Tag Archives: Redevelopment

Heard about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

It doesn’t exist. Not even in Post Office Plaza. The sooner we realize that the better off we’ll be.

Check out this piece by a neighbor who knows what he’s talking about:

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/articles/misdirection-and-opacity-from-council-member-mathiasen-about-fiscal-responsibility

What you can do

Q: Is there any way to dissuade our Mayor & Council from building a big, 100+ commercial, rental apartment block behind our Main Street Post Office, clogging up our streets with hundreds more cars?

Come to the Council Meeting Tonight

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 7:30 pm,

Borough Hall, upper level, 54 Fairmount Avenue.

To attend virtually: see www.chathamborough.org. Scroll “News and Events” down to “Notice of Mayor & Council Meeting.”  Click “more.” 

Q: Discouraged by the Mayor’s 25-person limit on in-person attendance? Fed up with the technical difficulties that plague virtual participation?

Tell the Mayor

to hold Council meetings in a place

that can accommodate everyone.

Email:mayor@chathamborough.org  cc cdempsey@chathamborough.org, swilliams@chathamborough.org and brigidmcmenamin@msn.com

Time for our Mayor to do the right thing!

Tell our Borough lawyers and experts to come up with ways to allow enough affordable housing – without destroying one of the last few open spaces in town.

Our elected representatives deny having plans to stick a 100+ apartment development behind our Main Street Post Office, clogging up already congested streets, displacing the popular Cottage Deli, and destroying our free, public, parking lot.

They claim that whatever they decide to build in Post Office Plaza will be small scale and low density.

Now we know that isn’t true. So stop wasting time. Tell our lawyers and experts to come up with alternatives.

Our Mayor & Council have already taken steps to facilitate swift construction of a 100+ unit, rental housing project in Post Office Plaza.

The proof is in an agreement the Mayor signed – and the Council approved – on June 14, 2021, agreeing to tight deadlines calculated to lead to a final deal with the developer by June 1, 2022.

(See for yourself in Sec. 8.b.iii, 12. & 13 of that agreement, shown in the Sept. 18 post at www.chathamchoice.org; and discussed at https://chathamborough.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=55, 34:22 through 35:38)

Contrary to what you may have heard, that June 14 agreement does NOT limit the size of the project at Post Office Plaza. Just the opposite!

In effect, that agreement requires construction of at least 100 rental apartments at Post Office Plaza, as our professional planner Kendra Lelie conceded at the Sept. 27 Council meeting.

(See for yourself at https://chathamborough.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=56, 1:44:00 through 1:44:26. In theory, they could substitute 75 for-sale units, but that’s out, as it’s less profitable for the developer.)

Only way we can avoid getting stuck with that eyesore is for the Mayor to step up, invoke the “or” clause in Sec. 8.b.iii, and persuade the powers-that-be to accept another way to get enough affordable housing.

A 100-unit rental development will bring in hundreds of new residents, driving at least 130 additional cars, plus many more carrying employees and patrons of the new retail shops and restaurants.

(See Sec. 4.4.3 of the 2019 Redevelopment Plan, http://www.zumu.com/zumu/chatham/Post%20Office%20Plaza%20Redevelopment%20%20Plan%204%209%2019.pdf).

We’ll be forced to replace our free, convenient, public parking lot with a dangerous garage that’s sure to attract crime – in return for a mere 15 -17 affordable apartments – and with NO significant benefit for residents or taxpayers.

The actual size of the project could exceed 200 units, given the lax 2019 Redevelopment Plan.

Sec. 4.4.2, http://www.zumu.com/zumu/chatham/Post%20Office%20Plaza%20Redevelopment%20%20Plan%204%209%2019.pdf)

The developer will be eligible for taxpayer help financing the project and a 30 year break from paying normal property taxes!

(See Sec. 5.11 of the 2019 Redevelopment Plan, http://www.zumu.com/zumu/chatham/Post%20Office%20Plaza%20Redevelopment%20%20Plan%204%209%2019.pdf).

There’s no need sacrifice Chatham. Our experts know many ways to allow affordable housing. Ms Lelie calls them “mechanisms.”

Some possible mechanisms include:

  • subsidizing existing apartments;
  • converting old office buildings to residential use, as resident Fran Drew has proposed;
  • building assisted living or senior housing, perhaps near the train station; or
  • some combination of the above.

Tell our Mayor & Council to have their experts show us Chatham residents and taxpayers some “mechanisms” that will preserve our free, convenient, public Post Office Plaza parking lot – and without condemning anyone’s property.

E-mail the Mayor & Borough Council:

mayor@chathamborough.org mayorcouncil@chathamborough.org

Link to more contact information:

https://www.chathamborough.org/chatham/Government/Mayor%20%26%20Council/

Here we go again!

Myth:  Our Mayor and Borough Council wouldn’t plop a giant apartment block in the middle of town without first airing some options.

Reality: Behind the scenes, they’ve already sacrificed our options. Now they’re all but bound to :

  • build a 100+ rental unit, high density apartment block that will
  • put hundreds more cars on Main Street and
  • replace our free, open Post Office Parking Lot with a dangerous, multilevel parking garage.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Get the facts.

Come to the next Borough Council meeting: 

Monday, 13 September 2021 

7:30 pm 

Chatham Borough Hall, 3d floor 

54 Fairmount Avenue 

Would you like to see even more traffic in Chatham Borough?

How about a dangerous, hulking parking garage?

less open, public parking?

More empty storefronts?

More crowded schools?

Rising taxes for police, firefighters, water, sewer, etc?

Lower property values?

That’s exactly what you can expect

if our borough Council lets the Kushner real estate developers

build a corporate welfare, commercial apartment/retail project

behind our Main Street Post Office.

Get the facts before it’s too late!

Come to the next Borough Council meeting:

7:30 pm

Chatham Borough Hall, 3d floor

54 Fairmount Avenue

Don’t sacrifice Chatham to the big developer!

Now we have a great alternative for the 5 acres behind the Main Street Post Office!

It includes more surface parking and a pretty public green space.

Longtime Chatham businesswoman and civic leader Fran Drew conceived this idea as an alternative to the proposals offered by the big Kushner developers, who stand to profit by using corporate welfare PILOT tax breaks to build a project that will destroy our little Chatham Borough, with big expenses and even more traffic on Main Street.

Chatham residents are excited about this fresh idea, which is aimed at preserving and enhancing our community.

Are you tired of ever-worsening traffic on Main Street?

Make sure this idea gets a fair hearing before our Mayor and Borough Council.

Let our Mayor and Borough Council know what you think: mayor@​chathamborough.org

For more information, contact Fran Drew: algarts@aol.com

Sharks Circling Chatham!

  • Would you like to see hundreds more cars and trucks clogging up our streets, making it harder to get to work, school, MDs?
  • Would you like to park in a dangerous, windowless garage, where a police officer right outside couldn’t hear your screams?
  • Would you like to pay higher taxes – and lower the value of your house – to give a big developer a 30-year tax break?

Big real estate interests have ensnared Chatham Borough in an extreme, risky corporate welfare scheme. They plan to build a massive, multi-story, 200-unit rental apartment/retail complex behind our Post Office. It will transform our town into a bleak, high-tax, transit hub and, ultimately, a failed city.

Only your new Mayor and Borough Council can prevent that!

Come help your neighbors encourage them:

This Monday, January 6, 2020

at 7:30 PM

Borough Hall, 54 Fairmount Avenue, Chatham, NJ

Assure the new Mayor and Council that you will support them in doing what’s best for Chatham:

  • Let the Redeveloper’s designation expire;
  • Rescind the Redevelopment Plan for Post Office Plaza;
  • Consider moderate options that don’t involve:
    • worsening traffic;
    • sacrificing our open-air, public parking;
    • giving away corporate welfare tax breaks; or
    • shifting business risks to Chatham taxpayers; and
  • Conduct due diligence, and a valid survey of all households and businesses by U.S. Mail, with pros and cons of at least three such options.