Monthly Archives: May 2022

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes, our paid experts have been revising a key Borough document called the Housing Element & Fair Share Plan to satisfy the Borough’s obligations under the Secret Agreement dated June 14, 2021 as amended (paragraphs 8(b)(iii) and 12.) http://chathamchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/06-14-2021-Settlement-Agreement-Chatham-Borough-MRS-L-1906-15-Fully-Executed.pdf

The revised Housing Element will be up for approval at two special meetings set for the coming week, both at 7:30 pm, Borough Hall, 54 Fairmount Avenue, upper level, and virtually as indicated in the links below.

May 26 – Planning Board

https://www.chathamborough.org/component/dpcalendar/event/3895

May 31 – Mayor & Borough Council

http://chathamborough.org/component/dpcalendar/event/3896

Here’s a link to the proposed Housing Element, which the Planning Board and Council are expected to approve in the next few days:

https://www.chathamborough.org/government/documents/meeting-documents/planning-board-meetings/2022-planning-board-meeting-documents/2022-planning-board-agendas/2108-2022-05-16-hefsp-amendment-final4/file

What’s Next for Post Office Plaza?

1 June 2022 – New Deadline for Amending the Housing Element and Spending Plan as required by the 14 June 2021 Agreement

Here is the document the Borough Council must amend by June 1:

https://chathamborough.org/government/documents/redevelopment-projects-documents/general-documents/1514-2016-housing-element-and-fair-share-plan-adopted-09-21-2016-2/file

Please note that the amendment will require a special meeting of the Planning Board, because it has cancelled both May meetings.

Below is the document Jonathan Drill used to create that June 1 deadline only after he had misled Borough residents on an April 6 Zoom, falsely claiming that the Council must name and sign a developer by June 1:

24 June 2022 – 1:30 pm – Virtual Hearing on Compliance with the 14 June 2021 Agreement:

At that 24 June hearing, the Judge is expected to decide whether or not the Borough has fulfilled its obligations under the agreement of 14 June 2021 and should be allowed to retain its immunity from builder’s remedy lawsuits until 1 July 2025.

For the Zoom link, contact Jonathan Drill, jdrill@sksdlaw.com, by 22 June.

For copies of the implementing documents, contact Acting Clerk Steve Williams at 973-635-0674 or swilliams@chathamborough.org.

https://www.chathamborough.org/component/fileman/file/Notice%20of%20Compliance%20Hearing%20%20-%20Affordable%20Housing%20Settlement%20Agreement.pdf?routed=1&container=fileman-attachments

1 July 2025 – End of Borough’s Immunity from Builder’s Remedy Lawsuits – Fourth Round Begins

Close call

Chatham Borough dodged a bullet last week.

Our Mayor cast the tie-breaking vote in the choice between the two leading proposals for the redevelopment of Post Office Plaza. He sided with the three Council members who had voted to build a modest, 15-family, all affordable apartment house, rather than the 100-family, mixed-use project favored by the other three. https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/sections/real-estate/articles/chatham-borough-mayor-kobylarz-casts-tie-breaking-vote-for-post-office-plaza-chooses-15-100-affordable-housing-over-kre-100

The Mayor made the right choice, as it was the smallest and best of the options presented. But those options were too limited. All five involved new construction and the sacrifice of at least some public parking. We’d be far better off using existing apartments to meet our affordable housing quotas. http://chathamchoice.org/2022/04/whats-the-rush/

Our Mayor & Council will soon have another chance to pursue that so called ”market-to-affordable” option when they enter negotiations for the fourth round of affordable housing quotas due in July 2025. We must urge and encourage them to seize that opportunity. 

For a different take on the history of POP check out this LTE by Republican CBC candidates: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/articles/the-post-office-plaza-process-too-little-too-late?fbclid=IwAR1l65e6sGNI27dSSVopUA7QC67OytVcrjMq-pcQkoBE8vR3HN3Ly_t_6TQ