CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Township Committee passed a resolution, approving a settlement agreement with the Vernon Grove Condominium Association that will extend the township's Affordable Housing controls on 72 units for the next 30 years, at its regular meeting held Thursday night.
In exchange for the Affordable Housing controls over the 72 Vernon Grove units, Albert Cruz, township attorney, explained that the township will pay for capital improvements, such as repaving of the parking lot, each year. Cruz indicated that the township will pay $29,000 a year to the condominium association to pay for the capital improvements.
"There are checks and balances within the agreement, allowing the township to monitor the expenditure of those funds to make sure they are spent on capital improvement or capital maintenance," Cruz said. "This is part of the plan (to negotiate a fair share settlement). Other parts are being litigated and can't be discussed."
Albert Cruz, attorney for the township, explains the settlement agreement between the Vernon Grove Condominium Association and Chatham Township
Thomas Ciccarone, township administrator, explained that the negotiations with Vernon Grove dated back to the fall.
"In the fall, we did a resolution extending the affordability controls on the Vernon Grove units," Ciccarone said. "The association objected to that and joined in the litigation on affordable housing, objecting to us extending the controls. We negotiated a settlement with them and the resolution approves that settlement."
Mayor Curt Ritter and committee member Mike Kelly noted that the agreement was an important step in resolving Chatham Township's "Third Round Housing Element and Fair Share Plan" now being negotiated in Superior Court.
Last November, the township committee passed two resolutions that would lead to Affordable Housing units being built where the Skate Park is located near the police station.
The two-step deal would allow the rezoning so that developer Sterling Properties, in partnership with Sun Homes, to build 54 residential units, including four on the second floor of the existing mansion on the property.
In exchange for the rezoning of the land, Sterling Properties and Sun Homes have offered to "provide the Township with a one-hundred percent affordable housing development on the 3.8 acres" owned by the Chatham Township next to the Chatham Township Police Department on Southern Boulevard.
The township committee, as has been its practice for months, went into executive session to continue discussing its Affordable Housing negotiations.