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.