Dear Editor:

There will be a public hearing in Trenton concerning the affordable housing process on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the State House Annex (131-137 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608) in Committee Room 16 on the 4th floor.

This hearing is hosted by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, and the Committee will receive testimony from invited guests and the public concerning the affordable housing needs of the State.

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I have spoken directly with the office of Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, Chairman of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, about the hearing, and I will be giving testimony at the hearing on behalf of Scotch Plains taxpayers.

As I have said many times, no one is against affordable housing, and there is no doubt that we need to provide affordable housing in New Jersey.

However, the current process is out of control and these state-imposed requirements will lead to high density overdevelopment in Scotch Plains and surrounding municipalities. We need the State Legislature to take action now and reform the process to make it fairer, more realistic and consider regional planning, safety, infrastructure, traffic, and school impacts.  

Additionally, there will be a rally against state-imposed, high density housing on Thursday, September 20, hosted by Assemblyman Jon Bramnick at the steps of the State House Annex in Trenton at 10:00 a.m. I will also attend and speak at this rally. 

If any residents are available, please attend the hearing and rally and tell our State Legislators to do something to reform the process. It is the people who will make real change happen. I ask you to join me in demanding our State Legislators and Governor to pass a bold solution that will provide affordable housing without overburdening the taxpayers of Scotch Plains with high density overdevelopment.

Al Smith
Scotch Plains Mayor