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Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi Forum Focuses On Overdevelopement and Affordable Housing in Bergen County

bergen county housing forum

June 18,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paramus NJ, Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi hosted a meeting on June 15th at Bergen Community College to talk about OVERDEVELOPMENT, affordable housing and the biggest issues affecting Bergen County local communities.

The event was packed with legislators, mayors, engineers, planners, environmental experts, school superintendents, non-profit housing groups and others who joined Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi at the Thursday night legislative hearing to address New Jersey’s affordable housing crisis.

The hearing will provided the first significant legislative discussion addressing New Jersey’s affordable housing crisis in 5 years.

The meeting was very well attended given how little publicity from New Jersey main stream press .Senator Gerald Cardinale, Assemblymen Robert Auth and Kevin J. Rooney and the several hundred people took time to talk about overdevelopment and affordable housing.

The Speakers included Mayors and former Mayors from Closter, Haworth, Demarest, Dumont, Upper Saddle River and Montvale. Council members from Park Ridge, Ramsey and Dumont. Elected officials and representatives were also present from communities including Westwood, Mahwah, New Milford, Old Tappan, Emerson, Paramus, Allendale, Mountain Lakes, Montville, Hillsdale and Woodcliff Lake. Tom Toronto and Lynn Bartlett, the heads of non-profit affordable housing agencies United Way and the Bergen County Housing Authority, along with Bruce Young, the President of the Bergen County School Boards all provided great testimony.

Captain Bill Sheehan from Hackensack Riverkeepers for discussing environmental concerns. I was disappointed that none of our other Bergen County legislators chose to attend. This is an issue that every municipality is struggling with regardless of political party lines. We must work together to assist the communities we represent.

Joanne Minichetti, mayor of Upper Saddle River, told Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and other state officials that the analysis leading to the obligations was “ridiculous” and “stupid.” The obligations were created by the Cherry Hill-based Fair Share Housing Center.

Derek Michalski also from Upper Saddle River recounted to the Ridgewood blog ,” in the case of USR two developers father and son “forced” rezoning Apple Ridge property on USR mayor and Council and after obtaining the “rezoning signature” re-sold the same property to Toll Brothers for $20-30milion quick gain. if the town did this deal for its own benefit(residents) we wouldn’t have to raise taxes for decades to come. Thus such chaos is creating enormous benefit to developers and leaving communities in fear.”

Schepisi has recently introduced two bills to freeze municipal affordable housing obligations through the end of the year, and establish a commission to study the issue and determine each town’s obligations. Over fifty municipalities throughout the state of New Jersey have passed a resolution urging action on Schepisi’s bills.

However NJ Housing and Development Chairman Jerry Green (D) is not going to release those two bill to the floor for vote (IMHO). They will die waiting…..in the meantime the town in fear of loosing this issue in court are marketing (horrible deals with developers). For instance in the case of USR two developers father and son “forced” rezoning Apple Ridge property on USR mayor and Council and after obtaining the “rezoning signature” re-sold the same property to Toll Brothers for $20-30milion quick gain. if the town did this deal for its own benefit(residents) we wouldn’t have to raise taxes for decades to come. Thus such chaos is creating enormous benefit to developers and leaving communities in fear.

And you guessed it Green is a major fund raiser for Murphy (he told me that himself in his office) so this issue is almoeast a dead issue.

3 thoughts on “Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi Forum Focuses On Overdevelopement and Affordable Housing in Bergen County

  1. I don’t see Ridgewood mentioned. Is it possible that no official attended?

  2. Ridgewood already has a slew of affordable housing, in addition to the unaffordable housing to pay for it, passed and ready to go, thanks to our former Village Council, who altered our Master Plan, and soon Ridgewood itself, in order to accommodate this ridiculous development.

  3. It is unbelievable if not one of our council members attended this event!!! Instead of wasting your time on silly squabble, bet down to the issues that affect each and every tax payer in Ridgewood. We do not want to turn our town over to developers who are going to destroy the Village and line their pockets under the banner of “fair housing.” Can someone confirm whether or not we participated in this event and whether we are taking an active ole in supporting this Assembly womens’ efforts? And if our council people are not, they should consider resigning because they really are not addressing the most pressing issue facing and threating our town. Its outrageous that our council members are fiddling while Rome starts to burn beneath their feet! Arohnson and his ilk turned the town over to developers. But this group is doing nothing to try and take it back. Its time for action.

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