Monday, May 6, 2013
Money to go to balancing the general state budget rather than building houses for low- and middle-income residents
Defying several attempts at killing it off, the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing met for the first time in more than two years on Wednesday to begin the process of taking at least $142 million in funds dedicated to low- and moderate-income housing to help balance the state budget. COAH, which has few friends in the Legislature, was reorganized out of existence in 2011 by Gov. Chris Christie. The council voted 4-1 to ask municipalities to send proof of their plans to spend any money that had been dormant in their affordable housing trust funds for four years as of July 17, 2012 and transfer the remaining, unspent money to the council by May 22, according to the resolution. The resolution also gave its acting director approval to …
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
NJ Spotlight reports Council being asked to try to take at least $142 million in local affordable housing trust fund dollars away from municipalities.
The New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing is scheduled today to hold its first meeting in more than two years, with the council being asked to try to take at least $142 million – though probably more -- in local affordable housing trust fund dollars away from municipalities. The Appellate Division of Superior Court last August stopped the state Department of Community Affairs from taking money in municipal funds to create low- and moderate-income housing, saying only COAH had the right to do so. The council hadn’t voted because Gov. Chris Christie abolished it, effective August 29, 2011. That reorganization, which the appellate court reversed two months ago, and the taking of the municipal housing funds, are two of three COAH-related …
Friday, April 19, 2013
Expert says the master plan puts affordable housing on 13-Acre United Water property.
Thursday's special meeting of the Zoning Board began where it ended last--with the cross examination of the applicant's planner, Peter Steck, who owns a private consulting firm in Maplewood. As with his prior testimony, Steck repeatedly stressed that the proposed development of the United Water property--70,500 sq. ft. supermarket, 4300 sq. ft. bank and 24 low and moderate income housing units (down from 221 units)--is an "inherently beneficial use." Under the borough's first two Council of Affordable Housing (COAH) requirements, New Milford needs to construct 45 low to moderate income housing units. The current United Water application requires all 24 of the housing units to serve as affordable housing. "It was my conclusion [the …
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Mayor casts the tie-breaking vote defeating motion to appoint an independent special redevelopment planner.
Council President Randi Duffie put a motion on the table to appoint a special planner to focus solely on the Brookchester property and any other large planning applications. The motion came about during Monday's Mayor and Council work session while discussing Joseph Brunetti's tentative proposal to rehabilitate 750 units in his Brookchester Apartment complex and, in doing so, take on New Milford's entire COAH obligation. (COAH's indeterminate state has municipalities scratching their heads about where their obligations currently stand.) Duffie suggested that a project this large should be analyzed by an "independent special redevelopment planner" and recommended Kauker and Kauker, a planning firm that had previously represented the …
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Further states that by the governing bodies lack of action, the application meets all criteria for approval
After years of the borough providing documentation showing that the United Water property would be best utilized for affordable housing units, the project planner for the proposed development of the 13-acre United Water property has stated that by New Milford's inaction, the mixed-use project is inherently beneficial to the town. Peter Steck concluded his testimony during Tuesday evening's Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting where he placed the onus of the Mayor and Council's decision to not rezone the property the impetus for the need of a D variance. "The governing body could have zoned this site to hold all of the [affordable housing] units, but they did not do that," Steck testified. "We deserve merit approval of this application …
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Oral arguments being heard on Christie’s right to unilaterally abolish Council on Affordable Housing underscore deeper constitutional implications.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Attorneys for the S. Hekemian Group answer why the scope of the residential component was reduced; re-appointed and newly appointed Board members sworn in.
During Tuesday's Zoning Board meeting, the applicant's attorney, Antimo "Andy" DelVecchio, informed the Board that the removal of 197 housing units from the site plan of the United Water property was done to satisfy their concerns regarding the high density of the residential portion of the project. The residential component of the original site plan included 221 multi-family units with a four-story parking garage that included 428 parking spaces. The revised plans call for 24 fair market housing units and 54 perimeter parking spaces. According to DelVecchio, and the two Hekemian experts that testified at Tuesday's meeting--architect Christian Lessard and engineer Michael Dipple-- these 24 units will satisfy New Milford's COAH obligation. …
Monday, November 19, 2012
SOD's Communication Chair asks why towns with affordable housing units built before COAH laws went into effect cannot qualify to satisfy COAH obligations.
Monday, November 19, 2012
New Jersey’s Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) requirements are killing small towns across this state. Don’t get me wrong: I fully embrace the concept of affordable housing. There are many communities that do not have affordable housing within their borders and have not done anything to try to reach that goal. This is not a case of NIMBY. This is the simple reality that many older communities do not have land left to develop. They may have significant numbers of truly affordable housing units within their borders which do not qualify toward their COAH obligation simply by the virtue that they were built before the COAH obligations went into effect. So, along come the big, bad developers who have no interest in constructing affordable …
Saturday, November 17, 2012
New Jersey Supreme Court hears oral arguments in case challenging COAH
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Hank Kalet, NJ Spotlight.com Editor's note: The crux of Hekemian's argument before the zoning board of adjustment is that the United Water property has been designated by the 2004 master plan as the location where New Milford will satisfy its affordable housing obligations. The fate of the so-called growth-share method of setting municipal affordable housing obligations is now in the hands of the state Supreme Court. During five-plus hours of arguments on Nov. 14, housing advocates and groups representing builders sparred with representatives of state and local governments over the methodology for calculating municipal affordable housing obligations. At stake is how -- or even whether -- towns with few housing units available to middle- …
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Mayor & Council discuss option of going forward with rezoning study and give their opinion on what they would like to see on that property.
Mayor Ann Subrizi informally polled the council for their opinion on whether or not to move forward with the rezoning study examining the option of less intensive use of the United Water property and asked each member their vision of what they would like to see on the property. Disscussion ensued, but no formal vote was taken. Subrizi said that she wished that United Water never decided to sell the property, "(United Water) blames overdevelopment for flooding and then they go and sell to a developer." "I want nothing or I want the least possible something," Subrizi said, adding that she did not want to say anything that might jeopardize the town and preclude her from hearing the application should it come before the mayor and council. …