Tag Archives: 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

Can we stop reckless overdevelopment?

Can we stop the overdevelopment that is beginning to choke the roads of Chatham Borough, pollute our air, inflate our taxes, and even threaten to swamp our schools?

All we need to do is to hold our new Mayor & Council accountable for not selling us down the river again, as they did with the monstrosity at the corner of Watchung Avenue and River Road.

We can do that. You can help.

Tell the Mayor & Council not to make any more concessions to the would-be overdevelopers. Make them promise not to sign any more PILOT agreements, waiving the developer’s property taxes at the expense of the rest of us. Make them promise to do their due diligence and hold out for terms favorable to the Borough.

Even if you cannot go to the next Council meeting https://www.chathamborough.org/resident/calendar/mayor-council-meeting-13-1710199800 you can email the Mayor & Council: [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] https://www.chathamborough.org/resident/calendar/mayor-council-meeting-13-1710199800 [email protected]. [email protected]. [email protected] 

What the heck is this all about?

Our new Mayor and Borough Council are working on another big development project on River Road. See for yourself here: https://patch.com/new-jersey/chatham/election-2023-carolyn-dempsey-chatham-borough-council%20

A third big River Road project will soon follow. https://chathamchoice.org/2024/01/what-are-the-options-for-river-road/

Thanks to blunders by both parties over many years, our leaders have little control over new construction in Chatham, but they can and must exercise what power they still have to protect us from reckless overdevelopmnent. https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/1399493/2022-05-27-HEFSP_amendment.finaladopted.pdf

We need to start asking questions, demanding answers and promises, and holding our Mayor & Council accountable now, before they make any irreversible decisions.

Strong, sustained, public scrutiny and pressure can inspire and empower our elected representatives to stand firm in negotiations with tough real estate sharks, backed by teams of experts wielding state laws that give developers the upper hand.

Are you wondering why the Council would even consider another project at River Road, given the massive, 245-unit Ivy apartment project that just went up at the corner of River and Watchung?

Simple: Knowing that both political parties have so weakened our zoning laws that they cannot prevent construction of two more giant apartment projects at River Road, the Mayor & Council aspire only to gain some influence over the new projects by adopting some new redevelopment plans. https://patch.com/new-jersey/chatham/chatham-marks-some-river-road-lots-need-redevelopment

They’d have you believe it’s the only way to make sure the new developments will provide housing options for retirees, millennials, and low income families, as well as some free public “amenities” – like maybe a trail along the Passaic River. See for yourself here: https://patch.com/new-jersey/chatham/election-2023-carolyn-dempsey-chatham-borough-council%20

Of course, that’s mostly wishful thinking.

As at the Ivy, the new developments will be out of the reach of most retirees, millennials, and young families, because almost all of the apartments will be offered at market rates, with monthly rents between $3,000 for one bedroom apartments, and $7,000 for three bedroom units. How many downsizers or young families can afford that?

Only 15% of the new apartments will be set aside for low and moderate income families. That means Chatham would have to accept 1,000 new units (a more than 30% increase in density) to get even 150 units toward our ever increasing affordable housing quota.

Chathamites won’t get first dibs on the affordable apartments, either. But Chatham taxpayers will suffer higher density, pollution, and lower quality of life. And that’s a best-case scenario, which the Mayor & Council could achieve only with deft negotiation.

If the Council doesn’t stand strong, but rather succumbs to the developer’s standard demand for a 30-year PILOT property tax exemption, that will mean higher taxes for everyone else and it will leave the Borough on the hook to meet increasing demands for municipal services.

Negotiated PILOT payments-in-lieu of taxes should help with those expenses, but it’s the Borough that will bear 100% of the risk that the revenue projections won’t pan out, as is happening at similar projects that have been reduced to offering discounts: https://www.woodmontstation.com/

If the statewide luxury apartment construction frenzy leads to a glut, causing the bubble to burst and rent rolls to plummet, it will be a disaster for Chatham Borough.

Of course, by then the developer will be long gone, and Borough taxpayers will be left holding the bag.

What about the nice public “amenities,” like the riverside trail our Mayor wants to see along the Passaic? It could happen.

Then again, once the Council adopts a redevelopment plan, the would-be developer will begin to chip away at the requirements, until there’s nothing left for the public, as happened with the monstrous 245-apartment Ivy project.

The lesson is clear: Our Mayor & Council should negotiate the best possible deal, and refuse to finance it with a PILOT tax break no matter how many sweet promises the developers make.

In short, while our Mayor & Council cannot prevent more development at River Road, they need not and must not sacrifice the long-term well-being of the Borough by waiving any more requirements or granting any PILOT agreements.

If a developer won’t build without a PILOT, that means it’s a bad deal and the Borough shouldn’t get involved.

Next: What are the options for River Road?

Our new Mayor hopes a big real estate developer will help Chatham fix up the land along the Passaic River for free!

https://patch.com/new-jersey/chatham/election-2023-carolyn-dempsey-chatham-borough-council%20

But to get that “free” help, what would we need to sacrifice in lower quality of life, more traffic, pollution, crowded schools, higher municipal and school costs?

And is it really “free” if in return we must grant the developer a PILOT tax exemption, causing higher property taxes for the rest of us?

Shall we plunge ahead on blind faith or shall we first do our due diligence?

Good news about the River Road Project

Our Borough Council got some good news at its April 10 meeting.

Retired Bloomfield Fire Captain Robert Penn reported that the apartment project going up on River Road is far safer than he had expected. Check out his words at minute 1:29:28:

https://chathamborough.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=123

With that, Captain Penn put to rest most of the fire safety concerns he had raised at the March 27 Council meeting.

https://chathamborough.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=121 Go to minute 1:56:56

Of course, our volunteer fire fighters are still hobbled by ancient fire trucks and have no good way to put out fires in the growing number of electric cars.

https://chathamborough.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=121 Go to minute 53:00

What’s that huge thing going up on River Road in Chatham Borough??

https://www.facebook.com/618423460/videos/1332066163997362/

#keepchathamsmall

After the Council approved the Plan for River Road, things got real. .

Believe it or not, there’s a lot more to come:

Source:

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

#Keepchathamsmall

Want to see massive overdevelopment like that all over town? Re-elect Karen Koronkiewicz

https://results.enr.clarityelections.com/NJ/Morris/116156/web.303253/#/detail/0014