FAR HILLS, NJ -- A meeting of the Far Hills Borough Council that had been scheduled for Monday night, March 11 has been canceled for the second consecutive week, with no new meeting scheduled until March 25.
Many residents were expecting to hear more about a proposed housing development being planned on Route 202 opposite Lake Road. According to members of the Far Hills Team, comprised of more than 100 borough residents, preliminary agreements have been signed by the Borough Council with developer Pulte Homes, but information has not yet been presented to the Zoning Board and Planning Board for 134 townhouses, all 3,000-square-foot, three-bedroom units with two-car garages.
The March 4 meeting was canceled on that day, late in the afternoon, just hours before the meeting was scheduled to begin.
"Information about this development has NOT been publicly conveyed to residents and surrounding towns," one Far Hills Team spokesperson shared with TAPinto Somerset Hills. "This extreme housing plan, beyond what is regulated, has to potential to cause overcrowding in the school district, infrastructure overload, tax increases, traffic congestion, and environmental impact. The people deserve an opportunity to be a part of the conversation and voice their concerns around this development project, which seems to have been hidden in plain sight. The town fully supports the need for additional housing, but so long as it falls within what is regulated."
Last October, past affordable housing options were reviewed at a Borough Council meeting, and the proposal by Pulte Homes and Mellilo was presented. According to members of the Far Hills team, preliminary agreements were signed between Borough and Mellilo/Pulte later that month.
"Residents were NOT appropriately informed about such a Permanent Village Altering Development by Pulte Homes & Mellilo at 220 Route 202/Lake Road of 105 market value three-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot townhouses," Far Hills Team spokespersons said. "Most residents did not begin to learn of this radical over-development of Far Hills until November-December, 2018. Questions and comments to town meetings began in late fall of 2018."
Some residents voiced their opposition to the development at the council's Jan. 28 meeting, after which, "residents have increasingly organized against this overdevelopment," according to team spokespersons. "Residents have not been given clear guidance on the process regarding this overdevelopment. Many wanted to attend the meeting on Monday, March 4 to learn more information."
But neither the March 4 meeting, nor the rescheduled March 11 meeting, took place.