Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

As promised, new thread about phase 2 of the project which is currently to house 66 townhomes, 42 apartments and ~15,600 sq ft of retail, 3 acres of open space and a retention pond.

PB Meeting for August canceled:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the Chairman of the Hackettstown Planning Board, after consulting with the Board Attorney and the Town Engineer, has cancelled the regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 7:30 PM.

Case #16-01, Jade Hackettstown Associates, LLC
Block 21, Lot 18

At the request of the applicant, the above application is being requested to be carried to the next regular meeting of the Hackettstown Planning Board scheduled for Tuesday, September 27, 2016 without further notice.

The next regular meeting is scheduled to be held Tuesday, September 27 2016 at the Municipal Building, 215 Stiger Street, Hackettstown, New Jersey, and will be held at 7:30 PM.

Darrin Darrin
Aug '16

well what did the engineer say at your secret meeting?

Brad2
Aug '16

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Hackettstown Planning Board will be held
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 7:30 PM in the Municipal Building, 215 Stiger street, Hackettstown, New Jersey.

AGENDA

1. Sunshine Act
2. Roll Call
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Approval of minutes – July 26, 2016
5. Resolutions – None
6. Case #16-01, Jade Hackettstown Associates, LLC
Block 21, Lot 18
7. Public Hearing by the Town of Hackettstown Regarding Designation of a Non-
Condemnation Area in Need of Redevelopment
Block 125, Lot 9.01
8. Old Business
9. New Business
10. Adjournment

Darrin Darrin
Sep '16

Here we go again with Darren's platform

Smitt
Sep '16

I'm sure many appreciate Darren's information or viewpoint. Those opposed to his views seem to take advantage of the opportunity to debate him.

maja2 maja2
Sep '16

Darrin, thanks for the update and helping to keep the community informed. For those who have concerns about this project, this will be a meeting you want to be at to voice your concerns.

Chris Morpeth Chris Morpeth
Sep '16

Chris, Appreciate Darrin giving everyone the heads up... Steve and I have concerns but it seems a certain somebody likes to make public how many meetings we did not attend..

I suggest he quit browbeating us about it. ..And BTW there were many meetings in the beginning of this project that we attended also with you and Keith and Darrin.WE also collected data .He was no where to be found! Just sayin.

pampurr pampurr
Sep '16

Sounds like alot more people could move into Hackettstown if this goes through. Can our schools handle the influx?

Mansfield mama Mansfield mama
Sep '16

There will be no impact.....hahahahahahaha

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
Sep '16

The school superintendent has been discussing this with the community and its stakeholders for over 2 years.

The school district has completed demographic studies for both this project as well as Bilby Rd. Additionally, this was discussed through strategic planning & community open meetings when discussing of moving the school boundary lines and the subsequent impact to the district. The school administration has been working with the board of education to prepare for the impending impact during the budget process.

All of this information including the detailed demographic study and facility presentation are readily available to review on line at the district website, please call or e mail if you have any concerns.

Gus Bordi Gus Bordi
Sep '16

How many units are planned for Bilby Rd development? Anyone know?

Frank Frank
Sep '16

Thank you Mr. Bordi.

pampurr pampurr
Sep '16

I am very interested in knowing how CVS feels about the apparent "shared parking" that will allow town home residents, apartment residents, and retail shoppers to utilize CVS's parking lot.

Considering Phase 2 was so close to being approved last time, yet they missed last month's meeting, makes me wonder what this next planning board meeting will bring. We definitely need residents to show up! Tell your neighbors! Get people there!

Darrin Darrin
Sep '16

FYI

6. Case #16-01, Jade Hackettstown Associates, LLC
Block 21, Lot 18
(CARRIED TO OCTOBER 25, 2016)

Darrin Darrin
Sep '16

I'm excited but cautious. I'm sure it will be great. The type of town homes approved will bring many good families to the town. I'm only concerned that there could be an absence of non-CVS retailers and we'd have a big empty mall in just north of "downtown".

1988LJ 1988LJ
Sep '16

1988LJ

"type" and "good" mean what exactly? Ones that don't shop at Dollar General or Fruti-Mex? I guess by "non-CVS retailers" you mean CVS will be the only business in the "mall" area and the other properties will be vacant? That part didn't make much sense to me since all other retailers besides CVS would be "non-CVS", but that's an odd way to state it, unless we should be reading between the lines.

Phil D. Phil D.
Sep '16

Thank you Phil. This guy is relentless. A bigot at 28 years old this day and age? Bigotry is taught, no one is born a bigot. Really makes me wonder about his parents..

My daughter will be 26 and her mindset is the opposite of 1988LJ. Apparently she was raised quite differently than he was.

positive positive
Sep '16

No, I don't mean like that. I'm not insulting other stores. I'm saying that if other retailers don't move into the center, then it would be empty which would be sad. Don't read between the lines for God's sakes. I was just implying that if no stores other than CVS move in, then it would be empty. And the comment about the town homes was just me expressing my pleasure that these will not be 8-story council tower blocks like you might find out east. Chill out, everyone.

1988LJ 1988LJ
Sep '16

"Really makes me wonder about his parents.."

Do you have kids positive (sorry, I can't recall if you've ever mentioned it)? If you do then you also know that raising your kids isn't just about what *you* teach them, but also about what you have to un-teach them, specifically from the school environment. IMO that was the hardest thing about raising my kids when they were small - the things they brought home were actually shocking at times. So while I agree that bigotry is a learned behavior, I don't agree that it's strictly a parental thing. There are many, many more areas of society that can shape bigotry more than just the home...

(Tangent over)

justintime justintime
Sep '16

"good" "type" Them's trigger warning words LOL!

Denis Denis
Sep '16

Man people are so quick to try to label people!

I think what he was saying is he is afraid the new retail space that is to be built may not get tenants.

Darrin Darrin
Sep '16

Bravo positive. You are 100% right.
Couldn't have said it better.

Justintime - positive mentioned right in her post, that you commented on, that she has a 25 year old daughter-

Botheredbyuu2 Botheredbyuu2
Sep '16

Thank you Darrin, that's exactly what I was trying to say.

1988LJ 1988LJ
Sep '16

1888LJ - That clearly wasn't all you said - "my pleasure that these will not be 8-story council tower blocks like you might find out east." I wonder how many people are familiar with that term since it doesn't exist in this country. Or how many realize just how much you confirmed what you said initially.


GC- I don't understand. Is that an offensive term? Do you want huge council flats being constructed in Hackettstown?

1988LJ 1988LJ
Sep '16

Maybe everyone should go to the next meeting and promote low income housing. That would eliminate any current, unsafe overcrowding in rentals. As long as it is subsidized by the federal government, I think it's a good alternative use of the space. Maybe even a higher property tax property for the town then.

maja2 maja2
Sep '16

1988LJ - I know you don't understand. You're in America. You've used a half dozen British terms that people here are unlikely to know, and most don't apply. You're lucky if a few people know the term "flat" for an apartment let alone "Council Estate" or "Tower Block". Those are unknown terms, and things aren't done that way in America.


So....why are you mad at 1988LJ for using "British terms that people here are unlikely to know, and most don't apply" I am confused....what are you implying GC?

Darrin Darrin
Sep '16

Never said anything about being mad Darrin. I'm trying to let 1888LJ know no one understands what they're saying.


Sorry, I wasn't trying to be confusing. It's just my 4 years of undergrad in London coming through, I figured those were the best words to use since I didn't want to say "projects" because that has a bit of a racial connotation. Not trying to cause any confusion. Those were just the best words I could think of.
But you get my point. I don't want government or low-income housing, not necessarily because of the people who live in those situations but because of the crime and lower living standards they bring. Not so much the racial or economic aspect.

1988LJ 1988LJ
Sep '16

Almost every thread 1988LJ has commented on contains some type of bigotry and snobbery. Many of his posts are so bigoted it's beyond ridiculousness.

I apologize to those who don't get it, but when it's something I feel strongly about..sitting on my hands just won't do...

positive positive
Sep '16

JIT, I agree, however from my experience bigotry is mostly derived from upbringing. Of course the outside environment is another factor, but I still think the majority of the underlying problem comes from within the family.

Thank you BBU..I appreciate it!

positive positive
Sep '16

Positive, I am never bigoted of snobby. I'm sorry if you enjoy posting hate towards people online that you don't even know, I was raised to treat people on the Internet and in real life with respect and kindness especially when you don't know them. I'm sure your life is unhappy but don't try and make other people unhappy as well.

1988LJ 1988LJ
Sep '16

1988LJ, just do a forum search of all your posts and think about how others would perceive them....

positive positive
Sep '16

Maja2. I really hope that is sarcasm.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
Sep '16

LOL, subsidized by the federal government means you and me -- the taxpayers.

