Union County News

Bramnick Holds Q & A on High Density Housing in Cranford

fcc14de0effad5720f54_IMG_0184.JPG
"The only thing legislators are scared of is you and their jobs," Bramnick told the audience. Credits: Leah Scalzadonna
ccf739a1f24b67744a2f_IMG_0180.JPG
"The only thing legislators are scared of is you and their jobs," Bramnick told the audience. Credits: Leah Scalzadonna

CRANFORD, NJ – Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-21) encouraged residents against high density housing developments to hire land use attorneys during Wednesday night’s forum on high density housing.

Cranford Mayor Thomas Hannen Jr. and Commissioners Mary O’Connor and Andis Kalnins joined approximately 40 Cranford residents in the private room of Kilkenny House to discuss the issue, namely Hartz Mountain’s application to build 950 apartment units at 750 Walnut Avenue.

“We have chaos,” Bramnick said. “We have a situation where the courts can make that decision about what comes into Cranford and that’s my concern.”

Sign Up for E-News

Bramnick mentioned his support for regional housing contributions, which he’s previously discussed, and said there should be a change to determine regional housing obligations instead of by municipality.

“Right now it’s only suburban towns that are really under the gun,” Bramnick said.

According to Bramnick, there was a bill that determined the percentage of housing that must be affordable if it is built, but not the amount of housing that must be built. The bill was supported by both parties and Governor Chris Christie, but was changed too much by the assembly and was never passed, he said.

“When people make up all this nonsense about why it’s not getting done, it was getting done,” Bramnick said. “And then it fell apart.”

On a residential level, Bramnick encouraged those in attendance to start a ground-level movement to put pressure on their legislators.

“You need as groundswell of support for the concept of taking this out of the courts and making the legislature act,” he said. “Develop a relationship with people across New Jersey in areas that believe money should be moved into urban centers, including people who live in urban centers, and make a grassroots movement across the state. The only thing elected officials are afraid of is you and their jobs.”

In Cranford, Bramnick said those against Hartz Mountain need to band together, hire a land use attorney and discuss their options. The governing body cannot be too involved, Bramnick said, because they may become the arbiters of the situation.

“Without a land use attorney who’s competent, I couldn’t tell you what would happen,” he said. “You can hire one who can meet with everybody, tell you the options and what you can present to the governing boards. If you don’t do that, that is a mistake.”

The majority of resident questions centered around a land use attorney, which Bramnick said is absolutely essential so a Union County judge will look at the objections and consider the points the objectors made. It cannot be done by just residents, he said.

“The more you brainstorm, the more lawyer power you have, the most earnest you are, the better you will be,” Bramnick said.

Later on, Bramnick reminded residents that they are only in the beginning stages.

“Don’t panic yet,” he said. “There’s been no decision and it’s possible that there’s negotiations going on. Before the planning board holds a vote, there will be a time for the public to speak. That’s when you need to speak consistent with legal counsel’s direction and suggestions.”

Lastly, Bramnick reminded residents that he is a stand-up comedian and will perform in New Brunswick next month.

“Is that true?” a resident asked amids laughter and disbelief.

“You have to have some fun if you’re in Trenton,” he joked.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Fanwood Resident Struck, Killed by NJ Transit Train

January 16, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — The man fatally struck by a New Jersey Transit train in Elizabeth near the Broad Street station late Saturday night has been identified as 24-year-old Emmanuel Laboy from Fanwood, according to a report by NJ.com.

Laboy, earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Affairs from Columbia University in 2017 and a BA degree in political science a ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Organization Meeting Jan. 9

January 11, 2018

ORGANIZATION OF BOARD 

Business Administrator Dana Sullivan acknowledged Lynn Benner, Kent Diamond and Peggy Oster, who were elected to three-year terms on the Westfield Board of Education on Nov. 7, 2017, and sworn into office prior to the start of the Jan. 9, 2018 meeting.  Ms. Ohlig was nominated to continue as president of the Westfield Board of ...

