Here’s a copy of the email I sent to Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly this morning regarding today’s hearing about high density housing.
July 25, 2018
Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly
Chair Housing and Community Development
RE: Committee Hearing on High Density Housing July 25th
Honorable committee members, invitees, public and Chair Wimberly;
I unfortunately cannot attend the July 25th, 2018 Committee Hearing on High-Density Housing and would appreciate it if you could please read this into the record.
I am a resident of 50 years in West Windsor, NJ, in Mercer County.
The NJ courts have ruled that towns must meet fair housing needs totaling more than 150,000 units, statewide. Specifically, West Windsor must build 1,500 affordable housing units by 2025.
West Windsor has acted in good faith in providing affordable housing over the years, and so we have credit for about 1,000 affordable units, which means we must build an additional 500 units. However, since developers build 4 market rate units for every 1 affordable unit (if we’re lucky), we’re actually looking at 2,500 units, or an increase of 25 percent to the township’s current inventory of some 10,000 units.
This is a huge increase that will pose a hardship to our residents. In addition to increasing existing residents’ property taxes (to subsidize the lower property taxes that will be paid by these high-density housing units), West Windsor Township will also be burdened with:
· Increased traffic on roads and railways
· Increased stress on aging infrastructure such as water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications (including internet connectivity and broadband speeds)
· General overpopulation and overcrowding, including overcrowding of schools and/or the need to build additional schools
We need to address the unrealistic process the court is using to micromanage how many units a community needs to build. We need to stop court-mandated high-density housing. Obligations should be determined by the State Council on Affordable Housing, which needs to set uniform rules and create predictability. Municipalities should have the right to reject any development that increases housing by more than 5% in 10 years.
It’s important to note, West Windsor has already started making an effort to satisfy their obligation, by recently agreeing to build 800 new homes (including 132 affordable units) next to the Princeton Junction Train Station.
High density housing is not good planning and will lead to rampant over-development, lower quality of life, and higher costs. The only people that benefit from these affordable housing mandates are the developers. The existing residents are the biggest losers and the affordable housing isn’t even that affordable!
As a resident of West Windsor Township, I thank you for your time and attention.
Republican Candidate for New Jersey General Assembly District 15, Election November 6, 2018