No silver bullet here, but a lot of the solutions are not politically correct...


Maybe low income housing is a good thing; I don't know our stats there, I think we need more LIH units, but state-wide comparison wise, our housing prices are already pretty low. Cheaper here than most places in NJ.

Who's to say folks won't overcrowd low income housing, just sayin.

Pretty sure NIMBY will apply here to the neighborhood.

Pretty sure it will end up looking like, if not more condensed, the townhome neighborhood behind Dunkin Donuts. Surrounded by high density and commercial, it seems pretty tight. Low income, low middle, starter, whatever --- they may look pretty nice, clean, etc., but too crowded is not good IMO.

And that's my point. I understand the need for LIH, but to cram them into a small area with more pavement than grass, compounded by narrow roads able only to support one-way traffic while skimming off a few acres in the back for open space and a retention pond seems a bit weird. If the open space is designed as a buffer or wall, that will compound the overcrowding issue. Hopefully it will be designed to make the space open for everyone as an extension to the town home community and not just wall off the town homes cramming too many people for the space. Or blend the townhomes around the open space in a horseshoe leaving the back end open for a more harmonious outcome for Darrin's home and the other contiguous neighbors.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '16

Maybe somebody can explain to me what exactly "low income housing" means in this situation... Are we talking about houses that are "cheap", driven by market demands... Or is this some other type of government driven/sanctioned/controlled situation?

brendan brendan
Sep '16

I finally agree with Strangerdanger! It's going to be a good day! ;)

Hot corner Hot corner
Sep '16

There's probably only going to be a few low income housing units available. Usually, when a developer wants to build condo or townhomes, they have to legally set aside several units available for low income housing. Not sure if the rules apply, in this situation.

sparksjbc1964 sparksjbc1964
Sep '16

In 2013 this developer showed interest in buying out of the LIH aspect, but who knows if this is still the case, they have changed the plans and their minds so many times since then.

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/warren-county/express-times/index.ssf/2013/01/hackettstown_town_council_clea.html

"Rice said he would pay $250,000 for 10 apartments toward the town's Council on Affordable Housing requirement, which mandates municipalities provide affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents."

Mind you, the plans they discussed at that time are not the same as we are currently seeing.

Darrin Darrin
Sep '16

sparks - Check the previous Bergen thread. All of that was discussed ad nauseum. Any talk of COAH is FUD, which answer's brendan's question that there is no meaning in this situation. That's because the developer also has the option to pay into a fund for future development. That was the choice announced long ago so there is no COAH at the Bergen site. It's also been settled long ago that the Princess Towers site on Bilby would be where COAH housing would be included. However, the whole rules involved keep changing over time so what exactly that involves and how many units may well change.

1888LJ - I apologize then, I thought I was helping a Brit who didn't know they wouldn't be understood. Since you're an American who happens to know the terms, you chose those so people wouldn't understand the class division they imply.


Yeah Darrin I would say that's a blue sky plan TBD at some point.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '16

GC, just because the developer has showed interest in buying out of COAH does not necessarily mean it could not happen...right?

Correct me if I am wrong, but in what formal, permanent way has the developer stated there will not be COAH?

Everything else has changed at one point or another, and we still do not have approved plans...........

Darrin Darrin
Sep '16

Who pays the school and property taxes for renters? Is it the same as homeowners?

St 101 St 101
Sep '16

Just a reminder there is a meeting tonight at 7:30pm but Jade phase two was carried to the October meeting. Maybe they can explain to us why they were so close to being approved last time, and now they keep missing meetings?

Darrin Darrin
Sep '16

What day is the next meeting with Jade in attendance Darrin?

pampurr pampurr
Sep '16

I think it will be the October meeting, but I would think tonight they will discuss, or at least fill us in on why Jade has not been back since a few meetings ago.

Darrin Darrin
Sep '16

Jade did not show and they explained that the meeting would be carried to October.

Big thank you to Jim Lambo for requesting that being it has been so long since their last meeting (90 days) that Jade should have to re-notice. I 100% agree with that and he actually got the board on board (no pun intended) and now the developer (Jade) will have to re-notice prior to the next meeting they intend to be at.

This is good because there is a great deal of people who live around this property who now will know the meeting is still ongoing. Various members of the public have brought the issue up to the board on more then one account. At least someone was listening!

Again, thank you, we appreciate things like that!

Darrin Darrin
Sep '16

Re: Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

It seems the meeting has been pushed off yet again..........

6. Case #16-01, Jade Hackettstown Associates, LLC
Block 21, Lot 18
(carried to November 22, 2016)

I do not know whats going on here....but I did get this letter in the mail today from Whitman about the site and contaminates found getting into the ground water

Darrin2
Oct '16

Re: Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

page 2

Darrin2
Oct '16

Re: Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

Page 3

Darrin2
Oct '16

If anyone wants the scanned originals pm me with your email and I will send them to you so they are easier to read.

Darrin Darrin
Oct '16

Those contaminant levels don't look good. That should delay any more building for a while.

maja2 maja2
Oct '16

I find it strange that they told us the site was good to go at how many meetings now, and then this.......There is a bunch of contaminates in there I do not believe they ever disclosed at the meetings.

But then again at least they are honest and caught it and will be correcting it.....lets hope the contaminated water did not travel past main street like they think, that could be a entirely different mess if it did.

I wonder if any of this effects the CVS site? They "said" that was clean too

Darrin Darrin
Oct '16

Hmmmmm.......thanks for making us aware of this ..this is important. What did they think? Idiots.

pampurr pampurr
Oct '16

The contamination at Bergen Tool does not surprise me at all. I worked there one Summer after College and part of my job was to empty 55 gallon barrels of steel sludge waste directly onto the ground. Several mounds of this sludge existed in the back of the Bergen Tool property. This sludge had to penetrate deep into the ground after years of rainfall and snow. Not good

LittleRascal LittleRascal
Oct '16

Thanks for letting me and my neighbors know this I live in back of the Bergen Tool property Fourth Street and East Stiger Street....this is very very bad news...

pampurr pampurr
Oct '16

PUBLIC HEARING ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2016 AT 7:30PM AT THE MUNICIPAL BUILDING 215 STIGER STREET, HACKETTSTOWN, NJ

NOTICE: JADE Hackettstown Associates LLC has applied to the planning board of the Town of Hackettstown for preliminary and final major subdivision approval. Applicant seeks the approvals to among other things, construct 108 multi-family residential dwelling units consisting of 66 townhomes and 42 apartments. Commercial space with related parking and a new municipal roadway to connect Bergen and Stiger Streets.

pampurr pampurr
Nov '16

pampurr,

Is that what the certified mailing said?

The post office lost mine, so I have been unable to see it

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

Yes Darrin also says storm water management system and recreation trail to be constructed as well.

This registered letter came from Lavery's Law-firm. He was the previous Mayor correct?

pampurr pampurr
Nov '16

It seems like it is the same letter that they sent out last time?

Selvaggi is representing Jade....Lavery, who was the formere mayor, is in the firm that Selvaggi is part of

http://lsaclaw.com/lawyers/

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

How convenient...lol

pampurr pampurr
Nov '16

I didn't see certified letter and I live right across the street from CVS Pharmacy?

cloudyday cloudyday
Nov '16

cloudyday, come to the meeting Tuesday and tell the attorney prior to the meeting. If they did not properly notify, they have to re-notify and the meeting may have to be pushed back

The post office lost mine. I received a notice in my mailbox, when I went to pick it up, they could not find it

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

It is the same law firm that has represented Jade from the beginning of this project so I'm not sure why it would be a surprise to anyone who has attending past planning board meeting.

And yes it is the same letter that went out last time, they just needed to re-notice so the same letter is fine, just update the date of the meeting.

Jim L Jim L
Nov '16

Thanks for the info, GC. Just saw it now, because I haven't been keeping up with this particular forum. The Trump one, kept me very busy, LOL
Maja...just might be on to something, here, sarcastic or not. As far as I know, you cannot have any felony record, to qualify for anything. That would mean that the low income housing clientele, would be mostly seniors, who have no supplement to social security, or a younger couple, who both work at low paying jobs. Point is, they have worked all their lives or are working now. Criminals can't get jobs, and there still has to be income verifications. Credit check probably applies. Must be approved by the board. I guess the apartments would be rented and the townhomes sold at the "affordable housing" rate, which is just about the same as market value. Maybe low income housing would be good, but you guys are more up to date, with information, and I value your opinions.

sparksjbc1964 sparksjbc1964
Nov '16

Jim,

Wasn't there a detail on the letter that was a little off?

