The choice is yours

Do you like Chatham’s small town quality of life?

Or would you prefer to see our leafy little town transformed into yet another crowded NJ city?

That’s the choice you’ll make when you cast your vote for Chatham Borough Council members this fall. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2429255717325924/posts/3235741443344010/

If you’d like to see Chatham turned into a densely populated city, then you’ll vote for incumbent Council member Karen Koronkiewicz.

Photo Credit: 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

You can count on Karen to try to turn Chatham into a city. She recently voted to sacrifice 100% of our public parking at Post Office Plaza so a rich developer could build a 100-unit, commercial/retail housing project that would have clogged up our streets, and cost taxpayers heaven only knows how much. [Check out Option #2 at http://chathamchoice.org/2022/04/sophies-choice/]

A vote for Karen is a vote to turn Chatham into another crowded NJ city. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2429255717325924/

Would you prefer to preserve our small town quality of life? Then you’ll vote for incumbent Council President Irene Treloar.

Irene resisted intense pressure to go along with Karen’s overdevelopment scheme. On May 2, she voted to substitute a modest, 15-unit apartment house, fulfilling our need for affordable housing without destroying what we love about Chatham. [Check out Option #3 at http://chathamchoice.org/2022/04/sophies-choice/]

You can either vote for Irene alone, or cast your second vote for one of the other candidates on the ballot.

Either way, your vote this November will send a powerful message to the Mayor & Council about your vision for the future of Chatham Borough.

Here’s the result:

https://results.enr.clarityelections.com/NJ/Morris/116156/web.303253/#/summary

Best Choice

The courage to do right by Chatham

How did Chatham Borough manage to escape the Kushners’ big, reckless, commercial overdevelopment scheme that would have destroyed downtown Post Office Plaza, wiped out parking, tied up traffic, and jeopardized our schools? Simple: Borough Council president Irene Treloar had the courage to vote her conscience on May 2, 2022. Thanks, Irene!

Good News

Now thanks to a wise Morris County judge, Chatham Borough will have a chance to build 15 affordable apartments at Post Office Plaza – and not 85 unaffordable apartments.

#KEEPCHATHAMSMALL

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/sections/real-estate/articles/judge-hansbury-rules-in-favor-of-chatham-on-pop-the-town-deserves-a-chance-to-meet-their-obligation-with-stand-alone-units?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Judge+Hansbury+Rules+in+Favor+of+Chatham+on+POP%3A++The+town+deserves+a+chance+to+meet+their+obligation+with+stand-alone+units&utm_campaign=Judge+Hansbury+Rules+in+Favor+of+Chatham+on+POP%3A++The+town+deserves+a+chance+to+meet+their+obligation+with+stand-alone+units

Bad News

The rich Kushner developers are still trying to force Chatham Borough to let them build a 100-unit rental apartment project at Post Office Plaza – instead of our own 15-affordable apartment house, which the Borough Council voted to approve last May 2.

Will the Kushners get away with that?

Find out this Thursday, August 25, when the Honorable Stephen Hansbury will consider if it’s better for Post Office Plaza to house 15 families or 100 families with no place for children to play.

Interested? Come to the Morris County courthouse, Court & Anne Streets, CR 151, at 1:30 pm on Thursday August 25, 2022.

What Now?

Nearly three years ago, Chatham’s Mayor & Borough Council granted a Kushner family-led partnership the exclusive right to submit proposals for a Borough-sponsored real estate development at Post Office Plaza.

Kushner and partners failed to come up with a proposal acceptable to the Borough.

Best they could offer was a hulking, 100-rental unit, commercial apartment/retail project. It would have provided 15 affordable apartments, but wiped out existing public parking, clogged up traffic on Main Street, cost taxpayers heaven-only-knows-what, and destroyed the small town charm of our Borough. Residents didn’t like it.

On January 26, 2022, our Mayor & Council let the exclusive period lapse, and began to entertain other proposals. On May 2, they voted to build a modest, 15-family, all-affordable apartment house at Post Office Plaza.

Instead of accepting that decision, on Wednesday, June 8 the Kushner partnership asked an affordable housing judge to force our Mayor & Council to accept the commercial real estate project they had just voted down.

The judge chose July 8 as the date for a hearing on the Kushner motion, making it unlikely that the judge will decide as expected on June 24 whether Chatham has fulfilled its affordable housing obligations. http://chathamchoice.org/2022/05/whats-next-for-post-office-plaza-2/

Last Friday, June 10, the Borough Council cancelled its regular Monday, June 13 meeting, only to turn around and schedule a special meeting for 5:00 pm this coming Wednesday, June 22.

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

Here’s the document the Planning Board adopted:

https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/1399493/2022-05-27-HEFSP_amendment.finaladopted.pdf

#KEEPCHATHAMSMALL

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