CHATHAM, NJ - Curt Ritter was unanimously re-appointed mayor, Karen Swartz was voted in as the new deputy mayor and John Maurer was sworn into his first term as a committee member on Thursday night when the Chatham Township Committee held its reorganization meeting.
While the committee moved into 2017, it still carries a weighty issue over from 2016 - court compliance with its "Third Round Housing Element and Fair Share Plan," which has been an ongoing discussion during closed executive session, as it was Thursday night.
Mayor Ritter revealed in his remarks on the subject (see video below) that Chatham Township's obligation to provide affordable housing for the period of 2015 through 2025 could be as low as 208 and as high as 727.
Mayor Ritter talked about Affordable Housing in his comprehensive speech at the organization meeting. Here is what he said about the pending litigation:
The resolution of the pending litigation has been a point of discussion in the Committee's Executive Sessions over the past year. And while our fair share housing obligation is not fully known, expert calculations for our prospective affordable housing need for the period from 2015 to 2025 range from a high of 727 to a low of 208 and this range has been and is subject to various adjustments.
Whatever the ultimate number, it should be noted that since 1992 the Township has had an A-H Affordable Housing District where the Police Department, DPW and Skate Park are currently located.
We are now in a better position to address our affordable housing obligation following a proposal from a builder to rezone Dixiedale Farm to develop luxury townhomes, while also building, operating and managing a 100 percent multi-family rental development at the Skate Park, which we would seek to relocate.
The Committee unanimously passed two resolutions in support of the Planning Board reviewing this matter further. We will continue to keep residents abreast of the latest developments and encourage individuals interested in learning more to view the Affordable Housing link under the Government tab on our website, or to attend a future Planning Board meeting as they discuss this matter further.
Chatham Township Engineer John Ruschke was recognized at the meeting for winning a first-place construction management award by the New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers. The award centered around Ruschke's work on upgrading the township's sewer system.