NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley Commissioner Mauro Tucci presented his White Paper on "The Effect of Multi-Family Housing on Nutley NJ" at the Jan. 15 2019 Board of Commissioners Meeting. As "the apartments" remains one of the major topics of discussion locally, TAPinto Nutley is once again sharing the document.
The paper was the result of collaborative research from Nutley's five municipal departments and the Board of Education.
The paper is available on the Township of Nutley website. TAPinto Nutley was the first news organization to publish a copy of the report:
The Effect of Multi-Family Housing on Nutley NJ.
A White Paper
Mauro G. Tucci
Commissioner Department of Parks and Public Property
DEFINITION OF A WHITE PAPER
A WHITE PAPER IS AN AUTHORITATIVE REPORT OR GUIDE THAT INFORMS READERS CONCISELY ABOUT A COMPLEX ISSUE AND PRESENTS THE ISSUING BODY'S PHILOSOPHY ON THE MATTER. IT IS MEANT TO HELP READERS UNDERSTAND AN ISSUE, SOLVE A PROBLEM OR MAKE A DECISION
ADDITIONALLY, THIS WHITE PAPER IS INTENDED TO INITIATE THOUGHT, DISCUSSION AND SOLICIT PUBLIC INPUT RELATIVE TO MEASURING THE IMPACT MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING HAS HAD ON THE TOWNSHIP AND WHAT, IF ANY, ADDITIONAL UNITS CAN BE SUPPORTED FROM A SERVICE, PHYSICAL, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE.
The most obvious services that could be impacted in this department have to begin with water capacity and sewage capacity.I have been informed by the licensed water and sewer operator that water consumption in 2018 was less than the previous year due to the extraordinary wet weather we experienced.
Moving forward our current water allotment could prove to be problematic should additional units be constructed. Our current water allotment is 3 million gallons per day. Any substantial new construction project will have an impact on the townships water distribution during peak demand times and in emergency situations.
Maintenance of our existing distribution system will in fact require cleaning and relining of water mains along with replacement and/or refurbishment of existing valves, hydrants and appurtenances.
The cost of water in 2017 as demonstrated on the attached graph, from all of our suppliers, was $1,937,731.30, approximately 1% less than the 2018 expenditure of $1,927252.50, which is not typical.
Sanitary sewer capacity could also be impacted with additional building. I'm told that our present capacity is sufficient at 9.02 million gallons per day. However, there may be a capacity constraint on the conveyance system which could require expansion of existing utilities i.e. Sewer conveyance piping, pumping apparatus etc.
In 2017 the township paid $3,207,649.76 to process waste generated from the sanitary sewer system as opposed to the $3,379,743.86 we paid in 2018, an increase of 5%, 2.02% which is directly attributable to Passaic Valley Sewage Commission processing. Obviously costs will increase commensurate with additional volume should we exceed our contracted allotment.
The impact in this area correlates to a numbers situation; the more people you have, potentially the more cars traversing our roads calling for increased maintenance and reconstruction translating into added expense.
NJ COMMUNITY SERVICES ACT
Reimbursement of services required under the State of NJ Community Services Act potentially could increase with the additional plowing, lighting, recycling, leaf collection and other services negotiated with any new complexes.
The culmination of all the aforementioned services and increased costs, which are not offset, could very likely result in higher taxes and user charges that would be passed on to our citizens.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
The information provided by this department included a comparison of calls for service or services rendered in the police, fire, court, and rescue squad divisions. Some had information that allowed comparisons to be made on a year to year basis and others had information that spanned several years.
The Police Department compiled information on multi-unit complexes consisting of eight units or more from 2010 thru 2017. In 2010 there were 417 calls for service as opposed to 2017 where there were 741 calls for service, or 324 more, representing an increase of 44% over the ten year period.
Overall calls for service which include medical response, alarms, crime, domestics etc. totaled 61,353 for 2017 and 68,948 for 2018.
This comparison represents an increase of 7,595 calls or an 11% total increase.
Likewise, the Fire Department compiled records comparing overall calls for service both year to year and over a nine-year period from 2010 to 2018. The ten-year increase starting with 2010 incidents totaling 1589 and ending in 2018 with 2208 accounted for an increase of 619 incidents or 28.1%.
The annual increase from 2017 to 2018 was 409 incidents going from 1799 calls in 2017 to 2208 in 2018 representing a 19.6% increase.
In 2018 the municipal court handled 17,950 calls for service for a variety of issues. Information readily available for 2017 included the last quarter of the year and totaled 3290 contacts. Comparing the last three months of 2017 to the last three months of 2018 we experienced a 29% increase.A more detailed analysis would be necessary to ascertain trending information that could be further validated.
Our rescue squad responded to 5398 calls in 2017 and 5675 calls in 2018. The absolute increase was 277 additional calls representing a 5% increase.Increased service calls eventually translate into increased costs.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
This department believes that additional multi-family housing in conjunction with the normal turnover of existing housing stock could definitely overwhelm their entire operation. The figures submitted reflect only the first six months of 2018 and have been projected for the entire year. Their belief is, with an ever increasing senior population and the addition of younger families moving into town with school age children the demand for their services will greatly increase. The general consensus is they are reaching an unsustainable breaking point.
