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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.

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State says Ridgewood must replace land

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State says Ridgewood must replace land

OCTOBER 6, 2014    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2014, 11:06 AM
BY LAURA HERZOG
STAFF WRITER
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

Ridgewood has been tracked down for a 32-year-old gaffe.

According to the Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld, the village was recently told by Green Acres, a state conservation program, that it needed to make amends for a piece of Green Acres-encumbered land on South Broad Street that Ridgewood sold to the Bergen County Housing Authority – way back in 1982.

The village sold what was a public playground to the Bergen County Housing Authority to provide public low-income housing, Sonenfeld said, and now the diversion “has to be adjusted.”

“In order to correct this, we need 1.9 acres of open space. The other requirement is that we have to spend at least 1:1 value for the property that was sold to Bergen County Housing … And we have to replace the outdoor facility [the playground] that was on that property when we sold this,” Sonenfeld said, later noting that the village needs to buy “more than one parcel” of land and is currently in negotiations with one party.

“We need to do this, because if we don’t,” she noted, “we’re not eligible for future Green Acres grants, and we’re not eligible to get payments on our current outstanding grants.”

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/states-says-village-must-replace-land-1.1103368#sthash.AD706r2H.dpuf