I remember the town attorney discussing it with the board that the notice should be adjusted, but Savaggi saying their letter was a catch all.

I think it was something about the size of the patios? and the to street distance?

Also, since last we saw, they moved a parking lot into the open space, the open space is no longer actually 3 acres is it?

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

What happened to the recreation spot?

pampurr pampurr
Nov '16

Wow sparksjbc1964, that was some logic trail....sarcastic or not, time to put down the blunt :>)

Sure Felons can get low income housing unless on sex registry or housing project meth dealers. Even without this, I could take factually question the rest of your walk through the logic woods, but given the first step was into a mud puddle, I'll let you say ooops.

When I worked for a builder/developer in a different state, we used to put up middle-class single-family starter homes and rather nice townhomes, a little too nice for COAH. So rather than pay off the state, or build COAH housing amongst higher value homes, we would put up our standard unit and then rent it for X years at COAH levels offering the renter a buyout at the end of the contract (or we sold the house). I forget the time frame: 3, 5 years??

Funny thing is, apparently we applied so four young men ended up in a brand new home for COAH rent rates. Since we built it, we added some rooms, doors, windows, amenities, and had a very good time. When we left, sure it needed paint inside, a lawn and beer-fumigating, but someone ended up with the best outfitted house on the street.

IMO, Darrin's looking at the right issues. It will be about squeezing what they have proposed into the lot, or about adding units. I am guessing they financially favor townhomes at this point.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Nov '16

They moved a 5 space parking lot into it as a courtesy for a neighbor, but I feel that should have been disclosed in the letter considering it is taking away some usable space of the open space we were promised.

As well it is parking for the town homes, not for open space users

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

LittleRascal, that policy of dumping out the back was widespread. Every little company in NJ did it. That is why there are water problems in some rural areas. I believe Mansfield township has a similar situation that required some to have complex filtration systems. This comes from knowing someone in the 90s, went to his house and asked why such a commercial looking filtration system was in his house...


Courtesy for a neighbor? That should have been disclosed in the letter.

They keep chipping away on that open space don't they? By the time all is said and done there won't be any.

Pampurr Pampurr
Nov '16

How bout just closing CVS and either open a Salvation Army or Halloween store there. That pharmacy is bad enough alone to close the store.

Speill Speill
Nov '16

Their attorney provided car examples where a new notice was not needed and how a catch all notice was sufficient for all variances changes.

If someone wants to fight that down the line that is the risk they are willing to take

There was never a recreation spot proposed. Only 3 acres of open space maintained by the homeowner's association. If they decide to build a playground than they can

There also will be NO low income housing in the plans

Again I would suggest coming to the meeting to learn the facts

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '16

Lol. Case examples. Not "car"

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '16

Blunt? Me? Never! SD :) That stuff is illegal, even though my "mj" stocks, are through the roof...LOL
I value your opinion. I probably heard something on TV, to that effect. Sounds like you know what you're talking about. I haven't kept up on the laws.

sparksjbc1964 sparksjbc1964
Nov '16

The point here is that if you have a concern, complaint or question what is going to be in your community pertaining to this project, then you need to come to this meeting. Complaining and brain storming on this forum doesn't get anything accomplished. I have found going to the meetings and voicing concerns to the boards actually gets things done. I might not get everything that I think makes sense for myself but this is a community and these meetings are the forum in which the people are heard and then plans are formulated for the good of all that have input. If you have a voice and have posted on this forum, then come out and get it on record. Hope to see you at the meeting.

THE MORP THE MORP
Nov '16

I agree with all, the planning board meeting is the place to come and say what you have to say before it is too late. The plans are not approved yet, so speak Tuesday or forever hold your peace!

Chances are, if Tuesday does not have a good public turnout with questions or concerns, the plans will be approved for 66 townhomes, 42 apartments and ~15,600 sq ft of retail, 3 acres of open space and a retention pond on the bergen tool site.

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

No Ballfield?

Pampurr Pampurr
Nov '16

The plans show just a walking trail and grass. The town did not want anything that limited use of the open space.

Jim, is that true? After the open space is built the homeowners association can build recreational additions potentially cutting down on open field space?

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

that was my understanding, that the open space will be maintained by the newly created Homeowners Association. And if they want to build a playground, tennis courts, dog park they can. It is their land. I will confirm tomorrow night.

Jim L Jim L
Nov '16

Jim, But whatever they build has to be publicly accessible and usable?

It cannot be just for the homeowner association?

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

correct

Jim L Jim L
Nov '16

from the Land Dev Use Ordinance:

http://www.hackettstown.net/land-development-code/
11. Special Requirements for the Planned Mixed Use Downtown Development Use.


c. Three (3) acres of open space shall be set aside to the rear of the site and graded for recreation and open space activities. No portion of the three (3) acres set aside for open space shall be used for stormwater management. Ownership and maintenance of this open space and any recreational facilities installed within the open space shall remain with the tract owner until such time as the homeowners association for the for sale townhouse units has been established, at which time, the homeowners association shall assume responsibility for the ownership and maintenance. The open space shall be graded to accommodate the recreational facilities that are part of the approved Comprehensive Plan for the entire District. Public access to the open space for passive or active recreation shall be permitted.


m. A homeowners association shall be established for the purpose of owning and assuming maintenance responsibilities for the common open space and common property designed within the development. The homeowners association shall be established prior to the issuance of any certificate of occupancy for a townhouse residential unit in the development

Jim L Jim L
Nov '16

So the HOA will pay for and maintain playground, tennis cts, etc but it'll have to be open to the public?

JWolfe75 JWolfe75
Nov '16

that's how I read it... again that is if they decide to build any of that on the open space. As of right now it is just open grass area with walking path around it

Jim L Jim L
Nov '16

Darrin - a certified letter receipt came in the mail on Friday

cloudyday cloudyday
Nov '16

"The open space shall be graded to accommodate the recreational facilities that are part of the approved Comprehensive Plan for the entire District"

I take that as it needs to be in the plans for approval, not as the homeowners assosiation can add whatever they want later, either way, good item to clarify on Jim!

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

Re: Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

Here is the copy of the notice

Meeting is tomorrow at 7:30pm

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

Where they putting the drainage basin?

Pampurr Pampurr
Nov '16

between the homes on east prospect and the new townhomes

You may want to come to the meeting tonight Pampurr

Darrin Darrin
Nov '16

So phase 2 was approved at the last meeting.

After allowing multiple residents to ask and question about the shared parking with CVS, as well as other questions, and after public comment was over, in a real sleazy move and timing (in my opinion) the phase two attorney dropped a bomb shell that they were not able to get the shared parking agreement with CVS.

They had testified multiple times that they had it, and that it was deeded into CVS, but that did not seem to matter to the board. The CVS representative claimed that they have enough parking for themselves without the shared parking.

All the board members except Mr. Lambo voted yes......(thank you Mr. Lambo)

Once public comment was opened back up at the end of the meeting, I asked the town engineer to confirm the parking, because I have done the calculations and I come up with them being 35 spots short (before they added road parking to one of the streets which is only +/- 10 spots)

Waiting on the town engineers findings.

Darrin2
Nov '16

Since the developer dropped a bombshell at the tail end of the November meeting that they are unable to secure written agreement to shared parking with CVS, and the entire project and parking plans were based off of this, the board added to the resolutions that in order for phase two to be able to proceed they must produce a written agreement with cross easements for parking at CVS.

It was also confirmed that they DO NOT have enough parking by themselves, contrary to what Jade's Attorney stated on public record at the November meeting.

Big thank you to Jim L for remembering my question from the November meeting, as public comment was not opened back up on the resolutions of this project, despite the no shared parking technically being new testimony.

Darrin Darrin
Jan '17

Thank you Darrin for keeping us all informed, and to Darrin and Jim L for keeping them honest! Well not honest really.. for keeping them in compliance with agreements.

hktownie hktownie
Jan '17

Wow, you mean Jade's Attorney didn't tell the truth. Gee, I'm shocked to hear that, is anybody really surprised.

kb2755 kb2755
Jan '17

Driving past the CVS the other day and looking at the dirt piles in the field in the back made me wonder if there have been any developments in the project or if it's still stalled out with the parking issues.

brendan brendan
Jul '17

Disgusting isn't it?...

Pampurr Pampurr
Jul '17

Out of sheer curiosity, what's disgusting? That the whole project is stalled because of parking issues or that the developers tried to push through without ample parking to begin with?

JWolfe75 JWolfe75
Jul '17

I heard jade sold the project, can anyone confirm?

Darrin Darrin
Jul '17

It does look shabby! All they were concerned about was getting that CVS built as soon as possible.