The projected amount of services provided for 2018 resulted in 4470 contacts with Nutley residents in the following areas:
Veterans Affairs Bureau Health Screenings
Transportation General Service calls/referrals Community Gardens
Marriages School Immunization Audits Immunizations Administered
Office Based Clinics Home Based Nursing Visits
Communicable Diseases Childhood Lead Poisoning Cases
Family Nursing Program Health Education & Promotion
Additional resources would be required to sustain this level of service or a reduction in what is offered.
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE FINANCE AND CODE ENFORCEMENT
Impact on this department should be minimal with the exception of the code enforcement and building divisions which will be reviewing plans, issuing permits, inspecting construction, issuing certificates of occupancy and ultimately collecting taxes.
In 2018 this department facilitated 1917 zoning permits including fees, issued 2790 permits and inspected 7169 properties. Should the proliferation of multi-family construction continue, in addition to the normal work flow of granting permits for fences, additions alterations etc. and all the follow up work that is required, additional resources and/or personnel may be required.
The potential for additional multi-family units On 3 is great and depending on the number of units approved will surely impact the amount and flow of work in this department. Again, barring any financial arrangements surrounding large construction complexes, such as this, additional resources and staffing may be necessary, either part time, full time or temporary.
DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND PUBLIC PROPERTY
Like the Department of Revenue, Finance and Code Enforcement the Parks Department should realize minimal impact on the approximately 125 programs offered, which for the most part are self-sustaining and poised for expansion.
Our 110 acres of parkland can easily accommodate additional usage, however, our playgrounds, fields and recreational facilities potentially will experience some stresses. Additional maintenance could necessitate the need for additional resources.
NUTLEY PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
The township presently has 33 multi-family housing complexes which has remained constant for the years of 2016 and 2017. The total number of students generated from all developments in 2016 was 360 out of a total 4104 total district students or 8.8%. The 2017 number of students
generated from the same 33 complexes actually decreased by ten students yielding 350 students out of a total district student population of 4128 or 8.5%. The total amount of district students actually increased by twenty-four but were not generated from multi-family units.
Apparently the notion that additional multi-family units will produce more students, thus putting an additional strain on the district, is false according to the demographer's data.
The current space situation is directly related to all day kindergarten, our highly successful special needs program and the ever evolving Department of Education regulations.
The district has retained a demographer to compile the 2018 data to be utilized in future planning.
The departure of Hoffman LA Roche and the advent of the On 3
development has been a very exciting time here in Nutley. The establishment of the first private medical school in decades, the Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine along with Seton Hall's College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences has produced the excitement and activity that we originally anticipated.
Modern Meadow has relocated to the On 3 location in Nutley and utilizes design, biology and engineering for sustainable manufacturing. Bio fabrication enables the company to grow nature's materials using
living cells instead of animals.
Ralph Lauren, the international fashion giant has signed a long term lease that will retain 500 jobs in the State of New Jersey and potentially create 200 additional positions that could be available to Nutley
Quest Diagnostics will be building a combination lab and office building along with a 1,000 space parking garage, retaining 754 jobs in the State and will provide an additional 384 jobs which Nutley residents can avail themselves to.
The potential development of multi-family units on his site is still undecided and will most definitely include affordable units.
The build out of this development will hopefully generate sorely needed tax dollars to the township that someday may equal the amount Hoffman La Roche paid.
This redevelopment breeds different uses that require special attention, and potentially increased services from all township departments, some of which we are already experiencing.
At the beginning of this paper I provided a definition of what a White Paper is and what it provides. I have presented information as provided by the various Township Departments including the School District, along with my observations of the impact that multi-family housing is having on our Township.
The effect that multi-family housing is having on our township is complex. It is multi-faceted and it impacts our physical appearance, our infrastructure, township services and expenses, taxes and an intangible psychological effect on our perception of what our township is and what it is becoming. One of my greatest concerns is the erosion of what I refer to as our deep root commitment to our hometown. We have been as stable and attractive to both our existing residents and those who would be residents because of our enviable rich sense of community which keeps generation after generation of Nutleyites returning to live and raise their families. Our property values are the envy of many of our surrounding communities because of who and what we are. The addition of over 2200 multi-family units concerns me not because of who our new neighbors are but rather because they are renters and as such may not ever establish the Deep Roots that many of us have.
The nature and character of our township, in my opinion, should never substantially change. Change is not necessarily a bad thing or something I'm opposed to but it needs to be managed and planned properly.
Our recipe for success has been one of our many constants due to the commitment and foresight of our town leaders and professionals.
We agree and disagree on many issues, which I'm sure will include some of the findings and opinions noted in this paper, but at the end of the day the future of our township must always come first.
Additional study is required and should be done immediately. The additional units that have been built, and those in the pipeline, are already having effects, some obvious and others not so obvious, that need to be measured and managed.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR COMMISSIONERS, BOE REPRESENTATIVES AND OUR PROFESSIONALS.
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