Business & Finance

Testimony Continues on 349 Non Age-Restricted Apts. in Pine Brook

e3adeab658dab84d7be1_a_Inglesino_crop_2.JPG
Attorney John Inglesino Credits: Melissa Benno
03db1c42ec39871a6e88_a_crop_1.JPG
Professional Planner Art Bernard, left, testifies Credits: Melissa Benno
c0f3da290ff6d07bb65f_DSC08992.JPG
Professional Planner John Szabo, right Credits: Melissa Benno
e3adeab658dab84d7be1_a_Inglesino_crop_2.JPG

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Zoning Board of Adjustments held its fourth hearing regarding an application to build 349 non age-restricted rental units on the former site of GI Auto Salvage in the Pine Brook section of town.

Avalon Bay Communities, LLC, has purchased the property at 85 Bloomfield Avenue. The site was a junkyard for 50 years and has soil contamination, according to Avalon Bay’s attorney John Inglesino. Age-restricted housing is a permitted use for the site, but the applicant is proposing non-age restricted units, thus requiring the hearings. 

Inglesino started the May 3 hearing by stating Avalon Bay had originally applied for three variances: use (ie, non-age restricted housing), height, and including more than six units per building. Inglesino stated the height and density variances were being withdrawn at this time, but may be sought at a different time. The only variance sought with the current application is the age restriction, he said.

Sign Up for E-News

Professional Planner Art Bernard presented testimony that he had reviewed approximately 12 documents regarding the site, including the 2010 land use plan, the July 2014 Burgis and Associates planning analysis performed on the property for the Montville Township Committee, the Montville Township School District’s 2016 demographics study (discussed in this article), and several other land use documents. He also visited the site, he said.

He described the site as approximately 39 acres, sited below Route 46, adjacent to the Passaic River and constrained by a flood plain and wetlands. He said the applicant will include a set-aside for low- and moderate-income housing.

Bernard stated that household size has been decreasing in New Jersey for more than 40 years, and in Montville, 50.8% of households are one- and two-person households. Census figures show that “roughly two-thirds of households do not have a child under 18,” he said. He cited Jeffrey Otteau’s March 16 testimony which stated a need for rental housing for the age group of those 35 and younger and 60 and older.

Bernard said the Burgis report acknowledges that luxury rentals cater to younger people and empty nesters, and they generate fewer school children, at a rate of .084 public school children per unit. He stated the Burgis report did not find Rachel Garden Apartments to be comparable to this situation since the rents are much lower.

“We know that there’s a demand for rental housing,” Bernard said. “What we don’t know is what your ordinance would permit.” Bernard said he reviewed the ordinance, compared the zoning map, and found there’s virtually no vacant land zoned for non age-restricted apartments in Montville Township. He said the master plan does not recognize the trend toward smaller households.

Bernard talked about affordable housing and the litigation in the state of New Jersey, and said it’s possible Montville Township will receive two units of credit towards their state affordable housing obligation for every unit Avalon Bay sets aside as affordable housing. He said age-restricted housing would not result in such a credit towards affordable housing requirements. Affordable housing will be the subject of a public information session at the township committee meeting on May 23.

“The proposed housing is not that different in character from the age-restricted housing that’s permitted, because it’s going to attract few children per household,” Bernard said. “It attracts adults looking for maintenance-free housing with an active-amenity package and high levels of service.”

The township’s consulting professional planner, John Szabo said he did not think the board should act on the application because it represented a zoning change, which the board is not permitted to do. He said a proposal for the site had been presented to the township committee three years ago, Burgis Associates had written the 42-page planning report about the site, and the township committee had not acted on the proposal. He worried it would “usurp” the authority of the governing body. He said he also worried about the ramifications for the affordable housing litigation.

On cross-examination, Inglesino asked Szabo if it was not, in fact, the job of the zoning board to usurp the authority of the governing body with variances? Szabo replied that it depends on the context. Inglesino asked Szabo if the governing body did not “choose not to embark on the redevelopment process, rather than not approve the plan based on its merits.”

