, 2014 at 06:52 AM
Hekemian relies on"experts" that are incompetent. Kinsey has never before testified in this type of case and it was obvious. Al Alonso completely discredited Kinsey's testimony. What I found of even greater importance at last night's meeting was the brief testimony by Tombalakian. If this project is allowed to proceed, then EVEN MORE street widening will be necessary. In addition to River Rd being widened in front of the new development and Main Street being widened along the northern border of the complex, now we find out that River Rd would also need to be three lanes in front of the CVS strip mall and Madison Ave would need to be 3 lanes from Charles St to River Rd. What?!!! Even MORE trees need to come down then and residents who own homes in those areas will lose portions of their front yards. As if all of that isn't bad enough, ALL of New Milford's taxpayers will be required to pay for these "improvements." That's right: Hekemian would only have to pay for maybe 12% of the $1.25 million it will cost. New Milford taxpayers will have to pay over $1 million out of OUR pockets. To anyone who thought that commercial development was going to bring ratables that would decrease your taxes: this is what many of us have been saying since day one! The costs for infrastructure, police, fire, ambulance and municipal court costs will easily exceed any increase in tax ratables. This is a losing proposition for New Milford. JUST SAY NO to the application before the zoning board and time to fight with everything we've got to protect us from Hekemian's disgusting lawsuit.
Ulises January 15, 2014 at 07:35 AM
Not only is Hekemian sueing us, now we, the tax payer, are stuck with a bill over a $1M for the widening of River & Madison intersectIon. All you out there wanting this development - your property taxes just went up!!! There's no tax relief from this development!!! All you FoD, BoE, head of the Rec department "Bigger", that sided on the developer side thinking this development is the best thing for the town - thank you for the future tax increase and believing the ignorant "grown ups" at boro hall you elected - that don't understand anything that's really going on!!!! Go to a meeting and find out the truth!!!! We're strewed if you don't fight this!!! Wake up!!!!
asskickinglass January 15, 2014 at 09:10 AM
If anyone is expecting Mr. BIGGER to do the right thing you can forget it. He has proven time and time again that he is weak and unable to stand up to opposition. Mr. BIGGER always takes the path of least resistance and would never cross the good old boys network that got him the position he's in. Right and wrong mean nothing to this man, money in his pocket does. If we are relying on people like this to save our town, it will go under while he and his "friends" laugh all the way to the bank.
Rick January 15, 2014 at 09:37 AM
It's time to get your closing arguements together and rip these losers a new a-hole. Watch out Berge you wannabe Charlie Chaplin, FYI- the roaring 20's are over, lose the unibrow. "Maybe" you never did a traffic count in your life. Batistic's statistics & her "immessurable" additional flooding but doesn't want to get her own dress wet. No matter what Sproviero says, she's not worthy of our respect. And A-Del, if you can't beat 'em, sue. Seems like a desperate hail Mary to me. You begged for this Mayor Subrizi. Instead of finding an alternative to their loophole for our COAH requirement, you let this play out. Now, no matter what the outcome, we, the taxpayers, are going to pay. Good job.
RightOne January 15, 2014 at 10:12 AM
C'mon! Don't you all know that central planners like Dr. Kinsey know what's best for us?! Regular folk just don't know how to make these kinds of decisions for themselves, nor do our local elected officials know how to run our towns and make decisions about development. We need the Kinseys of the world tell us how to live.
G Bailer January 15, 2014 at 11:43 AM
As a state licensed professional planner, coah created a backdoor ways for developers to maximize their development proposals. A majority of them don't care at all about affordable housing. However coah has made a mistake from day labeling "affordable housing". A lot of the people living in these apartments are middle class like teachers, blue collar peopel. It should be called workforce housing. The term affordable housing has be mislabeled from day one.
Tommyice January 15, 2014 at 11:53 AM
Please Mayor Subrizi enlighten us with true facts and figures how this will reduce our taxes as you so proudly stated after that long ago council meeting and presentation at the New Milford High School. The presentation where we were threatened with 50+ single family, expenditure-inducing homes as opposed to the glorious 70,000+ square foot mega supermarket with 16 truck loading bays. Then you can tell us all how the Republican Mayor and Council from that long ago time passed up the purchase of the property that would have saved us from this grief and this division of neighbor-vs-neighbor.
RightOne January 15, 2014 at 01:01 PM
@G Bailer Good sir, no, it should be appropriately called "taxpayer-subsidized housing". Or perhaps "communism". Take your pick.
Michael J. Gadaleta January 15, 2014 at 09:46 PM
Once again the " expert " left the hearing batter and brused, thanks to Al Alonso. As Mr. Alonso pointed out , Kinsley's report was a self serving partially fabricated , inherently BS document. I am quite certain the Hekemian development team never expected the opposition to be so well prepared and easily able to poke holes in every aspect of the 2 years of " expert " testimony. When they don't see things going their way, they file a lawsuit or two. That only make us more determined to fight harder, we are Americans, we stand up for our rights, we fight for them. It's in our blood, in our history books. DON'T TREAD ON ME ! Remember. Let's not forget that when the Shop Rite was at the Zoning Board years ago and was granted approval to re-build in their current commercial location, there was no push back . The resident were not left holding the bill for infrastructure improvements, sreet widening, tree removals and loss of our only remaining open space. All to the tune of several million dollars . Does anyone still think their taxes are going down...
Michael J. Gadaleta January 15, 2014 at 09:55 PM
Let's not forget the real enemy to New Milford, UNITED WATER, SUEZ something or other, a French owned coorporation that took over the Hackensack Water Co. years ago. They take the water that comes from the sky, then flood our residents with their mismanagement of the river and blame us! Shame on them.
Jack January 17, 2014 at 09:45 AM
As an adult, I would not feel safe walking on the sidewalk in front of the current Shop Rite with all the cars trying to enter and exit that parking lot. Consider how dangerous it will be for students walking to and from school everyday walking across the wide expanse of a mega Shop Rite at the proposed new location. Is the Boro going to hire two more crossing guards for that location at tax payer expense? All that pavement is going to cause the rain water to flow toward the high school and down toward the football field which will also flood the streets behind the high school. When that is closed off to traffic, there will be more accidents and more traffic on residential roads. These are simple common sense issues that should have deterred the proposal right from the beginning. During Hurricane Floyd the rain water on River Road was over the curb while that property was a sunken pit. Now add level pavement to it...What next? Are we going to propose trailer parks for New Milford?


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