Behind closed doors, last June 2021, our Borough Council authorized Mayor Kobylarz to settle a lawsuit filed by someone seeking to build a big apartment block on the west side of Main Street.
On June 14, 2021, the Mayor signed a Settlement Agreement, gaining a temporary break from that lawsuit and similar litigation, but committing our Borough to several obligations – including, in effect, the obligation to promote construction of many new apartments at River Road and Post Office Plaza.
- Incredible? See for yourself in Sections 7 & 8. b. iii of the June 14 Settlement Agreement (at the bottom of this post) and other documents on file at the Morris County courthouse, In the Matter of the Borough of Chatham, Morris County, Docket No. MRS-L-1906-15*
- Listen to what the Mayor’s planner Kendra Lelie told the judge – under oath – at an Aug. 6 hearing in that case: (https://njcourtsrecords.awsapps.com/workdocs/index.html#/share/document/8bd529023335e3c1c7adda7c04c1aa81aef4f9fa5aa00310c163292748a0627c (beginning at 9:24:18)**
It’s time to face reality – and insist on clear answers:
- What changes is the Mayor required to make to the Post Office Plaza Redevelopment Plan by January 1, 2022? (See the June 14 settlement agreement, p. 6, Section 8. b. iii.)
- Having signed that agreement, how can the Mayor meet the public demand to preserve the dedicated, free, open, surface public, Borough-owned and controlled parking on almost 2.2 acres of Borough land in POP?
- When will the Mayor exercise the “or” clause in Sec. 8. b. iii, and try to get a better deal that would preserve 100% of the public parking in Post Office Plaza, and NOT include a parking deck?
- When will the Mayor consider creative ways to provide more affordable housing without more traffic, such as converting existing housing and vacant commercial space on Main Street?
- Is it still possible for the Mayor to turn POP into a public park and surface parking lot, as suggested by community leader Fran Drew?
- What options, if any, do we still have for Post office Plaza?
Come hear our Mayor, Borough Council, and Planner face those questions and more at the next Council meeting, this Monday, September 27, 2021, 7:30 pm at Borough Hall, 54 Fairmount Avenue, third floor.***
*Available at https://portal.njcourts.gov (To get past that home page, Google these words: ecourts civil jacket. Select the link that says “eCourts Civil Case Jacket.” Prove you aren’t a robot. Drop down to Civil Part. For docket type, select Civil Part (L). For Case County, select Morris. For Docket Number, enter1906. For Year: Enter 15. Then hit Search)
**The access code is: 1234. Download a copy to a Windows computer and click on “Extract All.” After extracting (unzip), look in the BIN folder, double click on the CPLAYER file, and press the arrow to start playing it. Save the file. The link expires at the end of May 2022.
*** How did that meeting turn out? Start at minute 29:46 of https://chathamborough.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=5