WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield’s town council passed a resolution during Tuesday's meeting authorizing signing of a final settlement agreement with the Fair Share Housing Center when the town goes to back court next week.
The center initially sought to compel Westfield to build 1,600 affordable housing units, Councilman Sam Della Fera said, "which in reality means likely 10,000 new units because developers don’t like to build only affordable units, they like to build market-rate buildings that have affordables incorporated into that.”
Della Fera referenced a potential project in Cranford that would place 905 units on Walnut Ave., which many in that town oppose.
“While there are merits to affordable housing — don’t get me wrong — putting in 905 units in the town of Westfield would have material adverse impact on our infrastructure, schools and the likelihood of more police and fire,” Della Fera said.
If this settlement is approved next week, he said, “We won’t be facing any … applications for 905 units. I think that’s important for folks who like to complain about how the town is run. This is a great example of what experienced leadership gets the residents of Westfield. It gets us to a point where we have compliance with our affordable housing obligations for the foreseeable future.”
Once the settlement is formally approved by a judge, the town will then move to the compliance stage, according to Town Attorney Russell Finestein, and ordinances will be drafted.