Posted on

People don’t understand the Driving Force behind Towns Agreeing to these Large Apartment Buildings

70347851 2475636219141875 9163430807551868928 n

by Ron Vradenburg

Park Ridge NJ, In speaking to folks from town I’m often asked about the Sony case ( fighting to prevent 1,000 apartments being built), the building going up in the center of town and general question about development in ours and neighboring towns.

In almost ALL cases, I find that people don’t understand the driving force behind towns agreeing to these large apartment buildings. Sometimes folks don’t even know how many other towns are being forced to do it and how many have already started construction on more apartments than a town can EVER support. And I don’t blame them one bit. We’re too busy with our lives to keep up with all this stuff. Most don’t even know how many AH units FSHC is saying Park Ridge needs to add by 2025. Or what round of obligations we are in ( round 3 btw) and that there is round 4 coming in 2025.

But I and several others do follow it and I can tell you with 100% assurance, it is our state legislature along with greedy developers and Fair Share Housing Center ( FSHC ) that are behind it ALL. Dumont, Emerson, Montvale, Woodcliff Lake, Park Ridge, Glen Rock, Ridgewood, Allendale.. you name it. Each town has a gun held to its head by Kevin Walsh at FSHC to cram in more and more apartments with NO concern for schools, police, fire, roads, taxes, quality of life, property values.

And if towns dont agree to it, developers will take the town to court under a Builders Remedy lawsuit, and the town risks more if they lose. All because of the antiquated Mount Laurel ruling from 3 decades ago. The issue of increasing affordable housing inventory was SUPPOSED to be addressed as a town grew, 10-15% of all new structures were to be designated for AH recipients. And COAH ( Council On Affordable Housing) was the govt agency charged with insuring this happened. But it didn’t. What it also didn’t consider is towns that are fully or almost fully mature and built out with little chance of new structures going up (mostly single-family homes, suburban in nature like Park Ridge) don’t have the vacant land to add them.

So they disbanded COAH and the state legislature said: ” Let towns and developers fight it out in court”. About as asinine as you can get. Then it’s just who has the most money for lawyers. So when 13 lots in the center of town were offered to be combined into one large complex, it gave us an opportunity to not only add 24 units of AH but to get DOUBLE credits for most of them. Increasing our AH stock by over 40 units. Know this, if the town said no, the owner could have taken us to court under a Builders Remedy suit, and said: ” Park Ridge has a chance to increase its stock but they won’t allow us to build”.

By agreeing, we have shown we are NOT opposed to doing what we can WHERE it makes SOME sense ( near the train station, the center of town) and eliminating the ugly garbage transfer station. Had we not done so, our argument against the 1,000 units at Sony would have been seriously undermined. I don’t like the 5 story thing, but I like it more knowing it may help us STOP THE MADNESS of over 3,000 more people up at Sony if they get to put up 1,000 apartments. It just too bad that Mayor Ghassali from Montvale broke his commitment with Park Ridge to stand and fight Hornrock who owns Sony, and instead settled on allowing MORE units than he even needed to agree on.

8 thoughts on “People don’t understand the Driving Force behind Towns Agreeing to these Large Apartment Buildings

  1. Great response – finally someone tells the WHOLE story about how and why these monstrosities get built

  2. If we all don’t do something soon, there will be nothing left for us to do. The developers in Ridgewood are sucking the life out of the town.

  3. Ron is right on point all the time. Please follow him on FB at NJ Stop the Madness page. I think the biggest issue that is enabling this monstrosity is the population apathy which shows little to no interest of what’s happening around them. I don’t understand people, they only care for what’s inside their walls. In suburbs you can’t be like that. Overdevelopment will ruin your quality of life and it will be too late to leave when your property loses its value because you now are not living in your good ole RW anymore but in Ridgewood, Queens, NY.

  4. Sorry to point out that this is a result of NJ becoming democratic and now over the 30 years since the Mount Laurel ruling we are all suffering. Meanwhile we all just blame local mayors and village counsels. The problem is our state imposing its will on the towns. Over time we are doomed.

  5. Is there a way to pressure the State legislature in a unified way? please advise.

    1. towns need to get together and fight it as a group

  6. Totally agree with Ghost! Ron is a great guy and on point all the time. Works very hard but unfortunately is just a voice in the dessert.

  7. Totally agree with Ghost!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *