Tag Archives: Affordable housing

Visioning?

What’s up with the so-called “visioning workshop” the Mayor & Council have set for next Thursday, June 27, from 7 to 9 pm, at Borough Hall, 54 Fairmount Avenue?

They’re testing public support for a plan to build ASAP at least 500 more apartments on River Road, near the 245-apartment Ivy project at the corner of River and Watchung.

To achieve that, they would offer developers a 30-year property tax break, prompting them to build even if the market is weak, and forcing us taxpayers to assume the risk that the rents won’t keep up with rising municipal costs.

The alternative is for the Borough Council to wait and see if the River Road property owners choose to build more apartments without a tax break, which the owners won’t do unless, until, and to the extent they (and their lenders) think they can get rents high enough to pay regular property taxes and still make a nice profit.

(Either way, the apartments will be at least 15% -20% affordable, and the developer won’t give the Borough a riverside park – or anything else – for “free.”)

With the 245-unit Ivy project sitting half empty next door and big apartment buildings going up all over the state, should the Borough plunge ahead with a scheme to build a 500-apartment project that may or may not produce enough revenue to cover Borough costs?

Or might it be wiser to wait and see how many more apartments the market can support at River Road?

Deadlines

There are many different ways to meet state mandated affordable housing obligations, but unless the Mayor & Council get a jump on the deadlines, their options will be severely limited.

That’s why the Mayor has scheduled a public workshop for June 27: to let the public have its say before unveiling her plans.

Are the Mayor & Council taking the steps necessary to get a good result for the Borough?

Ask them!

  1. Are you are investigating lower-density, environmentally superior options, like converting existing market rate apartments to affordable ones?
  2. If not, why not? What are you waiting for?
  3. Are you unaware that waiting means forfeiting options?
  4. Are you unaware that if you procrastinate too long, we’ll be forced to accept more huge projects like the Ivy – or even bigger.
  5. If you’re resigned to accepting more big projects, what are you doing to make sure we get a better deal this time?

Here are the deadlines facing the Mayor & Council (additions and corrections welcome):

03/31/24 – Deadline for BNE to report Total Project Costs to the Borough Council within 90 days of Substantial Completion of the Ivy project

05/01/24 – Deadline for the Borough to bill the developer of the Ivy apartment project on River Road for the second quarterly payment of the annual property tax substitute known as a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), which was unpaid as of 06/10/2024

06/18/24 – Deadline for the Borough to report non-residential fees collected for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund

06/30/24 – Deadline for the Borough to submit to the Morris County Superior Court and Fair Share Housing Center a quarterly report on the progress of the 15-unit, 100% affordable project to be built on Bowers Lane in Post Office Plaza

07/18/24 – Last chance for the Morris County Tax Board to approve rolling reassessment of property in Chatham Borough

08/01/24 – Deadline for the Borough to seek State Department of Taxation approval for rolling reassessment of property in Chatham Borough

08/01/24 – Deadline for the Borough to bill the developer of the Ivy apartment project on River Road for the third quarterly payment of the annual property tax substitute known as a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), which has gone unpaid as of 06/10/2024

09/16/24 – Deadline for the Borough to report residential fees collected for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund

09/30/24 – Deadline for the Borough to submit to the Superior Court and Fair Share Housing Center a quarterly report on the progress of the 15-unit, 100% affordable project to be built on Bowers Lane in Post Office Plaza

10/20/24 – Deadline for the state to announce the Borough’s affordable housing quota for Fourth Round 2025-2035

11/01/24 – Deadline for the Borough to bill the developer of the Ivy apartment project on River Road for the quarterly payment of the annual property tax substitute known as a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), which had gone unpaid as of 06/10/2024

12/31/24 – Deadline for the Borough to submit to the Superior Court and Fair Share Housing Center a quarterly report on the progress of the 15-unit, 100% affordable project to be built on Bowers Lane in Post Office Plaza