Men of Bronze, Harlem’s Rattlers Featured in Union County Black History Month Celebration

January 17, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to welcome all residents and visitors to the 2018 Union County Black History Month Celebration event, featuring a screening of Men of Bronze, a rare 1977 documentary about the 369th Regiment in World War I.

Keynote speaker Dr. Jeffery Sammons, Professor of History at New York University, will provide commentary on the film and present his ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Multiple Cars Stolen from Driveways

January 10, 2018

January 3, 2018 8:18 p.m.

Officers Natale and Martinez arrested Jared Banksy, 18, of Tallahassee, FL, for possession of marijuana under 50 grams pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in the area of 100 Central Avenue. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released with a complaint summons.

 

January 3, 2018 8:20 p.m.

A business in the area of 200 West South Avenue ...

Addressing Anxiety in Adolescents

January 16, 2018

Anxiety can be one of the most unpleasant emotions that people feel. The word “anxiety” describes periods of fear, worry, nervousness, and restlessness.

Anxiety comes with thoughts of danger and helplessness. Life experiences, especially those that occurred in childhood and adolescence, often determine our perception and expectations of threats and vulnerability.

We react with ...

Garwood Family Center YMCA Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Garwood Family Center YMCA students honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by learning about his role in history.

The Garwood Family Center YMCA is a branch of the Westfield Area YMCA. To learn more about full-day and half-day early learning programs, summer camp, and before and after school care for Garwood students, contact Director Shannon McGillis Jackson ...

Dog Found in Roselle Still Being Held at Newark Shelter

A dog that was found on Jan. 9 is still being held at the Newark Animal Shelter because no owner has claimed him. 

Roselle Police said the dog was found in the area of the Roselle side of Warinanco Park. The dog has a distinct blue eye and brown eye. Police also said the animal was checked and had no chip or tags. 

The Newark Animal Shelter has ...

290 Hands Create Mural at Westfield’s Jefferson School

The year 2017 ended on a bright note at Jefferson Elementary School in Westfield as students put the finishing touches on the giant mural spanning the building’s main hallway. A total of 290 third, fourth and fifth grade students each participated in 20-minute sessions creating scenes which represent their school and town. Jefferson traditions such as Walk to School Day, the ...

Governor Signs Legislation — Breastfeeding is Now a Protected Category Under the NJ Law Against Discrimination

Effective Monday, January 8, 2018, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination was amended to include breastfeeding as a protected status. As a result, an employer cannot refuse to hire, cannot discharge and cannot treat someone adversely with regard to the terms, conditions or privileges of their employment because that employee is breastfeeding and needs workplace ...

The New Tax Plan: When It Comes To Real Estate, There are Still Winners

Let’s see who wins and who may lose.

We have all heard a lot about the new tax plan. Depending on your individual financial situation, you may have a positive or negative take on the tax bill. But how does it impact real estate? That also depends on a few things, like where you are buying a house, how much money you have, and what you intend to do with it.

The new tax plan has had a ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Medical Minute – Winter Weather Edition

On this episode of AtlantiCast Medical Minute, learn how to take the fight to Old Man Winter, while staying safe! Learn some winter health tips with Anthony Brutico, MD, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Newton Medical Center.

 

Mark Zuckerberg Should Be Concerned About His Legacy; Punishing Legitimate Media Organizations and Small Businesses Isn’t the Answer; Regulation Is

Facebook recently announced it will be changing its feed and algorithms so that news from publishers and posts from businesses will be relegated in favor of posts about your neighbor’s cat. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is making these changes because he is concerned about his legacy and that of the company he founded. If ...

Obituaries

Feb 28, 1946 - Dec 28, 2017
Mary Jo (Wade) Juelis, 71, formerly of Westfield, died peacefully on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, ...
Read more

WalletHub Ranks NJ 2nd Worst State to Retire In

January 16, 2018

NJ — If it seems like everyone in New Jersey moves to Florida when it’s time to retire, there’s good reason. In a new study, finance website WalletHub ranks New Jersey the second worst state to retire in. Only Kentucky was ranked lower. Florida, on the other hand, was ranked no. 1.

WalletHub said it compared the 50 US states across 41 key metrics, with a data set ...