Deviljet
Jul '17

Bottom line.... it's going to be very high density housing that will create an absolute traffic nightmare. People will begin to avoid Rte 46 and downtown Hackettstown.

Best of luck not getting your cars dented as the fire dept aerial attempts to navigate its way through.

fire251 fire251
Jul '17

Doesn't seem to be anything public about the sale Darrin.

There's no open listing for it either, although there's some interesting stuff in there like a 12 acre 145 or so unit monstrosity on the Musky behind/right of Applebees. Called Lion'a Gate.

http://www.loopnet.com/New-Jersey/Hackettstown-Commercial-Real-Estate/3/

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '17

There have been no changes to the site plan that was approved in Nov 2016. You’d have to call and ask the developer if and when he plans to actually build

Jim L Jim L
May '18

Yeah....pretty much exactly what public voiced as concerns at the 2016 meetings ended up happening.....

When will the retention pond go in? They have been putting the surrounding properties at risk for 2+ years now

how do we know if and when phase two would be built?

Both questions were asked on public record at the meetings.....Lesson learned to the planning board.....they have actually brought it up at multiple other meetings and put time constraints on other developers so that this does not happen again.

Jim...quick question....when does their approved plans need to be extended again, if you can even extend again as I believe they have already gotten one extension with no face to show for it?

Maybe at the next extension it's time for the PB to put some constraints in....finish cleaning up the site and plant grass? Open space we were promised? etc....

Darrin Darrin
May '18

Jim L. People still asking about this project. You keep giving the same answer!!!!!

You are the one with all the answers.

Bernie Bernie
May '18

Ha how did I know if I came on here and responded to happiest girl’s question that my favorite troll Bernie would jump on me. She even sends me private emails. And as I replied to your email Bernie I’m not sure why you feel I have all the answers? I keep giving the same answer because the answer has not changed. The Planning Board approved the Phase 2 site plan in November 2016 ( with 1 no vote from me). Since then it’s up to the developer to decide when he’s actually going to start building. We have no power to make him

And as I replied in my email to you the Bilby Rd project was approved years ago and still has not begun construction. The planning Board added time frames into the WaWa site plans which states when each phase of the project needs to be completed by or face fines to prevent this from happening there

Jim L Jim L
May '18

Darrin their approval is for 2 years. So this November they would have to come in and ask for an extension. At That time the planning board will make sure certain things get done Before granting an extension

If you remember the Oct 2016 meeting the owner of the site actually scolded us for not voting on the site plans that night and pushing it back a month telling us how patient he has been while the PB delayed the process. Which our Chairman quickly and correctly pointed out that it was them that was taking forever
So when we approved it at the next meeting we figured they were all ready to go since they wanted the site plan approved the month before. Fast forward 1.5 years and nothing

Jim L Jim L
May '18

my apologies it was actually at the July 2016 meeting where the owner scolded us. And then amazingly did not show up to the August, Sept and Oct meeting.

"Michael Gottlieb, Jade Hackettstown, requested action at this meeting. Gottlieb stated they have waited for a long time for the board to take action. The Chairman replied the Town has waited a long time for the applicant to return to the board. "

So they wanted us to take action at the July 2016 meeting, then cancelled the next 3 meetings. Finally showed back up at the Nov meeting and we approved it. So again you'd have to ask them why the heck they have not started construction because they were so eager in July 2016 to get their site plan approved.

http://www.hackettstown.net/planning-zoning-boards/

Jim L Jim L
May '18

LOL! 100% Jim...I remember that meeting...they gave the PB crap about needing more time (a month) to think about it....meanwhile the PB and public waited on them for HOW long...years?!?!

Good...renewal is coming up, and it is good to hear the PB is already considering implementing some new rules before granting an extension.

Personally I would like to see the whole site converted to turf for now...(actually that's how I believe the original developers agreement was written)...yet somehow they were able to get approval to just covert next to CVS to turf and leave the back looking like a quarry....not sure how or why that was allowed....I asked once at a meeting but got the political answer.

If it could be converted to turf and opened to the public for the time being that would be great...but I don't see that happening.

They are still actually not done with the environmental cleanup on site, I wonder if the environmental cleanup portion has it's own deadlines.

My guess....we see work on site a few weeks before they come to the meeting ;-)

Darrin Darrin
May '18

I have a feeling those apartments/townhomes will never be built.

kb2755 kb2755
May '18

Now that sounds like a meeting moment.....

I noted above I called Lion's Gate "a 145-unit monstrosity." Not being more two-faced than usual JL, I still think it looks like a pretty good plan with a kinda-ugly swiss mountain chalet of a 145-unit building. Not my style, but PB did good IMO.

On this one, yeah, develop or turf, hopefully with run-off controls. But don't leave the open scar this neighborhood has had to live with for over a year now.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
May '18

"swiss mountain chalet"

Ha the Lion Gate website has a really old drawing still on there. It looks a lot better now than then original design back in 2006.

Jim L Jim L
May '18

The only concern was getting that CVS in ASAP!

Bruce juice
May '18

"Personally I would like to see the whole site converted to turf for now...(actually that's how I believe the original developers agreement was written)...yet somehow they were able to get approval to just covert next to CVS to turf and leave the back looking like a quarry....not sure how or why that was allowed....I asked once at a meeting but got the political answer."


Darrin I wasn't on the PB at the time of Phase 1 but attended the meetings with you. If you read the 10/22/2013 minutes you will see Shawn Burke bought up the retention ponds and turf be done during phase1. If you remember at that time the project was really going to have 3 Phases. The PB engineer and attorney both correctly brought up that CVS was the applicant in front of the board and they could not make CVS be responsible for the Phase 2 retention pond and turfing as it was not their land.

At that time the PB didn't even have a phase 2 application submitted so they couldn't even say what the retention ponds would look like. IMO The project should never have been split up and all planning should have been done at once for the whole site. Which would have saved the neighbors from dealing with this mess for as long has they have.

a funny side note at the end of that meeting Jade presented a conceptual plan for Phase 2...... 10/22/2013. It took them until 3/22/2016 to come to PB with a completed application..... but yea we were the ones that were delaying the process. LOL

Jim L Jim L
May '18

How did CVS meet their stormwater management obligation?

In the case of phased development, each individual phase must stand on its own; it can't defer stormwater management to a future phase.

ianimal ianimal
May '18

They did a lot. They redid all of E Stiger and the storm drains on that street. They put 2 detention tanks under their parking lot and if you look at the parking lot you can see a few spots where crap I’m blanking in the term water can pass through the asphalt parking lot. The used that

They Controlled all the water coming onto their site via Stiger and down 46. The retention ponds in the back (phase2) were for the water that entered the Bergen tool site from the residential roads to the east.

Jim L Jim L
May '18

the fact that E Stiger and CVS lot has not flooded is pretty good evidence as to how much stormwater management they did as that area would flood all the time

Jim L Jim L
May '18

Porous asphalt... and you just answered the question I was about to ask about how that intersection has improved or worsened re: flooding.

ianimal ianimal
May '18

lol thats the term, stupid smart phone couldn't guess what I was trying to type. :)

Jim L Jim L
May '18

That’s great that Stiger and CVS don’t flood. Seems ironic that since they built the CVS and did all the “storm water management”, Bergen st floods every time it rains. A big puddle covers the entire width of the road at about the center point of the street, and sits with stagnant water for days after a good rain. It’s eroding the asphalt severely. The town is aware of it as they have to come patch the massive pot holes from the water run off every couple months. Seems that as since as it can’t be seen from the cvs, that no one seems to care. Such a shame.

Townleasi
May '18

Townleasi...that's because CVS was built up on a hill...even if the surrounding areas flood...they will never. Also, no provisions for drainage was added to Bergen street. And the pipe that was draining Bergen street to East Stiger was removed and not replaced when they took down the buildings (That's your biggest problem)

As far as East Stiger...way better, no flooding as of yet, but we still have not had a 10 year flood...we have had some serious rains, but nothing like we had a few years back.

Darrin Darrin
May '18

So is a Bergen Street improvement part of the part 1,2,or 3 plans.

I agree, no killer rains, however, some pretty good ones which is a good sign.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
May '18

Bergen St the way it is now is going away in Phase 2. It will wrap around behind CVS and link up with E Stiger. So that part that floods will be gone. Also Bergen has flooded long before CVS was built. CVS contains all the rain water on their property and the rain that used to come down 46 and Stiger onto their property. While we have not had a 10yr storm we have had tons of hard rain storms without any issue at an intersection that would flood at the drop of a hat. Huge improvement

Jim L Jim L
May '18

“Huge improvement”

Agreed. They did a good job fixing that particular problem

justintime justintime
May '18

Jim...Bergen street would only flood when the drain that ran from the side of the building to east stiger clogged...that drain was removed with the addition of CVS (it would have ran directly under their building)

I agree, Huge improvement...but my point is, in my opinion, without the retention pond...we are ducks waiting for a 10y flood....the two improvements were suppose to go hand in hand, and phase 2 was suppose to be right behind CVS...hope everyone learned their lesson on that one.

