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Bergen County Historical Society Promotes Preservation in all 72 Communities in Bergen County

H Gelfand, Bergen County Historical Society Historic Preservation Committee

Replying to “Anonymous arm chair Monday morning quarterback , who promotes overdevelopment and high density housing”:

Continue reading Bergen County Historical Society Promotes Preservation in all 72 Communities in Bergen County
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State’s water supply master plan short on solutions

ridgewood water

6:04 p.m. ET June 24, 2017

New Jersey’s almost 9 million residents make this state denser than India or Japan. And the population is projected to grow to 10.2 to 10.4 million by 2040. Will we have enough water for our residents, farmers, businesses, industries — and the environment — now and in the future?

That question is front and center following the release of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s draft 2017-2022 update of the New Jersey Statewide Water Supply Plan — the first update in 21 years.

http://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/06/24/byers-states-water-supply-master-plan-short-solutions/103150774/

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Affordable housing mandate threatens quality of life, mayor says

“While I know this is Somerset, it is obvious that with the exception of District 39 and District 40 leadership, the crickets from District 36, District 37 and District 38 are becoming more incessant. When will the leadership of NJ Legislature stop playing this “partisan card”? “, Edward Durfee

Affordable housing mandate threatens quality of life, mayor says

Updated on June 20, 2017 at 3:31 PMPosted on June 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM

BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

MONTGOMERY TWP. – Mayor Ed Trzaska is concerned that a potential court mandate requiring the township meet an affordable housing unit quota will put an overwhelming burden on the municipality and negatively effect the quality of life.

At issue is a state Supreme Court ruling in March of 2015 that opened the door for municipalities to be sued for not providing a “fair share” of affordable housing units. The ruling also allows a municipality to demonstrate in court that it has met the requirement to provide affordable housing.

The township, which has a population of some 23,000, has been in the forefront of providing affordable housing units, said Trzaska. Currently, he said the township has 300 affordable housing units, of which more than one-fourth are vacant.

Under a possible court ruling by the Fair Share Housing Counsel, the township could be forced to build between 501 and 1,000 additional affordable housing units, as well as 4,000 market-rate units, said Trzaska. The township has yet to be given the exact number of affordable units it must build, he said.

http://www.nj.com/somerset/index.ssf/2017/06/affordable-housing_mandate_threatens_nj_towns_qual.html

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Fair Share Housing admits its own numbers are “a lie” yet continue to use those numbers to attack every suburban municipality in NJ.

CBD high density housing

June 21,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  The Fair Share Housing Center expected the Mercer County Superior Court to affirm it’s projected affordable housing obligations; but are now saying those numbers are a lie after Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi used them to paint a picture of over-development.

Fair Share, which has taken towns to court to enforce its calculations, said in April that the state needed 146,000 units to cover a 16-year gap period when the state failed to calculate obligations, and another 140,000 to fulfill housing quotas from 2015 to 2025.

The group submitted those figures to Mercer County Superior Court to help determine the housing obligations of five municipalities that have not reached settlements. Its executive director Kevin Walsh said at the time, “We expect the courts to affirm this study.”

However, contrary to positions taken before the courts, Walsh reversed course and called Fair Share’s housing numbers a lie in his letter to Schepisi.

In a letter Thursday, Walsh wrote, “our organization is not taking the position that municipalities must develop hundreds of thousands of new affordable homes by 2025.” He further argued that any claim “that municipalities are being required to provide 280,000 affordable homes is a lie.”

For decades state courts have relied upon Fair Share’s methodology to establish municipal obligations under the Mount Laurel doctrine. Cases involving more than 350 municipalities are either currently before the courts or have been settled. Most of the disputes between municipalities and Fair Share have been over the size of prospective need.

“Their deceptive practices are similar to certain retail clothing stores that used to raise their prices by 40 percent immediately before a 30 percent sale,” Schepisi (R-Bergen) said. “Towns I represent in Bergen and Passaic counties have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on professional fees just trying to comply with Fair Share’s mandates that they now admit should be significantly less.”

The center is seeking a court order blocking Edgewater from issuing occupancy certificates for non-affordable housing units, as well as a mandate that any construction related to non-affordable housing cease until it completes building 75 promised affordable housing units.

Econsult Solutions, a Philadelphia consulting firm hired by more than 200 municipalities, issued a report in 2016 setting the current need statewide at 33,140, with a prospective need for the next decade of 36,494.

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Fair Share Housing Non Profit Attacks and attempts to Bully Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi

fair housing

 

June 19,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi represents 23 municipalities located in Bergen and Passaic counties, all of which have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on professional fees as a result of the failure and inaction of our State to provide guidance on how to comply with Court decisions on affordable housing.

The largest drivers of cost result from third party “intervenors” appearing and demanding to build large numbers of market rate units in exchange for providing a small number of affordable units. One of these intervenors is a non-profit organization Fair Share Housing. This non-profit has been granted enormous power in our State and has been dictating settlement terms for almost all of our municipalities.

Their deceptive practices are similar to certain retail clothing stores that used to raise their prices by 40 percent immediately before a “30 percent sale”. Indeed, Fair Share put forth a report that is being relied upon by our Courts which states, among other things, that NJ needs 280,000 units of affordable housing.

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Many community leaders have reached out seeking help and guidance on how to handle this issue. In an effort to start dialogue on this topic Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi  decided to host a bipartisan group of hearings. Schepisi  invited Fair Share so that their point of view could be heard. Rather than attend or call or meet with me they choose to personally attack and bully Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi . A copy of their extremely unprofessional letter is attached. If you ever wonder why the large issues in NJ never get addressed, it is because of nonsense like this. I urge every municipality fighting their numbers to use a copy of this letter as one of their exhibits.

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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.