01/31/25 – Deadline for the Borough to adopt a resolution accepting an affordable housing quota for Fourth Round 2025-2035

03/01/25 – Deadline for “interested parties” to challenge the Borough’s Fourth Round 2025-2035 affordable housing quota in a new dispute resolution program

03/31/25 – Deadline for filing the Periodic Report on Total Project Costs, due within 90 days of Substantial Compliance under the terms of the December 2023 financial (PILOT) agreement for the Ivy at River Road

3/31/25 – Deadline for the IVY to submit the Auditor’s Report to the Borough and Dof LG at DCA

03/31/25 – Deadline for the Borough to begin construction of the 15-unit, 100% affordable apartment project on Bowers Lane in Post Office Plaza.

03/31/25 – Deadline for the Borough to submit to the Superior Court and Fair Share Housing Center a quarterly report on the progress of the 15-unit, 100% affordable project to be built on Bowers Lane in Post Office Plaza

06/30/25 – Deadline for the Borough to file its Housing Element & Fair Share Plan or risk losing its immunity from builders’ remedy and exclusionary zoning lawsuits

08/31/25 – Deadline for Fair Share challenges to the Borough’s Housing Element

12/31/25 – Deadline for “interested parties” to challenge the Borough’s Housing Element

03/15/26 – Deadline for the Borough to adopt all the ordinances, rezoning, and redevelopment areas required by the Housing Element

03/31/26 – Deadline for the Borough to get a Certificate of Occupancy on the 15-unit, 100% affordable project on Bowers Lane in Post Office Plaza

09/26/26 – Deadline for the Borough to get a judge to renew and extend its immunity from builders’ remedy lawsuits and exclusionary zoning challenges

Sources:

https://www.newsbreak.com/share/3489430077474-new-round-of-affordable-housing-regulation-requirements-to-kick-off?_f=app_share&s=i1&pd=0EKN9Y6I&lang=en_US&send_time=1718234102&trans_data=%7B%22platform%22%3A0%2C%22cv%22%3A%2224.23.1.1%22%2C%22languages%22%3A%22en%22%7D&sep=new_web_share_0531-v2

Do the right thing

What will Chatham Borough Council do with the Borough’s PILOT revenues from the River Road project?

Will the Council do the right thing?

Find out here: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/articles/it-s-our-money-use-borough-pilot-revenues-to-reduce-property-taxes-and-cover-necessities


Learn more here: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/articles/chatham-borough-council-do-the-right-thing-concerning-pilot-not-merely-what-s-legally-permissible-or-expedient

Attend the 3/13 Council meeting in person or on Zoom here: https://www.chathamborough.org/component/dpcalendar/event/mayor-council-meeting-13-1678750200?Itemid=809

Great News

Yesterday morning, after three tense public hearings, Morris County Superior Court Judge Stephan Hansbury soundly rejected the Kushners’ brazen attempt to cram an unpopular 100-rental unit project on mostly public land behind our Main Street Post Office.

That decision frees Chatham Borough to meet part of its affordable housing requirements by building a 15-unit apartment house there, as our Mayor & Council voted on May 2.

For a quick summary, watch the video of Mayor Kobylarz’s comments in this Tap story:

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/chatham/?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Chatham+Borough+Mayor%253A+Court+Finds+that+the+Borough+is+in+Compliance+with+its+Affordable+Housing+Obligations%253B+SV+Suit+Denied&utm_campaign=Chatham+Borough+Mayor%253A+Court+Finds+that+the+Borough+is+in+Compliance+with+its+Affordable+Housing+Obligations%253B+SV+Suit+Denied

For details, check out the records at e-courts, culminating in this final court order finding Chatham in compliance with its affordable housing obligations through September 29, 2026:

Will the Kushners accept that outcome and let Chatham build some affordable housing at Post Office Plaza, or will they continue to sue, appeal, and otherwise try to block progress? Stay tuned here and at this FB group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2429255717325924