Darrin Darrin
May '18

"They did a good job fixing that particular problem"

Not to ring my own bell...but those plans were ready to be approved WITHOUT fixing the problem...far from it...had a particular neighbor not gotten involved and taken 100s of photos and videos to the town professionals we would have been much worse off.

Everyone seems to forget about that....and says trust the professionals...look what they did over there.....as I said in one of the meetings...computer knowledge and calculations only get you so far....I live there...have seen it....and here is the pictures to PROVE it....2 years later...a MULTITUDE of storm water management changes....and the plans were finally approved.

Darrin Darrin
May '18

Darrin,
I am guessing this is a developer versus builder/owner issue, right?

Nonetheless, these things must be in the plan, including timing, to be able to get them done. Sounds like bad plan, bad results on this one, if you think the timing is wrong.

When plans have phases, and the phases are not guaranteed, with schedule, in the plan contract, the planners can anticipate delay for all sorts of reasons. Although on this one, it seems that many builders are beginning to start up again after our nasty little depression or huge freaking recession....you be the judge.

But lesson learned to HL planners and watchers ---- if it ain't in the plan......

strangerdanger strangerdanger
May '18

SD...two different owners, with a sub division...CVS split off and owns their part of the property, retention was planned on the original property, as part of phase 2 development, which is still owned by the owner who sold the lot to CVS (as far as I know)

Darrin Darrin
May '18

Looks like the developer hasn't paid his taxes in a while and is in the Town tax sale to the tune of 89k. Shocker, right?

PenwellRd PenwellRd
Nov '18

Not surprised at all, was expecting it.

kb2755 kb2755
Nov '18

So if we all chip in a grand..we can stop it (lol)

Billyt
Nov '18

So if this is in fact true, is it too soon to say told you so?

Darrin Darrin
Nov '18

Update? Does anyone have access to the site plans for phase 2 of the project? I would like to see the proposed layout of the buildings, parking lots, and proposed open space.

Buck3 Buck3
Dec '18

The plans are available for viewing at Town Hall. Construction office.

Jim L Jim L
Dec '18

I would think they still have them in the construction office Buck3, although I am unsure if they are expired by now, either way they should be on file for you to see.

Darrin Darrin
Dec '18

Thanks.

Buck3 Buck3
Dec '18

When is the construction expected to start?

happiest girl
Jan '19

Happiest....I think roughly 3 years ago at this point? LOL!

Darrin Darrin
Jan '19

The foxes are happy.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jan '19

Looks like penwell was correct

They have not paid any of the 2018 or 2019 taxes

https://wipp.edmundsassoc.com/Wipp/?wippid=2108#taxPage213

Jade currently owes our town $114,702.71

Darrin Darrin
Apr '19

I smell a goin outta business sale. Bankruptcy.

New company welcomed to develop in town: Jude LLC.

Imagine if you owed the town $115K.....evicted...

StrangerDanger StrangerDanger
Apr '19

All they do every other year is push dirt around the property looks like hell but we should really focus on filling the old compac building first along with the other few empty spaces on Waterloo


amazing that we not that it’s our problem can’t get anyone in this basf building or in the compac building


Figure I would pass this along

AGENDA
MAY 23, 2019

FOR CONSIDERATION:
-Motion to approve an assessment feasibility PILOT study for the Bergen Tool Phase II project.

Unfortunately I had a death in the family and will not be able to attend, but if anyone can fill in the details of the meeting here or contact me, I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance

Darrin Darrin
May '19

Darrin- Is that part of the agenda for Thursday's council meeting? I still see the April 25th agenda posted on the town website. I recall you posting one time you get the agenda emailed to you is that accurate?


Yes Greg, May 23 Council Agenda. Here it is in its' entirety:

AGENDA
MAY 23, 2019

Flag salute.
Mayors opening statement as required by the Open Public Meetings Act.
Roll call
Proclamation
Discussion by citizens.

FOR CONSIDERATION:
-Motion to approve the minutes of the May 9, 2019 regular session.
-Motion to approve the minutes of the May 9, 2019 executive session.
-Public hearing and final adoption, Ordinance 2019-06.
-Motion to approve check register #2019-09.
-Motion to approve an assessment feasibility PILOT study for the Bergen Tool Phase II project.
-Motion to approve Taxi Cab Owners licenses.
-Motion to approve Taxi Cab Drivers licenses.
-Motion to approve summer intern employment.

Any other matters that may be brought by the Mayor and Council for action.
Committee reports.
Mayors report.
Possible executive session.
Adjournment.

Darrin Darrin
May '19

Great, thanks Darrin.

I need to be on that email list. The town website has been a bit slow to post the last several months. I usually read the minutes from the various meetings and such but they have not been updated since last December. Often the agenda for meetings get posted just the day of or the day prior to the meeting. I understand there is a plan to have the website reworked or managed differently. I learned that while attending a meeting a few months back. I don't know of any new news or developments as I can't catch up and review the council minutes since then. LOL! Catch 22 if one can't make all of the meetings in person. It's a great help and courtesy to have a town website with current information- hopefully soon it will get up to speed.


Yeah, Town Planning is up to date for 2018 postings I think.....

Be nice to be able to view plans, meetings, and such online. Maybe they could use their smart phone to take pictures of documents and post them.....

Or maybe translucency is their goal......

strangerdanger strangerdanger
May '19

This has been asked before SD and the town did not seem interested in making the information any more available then the have to by law.

Darrin Darrin
May '19

Doesn't PILOT apply to commercial or industrial properties?... seems kinda strange for residential

Bug3
May '19

Here is a Cliff Notes version of PILOT in NJ.

https://www.archerlaw.com/tax-abatements-utilizing-new-jerseys-pilot-programs/

This is also a very good read on the subject:

https://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2018/05/03/tax-breaks-developers-nj-impact/545778002/


Pilot probably means "we changed our minds."

strangerdanger strangerdanger
May '19

I was going to say considering the taxes have not been paid for a year and a half I wonder if the town is considering taking ownership, but I just checked again and it looks like someone paid up for last year

Darrin Darrin
May '19

You know the drill Darrin, don't invest any more into the asset until you have a profitable reason to invest more. So, no build, no pay taxes. Pay taxes, must have something to build. If the "plan" has changed measurably, you can bet the investor has a pretty good idea already, somehow, that the new plan is worth paying the back taxes.

But it will all be revealed soon.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
May '19

The thing I don’t understand is if the town is looking into a PILOT study, wouldn’t that mean the town is paying for said study? I doubt the town would be paying for a study unless they had some sort of vested interest in the property?

Darrin Darrin
May '19

Wow I go away for a little bit and come back to so much misinformation on this thread.

1) bug3 PILOT is not just for commercial property. It is used for residential too

2) the applicant pays for the study Darrien not the town. The town just has to vote if they want to do the study the study or not.

Jim L Jim L
May '19

Chillax, he said IF the town..... not gonna get progressive votes with that attitude ;-).

StrangerDanger StrangerDanger
May '19

PILOT pays no school taxes..as per the link

Bug3
May '19

Not gonna get any votes if the paperwork isn’t filled out. First the paperwork, then the campaign. Rinse and repeat until reached desired results.

Ordained
May '19

The council voted not to move forward with an assessment feasibility PILOT study for the Bergen Tool Phase II project.. 3-2 nay I believe it was.

However- a bit later in the meeting a council member asked if they could vote again regarding the study. The attorney advised a redo and another motion to approve would need to happen at a future council meeting.


A do-over? You got to be kidding....

StrangerDanger StrangerDanger
May '19

I guess someone whispered something in someone's ear.

kb2755 kb2755
May '19

I wish I was. I was a bit surprised to say the least however I am not familiar with the proper, legal protocols in this instance. The facts are a motion was voted on by all present council members. It did not pass. Then a few minuets later a voting member asked for a re-vote. It was explained by the attorney that it could not happen at that time. Now the cynic in me could see how it could pass next vote as if a member who voted no this time changes to a yes and the member who was not present at this meeting votes yes the next vote then voila a motion is passed. Or perhaps the re-vote could produce additional no votes really cementing the motion's demise.


I do see where one might bring an item up multiple times for a vote. But not at the same meeting, and not as a simple do-over.....

strangerdanger strangerdanger
May '19

Greg, can you fill me in on what this was about. What were the looking to do a PILOT study for? I know it's a feasibility study but what were they trying to see the feasible of?