Szabo said he had no specific knowledge of the decision. When Inglesino said Szabo’s statement that “approval would be usurping” was unfounded, Szabo said it was not. Szabo said the last page of the Burgis report states that if the township wishes to pursue the changes, it should amend the zoning ordinance and amend the master plan, or pursue redevelopment status, and none of these options had ever been pursued.

Questions from the public centered on affordable housing clarifications and especially on the number of children the development would generate. Inglesino stated the number of school children generated by an application is not the basis to deny an application under New Jersey state law.

The next hearing on this application will be July 5.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montville

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ccf612db2e8a23ffc851_casa

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Education Health & Wellness Law & Justice

Carousel_image_a4f056c118bacf9c0109_dsc01420_-_copy

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Gardening with Wildflowers

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_7c2707407169c2f1629c_library_by_courtney_sonn

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Library - Summer Reading Kickoff (Kids)

Education

Carousel_image_48de19959646e17d11a3_library

Sat, June 23, 1:00 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Summer Reading Kickoff - Teens

Education

Carousel_image_d0da896932290d3669b0_img_6739

Mon, June 25, 7:00 PM

Senior House, Montville

Montville Republican Club Meeting

Government

Summer Concert Series Announced by Montville Twp Recreation

June 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Recreation Department announced its summer concerts in the park lineup. The free concerts will be held on Tuesdays beginning on July 10, at the amphitheater beyond the Montville Township Public Library. Parking is available at the library (90 Horseneck Road) or in the high school parking lot (100 Horseneck Road). Assistance is available, for those who ...

Four Montville Residents Participate in American Legion Jersey Boys State Leadership Program

June 21, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - Four young men from Montville Township are among 883 other rising-seniors from New Jersey attending the 73rd session of the annual American Legion Jersey Boys State (ALJBS.)

At the event, taking place at Rider University this week, the students get to "govern and interact with their peers from across New Jersey as they run their own mythical 51st ...

May the Fourth Results in Donations to Lung Cancer Foundation from Cedar Hill Character Education Group

June 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Cedar Hill Fifth Grade Character Education Council sponsored May The 4th Be With You on Friday May 4 from in the Cedar Hill multi-purpose room. The event was to benefit the Lung Cancer Foundation of America. To raise money, each participant paid $5 for a Star Wars-themed scorecard. Upon completion of all events, scorecards were put in a raffle for a Star Wars video ...

Hot Rod Show in Roxbury Raises Money for Boy With Brain Disease

June 21, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - They came from all over North Jersey to show off their chromed-out, big V8s. By day's end, they'd raised big bucks for a sick boy.

The annual North Jersey Street Rod Association (NJSRA) Father's Day Rod Run took place under sunny skies at Horseshoe Lake Park in Roxbury on Sunday. The charity event drew about 1,300 spectators and raised "a little ...

Former Jefferson School Staffer Facing Criminal Charges For Alleged Lewd Photos of Students

June 22, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A former Jefferson Elementary School paraprofessional has been charged with criminal behavior believed to be related to lewd photos of students at the school that were found on his cell phone after he was arrested in Morris County on an unrelated sexual charge.

It also appears that South Orange Maplewood School District officials knew about the arrests as early as ...

Morris County Chamber Issues Statement About State Budget Negotiations and Proposed Tax Increases

June 21, 2018

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ - Paul Boudreau, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, yesterday issued the following statement on the budget negotiations in Trenton:

“Individuals and businesses are shouldering a significant tax burden already in our state. Raising taxes sends a signal to our employers and future investors that New Jersey will remain uncompetitive for decades ...

Columns

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/23 - 6/24, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties this weekend.

SATURDAY, June 23, 2018

  From 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

  102 Magnolia Road, Unit 3, Ramsey

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

  From 12 - 3 p.m.

  150 Barrister Drive, Butler

   Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 

SUNDAY, ...

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/16 - 6/17, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX NEIGHBORHOOD PROPERTIES this weekend.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2018:

  From 12 - 2 p.m.

  201 English Place, Bernards Township

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018:

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  170 Morris Avenue, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full ...

Open Houses this Weekend by Century 21

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are the Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, June 23 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
3 Louis Drive, Montville

Sunday, June 24 from 12 - 3 p.m.

6 Woodside Drive, Montville Township

Sunday, June 24 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...

Pet Corner