HOLMDEL, NJ - A low to moderate income project planned by Holmdel Township on Middle Road has run into some controversy. The project, ordinance 2020-06, is a 50 unit all-inclusive project. It was set for an ordinance vote on Tuesday.
The project has been under discussion for some time and is designed to help the township meet its affordable housing obligations with the court. Among many speakers was Hazlet Township's attorney James Gorman. Gorman provided a lengthy argument that it is the wrong size for the site at 50 units, that the public notice requirements were not done correctly, and that the environmental conditions and planning area designations are not consistent with what they were considering. He suggested that litigation may be their remedy if the vote was to approve and suggested that "when you are digging a hole, stop digging."
The Mayor of Hazlet Michael Glackin also spoke against the ordinance and urged them to hold off on voting:
"I want to go on the record let you know of Hazlet's objections for the proposed Middle Road site project - our direct objections are on site suitability, site design and project location." said Glackin. Glackin reviewed a list of items of concern about the viability of the site and claimed that there were problems with the process. "I feel it is disingenuous for the Committee to vote on it knowing that there's something wrong - there's a conflict in the information given to you by the DEP." said Glackin.
"I know it's difficult when you're doing affordable housing. I know that these issues are not easy but this is the property that you selected, it wasn't builders remedy where someone was forcing it on you this is a property that you selected, you purchased it through eminent domain...to vote on this tonight while these issues are still outstanding I think is disingenuous" Glackin repeated.
The Township Committee didn't respond directly and instead relied upon their attorneys. Holmdel's affordable housing attorney refuted Gorman's claims and, ultimately, the ordinance was approved. Watch it HERE