Darrin Darrin
May '19

I'm assuming it would have been an initial study to determine if it is feasible for the town to move closer to applying PILOT status for that phase of the project. It's an important decision that will have a long term financial impact on both the town as well as the developer. Assessing the pros and cons for each party should be studied in detail in order to make an informed decision. Having the developer pay for the study is a bonus for the town, naturally. I will say the Mayor wisely added a few conditions such as if property tax payments were to fall in arrears the study would cease. In addition if the maintenance of the property was not kept in an acceptable state, the study would cease.

I personally feel a study should take place as it is simply an information gathering exercise. Once completed, council can review all of the facts and financial forecasts to determine if PILOT status is appropriate for that project. I'm not sure of how broad and what criteria is applied when conducting this type of study but if it closely examines the financial health of the developer, that could help quite a bit in the decision making.


I would guess that if Darrin does not understand the process that the process is not as transparent as it might be...….just saying.

Did they pay the back taxes yet? How can a study go on if they owe, they owe, off to develop they go......

strangerdanger strangerdanger
May '19

I should add- there was a bill introduced last year requiring this type of study. As far as I see it is still in committee.

The bill is NJ S1701

Yes I understand the taxes are current.


PILOT means no school taxes...and that can't be a good thing for an apartment complex

Bug3
May '19

A PILOT feasibility study just means the developer pays an accountant to do the numbers of what the PILOT payments would be to the town vs what the property taxes would be. Once the town see what the numbers are they can decide if it worth entering into a PiLOT agreement or not

And Bug3 a town can still take a portion of their PILOT payment and give it to the BOE if they choice to.

Jim L Jim L
May '19

If the taxes are paid, I can tell you the report will be a success.

Just a guess of course.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
May '19

A) as Greg mentioned they voted down the study
B) not necessarily, we did a study for WaWa and the difference in payment didn’t warrant the benefit to move forward with the PILOT.

This is one thing where it all comes down the numbers. If the numbers make sense then it’s a good thing. If the numbers don’t add up then it’s not worth it. Can’t argue the numbers they are what they are

Jim L Jim L
May '19

From the PILOT link


Under the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, the PILOT program calls for 95 percent of the payments to go the town, and 5 percent to the county. The school district gets nothing. This is in contrast to a typical tax bill where often 50 percent or more of the total goes to the school district.

Bug3
May '19

Again bug the town can decide on their own if they want to give a portion of the PILOT payment to the BOE. They are not required to but can make the choice if they want to

Jim L Jim L
May '19

Re: Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

Town meeting on the project via ZOOM July 28th at 7 pm

Although I cannot seem to find the meeting agenda and the linked documents that are suppose to be on the town website 10 days prior to the meeting according to this paper.

From the sound of this, the developer wants to start ground work without building any structures PRIOR to receiving approval from other agencies.

Hard to say without the supporting documents, but if this is in fact the case the town has been burnt by this in the past, they should decline, especially since this is a environmental impacted site

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

How many years has it been since this subject was last discussed?

This property never did what it planned. CVS did exactly what they wanted.

Don't hold your breath on this issue !!!

Bernie Bernie
Jul '20

Bernie, that is precisely one (of many) reasons why I do not find it wise to allow them to start ground work without all the required approvals!

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

"The Applicant will any such.....". What is missing there?

OnTheEdge OnTheEdge
Jul '20

I noticed that as well, pretty embarrassing coming from a legal department as such.

Guess you get what you pay for....

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

Yes, please attend the Land Use Board meeting, there are some new members on the board that may not know the full history of this project and would benefit from hearing from members of the public.

Jim L Jim L
Jul '20

I see they updated the town website and the agenda now exists, but no files are linked pertaining to this site as their legal notice indicates, only Bilby Road Paftinos Site Plan

https://www.hackettstown.net/land-use-board/agenda/land-use-baord-meeting-agenda-1

Does anyone know the extent of the ground work they are looking to do?

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

I hope it is something because it is a mess back there.!!!!

Bernie Bernie
Jul '20

He's doing it to sell it probably. Figures moving some dirt and some improvements will make it more desirable to a developer.

Wash Boro is getting on him finally for all his BS. From a few months ago planning board minutes about one of his "redevelopments":

"Town Center – extension of time: Attorney Gruenberg sent a letter dated 6/5/2020 to the applicant’s attorney. They have already had 3 extensions and can not request a fourth. The applicant will have to come back before the Board"

He's been stalling for almost a decade now.

He's been moving dirt too where he wants to build a Taco Bell. Dog and Pony show to quiet down the rubes in his mind.

Go look at the Warren County site over the last 6 years. It's amazing any town, bank or contractor wants to do work with him. If there are two dates that are the same, it is for different parcels filed on the same day

Foreclosure Filing- 5/14/20
Tax Sale- 1/6/20
Tax Sale- 1/6/20
construction lien- 12/18/19
Foreclosure Filing- 12/10/18
Foreclosure Filing- 12/10/18
Construction Lien- 10/17/18
Construction Lien-10/18/18
Foreclosure Filing- 3/14/18
Tax Sale- 12/26/17
Tax Sale-12/16/17
Construction Lien-12/12/17
Final Judgment Foreclosure 4/18/17
Foreclosure Filing-6/9/16
Tax Sale- 11/13/15
Tax Sale- 10/24/14

And if the rumor he had a hand in the Ryan Homes 55+ housing development in Mansfield are true, there are even more filings on those.

Cant wait for "towniejim" to magically appear and wonder why I am beating down on someone who has done so much...

penwellRd penwellRd
Jul '20

That’s some very interesting info PenwellRd!

Well plans still have not been posted on the town website as stated in their letter, NJ law states 48 hours prior all info must be available to public, so I believe this topic legally will have to be postponed, Jim can you confirm?

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

The information is available to the public. The meeting is going on as scheduled.

Jim L Jim L
Jul '20

Jim, the plans are not on the site as stated in their notice, with covid going on, where can they be found for the public to review?

You cannot send out a public notice with info where to find plans, and then not post them in the legal timeframe, unless there is something I am missing, the meeting should legally have to be carried and re-noticed with correct info.

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

Darrin the plans are on the website.

Jim L Jim L
Jul '20

They appear to be now, but they were not posted in the legal required timeframe, dont act like they have been there all along....I have been watching

Thank you for the update!

Looks like they are looking to cut down all the trees in the back guys! Remeber, they dont have final approval.......

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

Why haven’t people that live next to this property not received this notice? Previously we have received a letter.

pampurr1 pampurr1
Jul '20

Well pampurr, you know their history with sending notices, Wouldn’t be the first, or second time that not everyone was noticed.

Everyone 200ft from the property has to legally receive certified notice. Do they have to prove this to the board before they will be heard Jim? I know in the past the board knew right away when not everyone was noticed.

Improper noticing, if the case, is also a legal issue that would cause the meeting to be carried.

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

Looks crowded. Lots of notes, but no text that I can find; are they located somewhere else?

I must be missing something but seems like a paucity of parking.

Lots of pavement, concrete, porous or not. Does open space get dumped on the town for development and maintenance, or just maintenance. Is that a tax increase? Is there a pond? I guess the walkway to the neighborhood behind is a nicety or would they rather remain unconnected? I guess there's 30 units or so in the "mixed use, which I take it is development slang for strip mall.

Least they mitigated all the ingress from Main although those poor houses on the tracks will have a circuitous route and a light on Main now.....But only two roads in, instead of three. Still gonna be a pain as people try to enter Main from two roads basically abut of each other. Probably should have to make one or both of them an entrance only.

Looks crowded.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '20

Every applicant has to provide a list of all the people they noticed. Looking at the map Pam is not within 200ft of the property line.

Jim L Jim L
Jul '20

We received notification before on issues pertaining to Bergen Tool. Why wouldn’t we be notified this time around? I will ask others that live adjacent to the property if they received notices?

pampurr1 pampurr1
Jul '20

That's what I figured. I know I seemgly got my notice first, some people on bergen street and east prospect did get their notices until later, friday or saturday I believe

Pam, you can use the measure tool on google maps to check your distance. Just open Google maps, find your house and right click and select measure distance.

I guess I will email my concern about the plans not being available as noted within the 48 hr timeframe direct to the planning board/sharon

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

Pam there is a real easy test to see if you should have gotten notice.

https://njparcels.com/

search your address. once you find your address there is a red box on the right hand side that says "notification list". it lists all the addresses 200ft from your property and gives you a map with a dashed line around your house. if Bergen tool is not on the list or inside the dotted line then you are not 200ft from their property. if you don't have to notify them, then they don't have to notify you.

Jim L Jim L
Jul '20

FYI, just recieved email back from the construction office, Jade will be carried to August meeting.

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

Nothing is too constructive here, is it?

Bernie Bernie
Jul '20

IDK Bernie, looking at the plans that are now online they are looking to cut down all the trees on the site, all the way up to the fourth street boarder and start moving soil around, and have plans for a large stockpile of soil.

The one good thing I see is they are going to do the retention basin in this phase, but I am not sure how they will do any drainage to it, or how that will even work without the approvals that apparently have not been received, especially since this is a contaminated site, and the soil they are disturbing is contaminated. The meeting was carried to August so we didnt get a chance to hear their plans explained.

Personally I would be concerned they do this and disappear for another 4 year, esentially making the property look way worse then it is now.

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

How is the open space developed, who pays for that. And who pays for maintaining it?

Is there a place to read the footnotes?

I think we have better civil engineering types here, but one man's +1 retention basin can be another's mosquito-ridden boggy swamp. Perhaps a good thing, most certainly demanded by law, but think it really depends on methods (rock lined or grass) and water level (lots, just a bit). For example, the one over by Weiss can get pretty swampy in a wet year and a pretty unsightly mosquito haven.. The one behind Walmart is basically berm-ed out of view, Gosh knows what goes on there.

I take it we are still going for 100 living spaces? Does that put about 30 in the Mixed Used buildings? Gross, IMO.

Seems awfully crowded and tight.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '20

One things for sure SD, its going to exponentially increase the traffic on East Stiger St, but too late for that, the board approved it. Only the outside agencies can deny it now, its been in their hands for four years. Interested to hear what agency is the hang up. That's if what has been approved is even actually the end game, who knows at this point this property has been through so many plans....

I also really dislike the fact that they plan on using a residential road as the construction access for all this, why not use the CVS main street entrance, it accesses the whole site anyways.

It was my understanding that the open space will need to be maintained by the property owner, but will be open for use by both the housing residents in the new development as well as the residents of Hackettstown

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

You are right, they should be able to use "Road A" or whatever it is at that time. Sure would save Stiger Street repairs due to extra trucking and whatever they use, CVS customers will be affected --- one entrance or another.

Yes, it's a traffic nightmare. Poor Bergen Street folk will be snaking around; Road A is right next to CVS entrance, I guess there is only one Road A/CVS access point there, but awfully crowded. Gonna need another light I bet, that's potentially a lot of cars.

Can you tell where the parking is for the mixed use?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Jul '20

I still say this has been four years better since CVS came in and the rest of the property has sat dormant.

Promises, promises but nothing!

Everyone has an opinion but no one does anything and no one pushes the town authorities to get moving.

Putting a retention basin back there is going to bring the bugs and look awful. But I guess the property owners will say "Look I did something".

Lets just get action and less empty conservations on this matter.

Bernie Bernie
Jul '20

Where would you put another light?.. not enough room between lights on 46

Bug3
Jul '20

Is there an option to add an entrance/exit way in the back that would come out onto 4th St or 3rd St to East Prospect? Not nice for the people who reside there I know, but there are other access points.

hktownie hktownie
Jul '20

The site plan was approved in 2016. Nothing on the site plan is changing. The upcoming public meeting is regarding allowing them to do certain work prior to them getting all of the conditions of the resolution meet. The time to ask questions/suggestions regarding the layout of the site has come and passed. Sadly only Darrin and 1 other person attended those meetings from the public.

Jim L Jim L
Jul '20

Really....can’t ask questions? Can’t have suggestions. That’s rich. Watch us ;-)

Yes, too close for a light, but all these access points, adding more traffic to each access point, could certainly result in a similar mess as Mountain Ave access.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jul '20

Jim, do you agree that it would be better to use the main street / CVS access point for construction traffic as opposed to the residential access they have on their plan? This is something we still can push for

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

I'm not discussing any opinions on here. I will wait for the public meeting. Just here to give people facts, which seem to be few and far between on this site.

Jim L Jim L
Jul '20

Understood, well as a owner of a house on that road they plan on using, I would much appreciate it if they would use the route 46 access and feel it is a safer option, much as they did while building CVS.

I will be speaking of this recommendation during the public meeting if the board doesn't beat me to it.

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

For those that cannot find the plans:

https://www.hackettstown.net/land-use-board/files/jade-construction-sequencing-plan

https://www.hackettstown.net/land-use-board/files/jade-interim-grading-plan

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

Was there a subdivision associated with the overall application or is the CVS operating under a ground lease agreement?

ianimal ianimal
Jul '20

Darrin from the Jade Resloution:

Comment 9.02 Due to the amount of earthwork and continuing environmental remediation work that is anticipated to be needed within Lot 18.02 to construct the improvements, a considerable amount of truck traffic to and from the site is
anticipated. In an effort to protect the residential areas adjacent to the work site from the impacts of truck traffic, the Board should include a condition in the approval, as it did for the First Hartford Realty application, prohibiting truck traffic associated with construction from certain streets.The Board should evaluate this issue with the
applicant following the receipt of testimony to address Comment 9.01 above.

k. Construction truck traffic shall be prohibited from using certain streets. Said streets to be identified by the Board Engineer at or prior to the required preconstruction meeting (see condition “kk” below).

So where on the plans do you see them asking to use E Stiger for construction trucks?

Jim L Jim L
Jul '20

ianimal, CVS owes their lot, it was sub divided.

Jim L Jim L
Jul '20

Jim L, the interim grading plan that Darrin posted the link to shows the WCSCD stabilized construction entrance on East Stiger.

According to the plans, the entrance off of Route 46 is entirely on the CVS property, so it may be unavailable for use as a construction entrance, depending on what shared access agreements were executed at the time of original approval.

NJDOT may also balk at allowing construction traffic to directly access the State Highway if alternate access is available.

ianimal ianimal
Jul '20

@Jim "So where on the plans do you see them asking to use E Stiger for construction trucks?"

Look at the grading plans, follow East Stiger Street into the property....."proposed stabilized construction entrance"

Great to know there is something in the resolution to protect us though!

Ianimal, If i remember correct, both CVS entrances are access easements for both lots, that's why they are offset the way they are.

The board made them use 46 for the CVS, so it was a non-issue then. I would hope they would rather the truck traffic on a slow moving highway as opposed to residential streets, and according to the resolution Jim posted, that looks like the case, yet Jade still made plans to come down the residential street despite this resolution.....

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

The resolution Jim posted doesn't say that they can't use East Stiger, which is a signalized intersection @ US-46 and would probably be the best route for trucks exiting, if any of them were making a left turn and headed east. It says that the roads they may not use will be established by the Township engineer prior to construction.

The residential prohibition may have been geared more to trucks leaving by First Street and heading to E. Prospect. Hard to say...

ianimal ianimal
Jul '20

That is my concern. But with that said, CVS had to use 46, and was not suppose to come down East Stiger, although they did may times anyways.

I do agree that for THEM it looks like the best route, but that is not fair to the residents on that road when they can use a main access point on a road that is already heavily used by trucks. How about having them provide traffic control in case a truck needs to make a left, I think this would be way safer then allowing them to come down a residential road.

Darrin Darrin
Jul '20

FYI the full plans are up on the website. Meeting is 8/25.

https://www.hackettstown.net/land-use-board/agenda/land-use-board-meeting-agenda-3

Jim L Jim L
Aug '20

I see there are people on the 200 ft notification list that have NOT gotten notice.
Seems to be a legal issue here??

happiest girl
Aug '20

Looks great. Anyone know how I can put my name on a waiting list. I would love to live in a townhome within such walking distance to everything in town

Philliesman Philliesman
Aug '20

Philliesman Don't hold your breath. This property has been a mess for the last 10 years and counting.

This property only holds dreams - nothing more !!!!!!!

.

Bernie Bernie
Aug '20

We never got a note. We are on the list. There is a legal issue here. So typical of RR and Jade.

pampurr1 pampurr1
Aug '20

Well, as Jim L said, can't ask questions so why attend?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Aug '20

I agree and wouldn’t hold my breath on this or the mess behind wawa.


Thanks for the support Drew,

This town is so "upper end" and then they let certain projects lapse and get really nasty looking.

Funny how MONEY plays are part in life.

Bernie Bernie
Aug '20

Jim L. to correct your previous statement “only Darrin and one other person attended the meetings” not true.

Many from East Prospect St. attended and spoke at council meetings with their views on the proposal.

pampurr1 pampurr1
Aug '20

Actually looks nice except for the density. Looks to be as dense as the ones behind Dunkins; nice but too crowded. Mixed use strip mall/apartments face train tracks (yech for apts) and then, weirdly, the townhomes. Wouldn’t want those townhouses. 3-acre park provides nice buffer for many if the existing homes, supposedly townhomes pay for maintenance.

So, imo, nice, but too crowded. This many families on those few acres makes for some low class living. Glad they’re boxed in by the strip mall.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Aug '20

This town is so "upper end"
This many families on those few acres makes for some low class living.

I've got friends in low places where the whiskey drowns and beer chases my blues away. The town will be okay.
I'm not big on low class places,
Think I'll slip on down to the oasis
Oh, I've got friends in low places

dodgebaal dodgebaal
Aug '20

Pam my comment is was about phase 2 which was correct. Only Darrin and 1 other person attended those meetings.

Jim L Jim L
Aug '20

What months? . Will check my records and notes and cross reference. You the admin for council?

pampurr1 pampurr1
Aug '20

Again Pam it looks like we are talking about 2 different things. I’m talking about the planning board meetings where the application for phase 2 was discussed. You seem to be talking about town council meetings where they were discussing the ordinance for that lot and the fate of the Bergen tool building.

Jim L Jim L
Aug '20

Maybe I’m crazy, but don’t the single family homes in town closest to the railroad tracks (liberty st and bergan) sit on the market forever and sell for FAR less than the rest of town? Are luxury townhomes next to the tracks even going to sell? Seems like a really weird and industrial location to try to pass off as luxury.


These are luxury? For sardines maybe? How many are second story apartments above a strip mall, next to the tracks and CVS?

Think the townhomes behind Dunkin Donuts. Nice enough but too much density for pleasant living.

Luxury might be another thing altogether. This is how many value homes can we slam together behind a CVS next to the tracks glided by a three acre green buffer zone.

A saving grace is they are tucked away out of plain sight for many.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Aug '20

what happened to the idea of a trader joes... would be much better at that site over apartments???

freedom12 freedom12
Aug '20

If anyone member of the public that is within 200ft If Bergen tool and therefore should have been noticed did not receive a notice please email me your name and address at

Jimlambo@gmail.com

And I will check with the Land Use clerk and mention it prior to the applicant’s presentation. You should have received notice 10days prior to the meeting which would be by today.

Jim L Jim L
Aug '20

Check with the Land Use Clerk about what?

happiest girl
Aug '20

"Think the townhomes behind Dunkin Donuts. Nice enough but too much density for pleasant living."

Appearances, SD, appearances. Not the best example for your case, since I pretty much love it here, though if you said Greenview Gardens, I may agree a bit. When I lived there years ago I liked it a lot, but did feel a bit cramped due to neighbor noise. Besides the rare bit of parking lot flooding I've got no complaints and it's much quieter and less crowded than you think. About 2 miles to anything important in town too, work, hospital, Town Hall... . Of course I'd rather have a nice Victorian in the Historic District, but c'est la vie.

Phil D. Phil D.
Aug '20

Phil: you hit the nail on the head; that’s exactly what I meant. Nice looking but the price, size, and density sometimes yields unintended outcomes Given the price, the density, generally these environments become starter homes for younger, more passionate, less measured, hard working folks with younger, growing families. Not “garden apartments” for more sedate middle-aged or senior families with less kids. So, noisier, people doing things whether comin and goin, partying, or fixing possessions, they aren’t the porch sittin, garden putterin class.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s just an artifact of higher density, lower priced homes, combined with strip mall apartments, shoved in tween a CVS and the tracks. FYi; this type of density requires additional police resources too. When you get people closer together, tempers do flare more often.

One thing I will say; 100 is ten times better than 200. But 50 would be 10 times better than 100. And second story apartments above a strip mall will always be abysmal.

I am a big believer in mixed developments, but all things in moderation and this is too much, too dense. The town fathers have sold the town’s soul for a ratable.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Aug '20

Strangerdanger

If you were talking about Greenview, sure, I made your point, but you did say the townhomes, which is Victoria Village, one dead end strip of road with townhomes on it. There are some younger people here, but also us older folks as well, including some with high schoolers. We got them rules in place, dontcha know and it's not noisy, some of us older folks do hang out, either in front (if not too hot or cold) or in the back.

Of course, we seem to have a nice mix O' peeps without the unruliness of some of the other places, but then NO pets allowed - period. (Sucks for me) That means cats too, though some places I was checking about renting said they had a no pets policy, but that apparently only involves everything but cats. Cats are allowed in many places with "no pets" policies, because apparently, they aren't pets. Could have fooled me, but then again, they own people so maybe the cats should live there and their people, not so much;-) Apologies in advance to my friends with cat(s). It was a bit of humor, which most of my cat-owning friends will understand.

I can hear the train horn at about 4:30 AM and the bells of Centenary most of the time. I did my research and indeed, talking about density, I did make your point. If the plan is to make a more packed apartment area for maximum rent income for the property owners, then indeed it likely will become a problem. I would say however that it's not so much the "type" of people attracted, but the fact that they're packed in, parking is at a premium, or construction is cheap, so you're under a constant barrage from your neighbor's "discussions" or drama or things are always breaking down.

Places being built have to have a plan. A good plan, or even a great one needs to be in place in order to both succeed for the property owner, as well as for the tenants and the community at large. No variances for less than minimum required parking, etc. Construction of natural and/or artificial sound barriers both for the residents and the general public should be requirement, not an option. There are designs for maximum benefit for all, rather than just cheap "cookie cutter" apartments that as you say, pack people in like sardines. There obviously needs to be occupancy requirements as well, or you breed even more contempt between neighbors, as well as early breakdown of facilities and/or unsanitary conditions. I say this all in general, not just for this plan in particular.

For this plan, having 3 acres of "open space", especially depending on where it is, (which may make it relatively unusable open space) is less important than relieving crowding, noise, view intrusion, parking crunch, etc. Obviously, having proper drainage is important too, especially considering having "100 year floods" every 20 years (or less). Nothing like living in a swamp or perpetual flood zone or I'd be living back in Coastal NC:-P

Phil D. Phil D.
Aug '20

Keep in mind guys, the plans have been approved, that's not up for debate anymore, at least not this go around :->

What IS up for debate is if the town should allow them to start clear cutting and moving earth prior to having their approvals from outside agencies. So in a nutshell, they want to start, without approvals.....

Darrin Darrin
Aug '20

Good point and really not debating, but opining.

Good news is that the whole affair is pretty well hidden behind that strip mall. Never thought I would applaud a strip mall :>)

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Aug '20

Darrin, have they started cutting down trees? My husband told me they already started?

pampurr1 pampurr1
Aug '20

I haven't seen a change in this property behind CVS since CVS settled in there how many years ago?.

Bernie Bernie
Aug '20

Not to my knowledge Pam, dont think they can without this approval they are looking for.....not really sure, I mean it's their property, I would assume they can do what they want, but with that said, it's also a environmental cleanup site

Darrin Darrin
Aug '20

Reminder, the land use meeting for this topic is scheduled for tommorow, Tuesday at 7pm. Public will be able to voice their concern/ opinions. Plans are on the town website

Darrin Darrin
Aug '20

Darrin -

Where's the link to the meeting?

Barnacle Bill
Aug '20

https://www.hackettstown.net/land-use-board/agenda/land-use-board-meeting-agenda-3

here is the link for the agenda and the agenda has the log on info for the zoom meeting.

Jim L Jim L
Aug '20

Latest plans can be found here:

https://www.hackettstown.net/land-use-board/files/jade-combined-plan-set

Darrin Darrin
Aug '20

This Meeting shall be held via ZOOM Meetings. Any interested parties may join the meeting by going to
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Darrin Darrin
Aug '20

Germantown: I used to live in a Germantown. Man, did they know crummy townhouses there. I should know. I built some of them :>)

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Aug '20

Plans with more holes then swiss cheese were approved, how, I have no idea.

I must say, I literally couldn't be more disappointed in the decision the board made, with the exception of Jim Lambo who actually genuinely listened to the residents concerns and remembered what we as residents have been put through by this project in the past, as well as how this exact decision for CVS burnt us. Thank you for actually looking out for the residents Jim and being the only one to vote NO.

The board wonders why public doesn't show up, and why people say its a done deal, tonight was living proof of that.

4 residents bordering the property all spoke against allowing the developer to clear cut the property and move a stock pile of dirt closer to main street, and brought up numerous comments and concerns, most of which could not be answered. Every resident who spoke stated they would rather the property stay as is until the developer got more approvals.

No traffic engineer to testify, just a bunch of "i heard" and "he said" yet the board accepted that?

Total embarrassment to our town.

Darrin Darrin
Aug '20

Darrin, I could not attend I have a fractured back. I am in Morristown.Do you have notes that you could e-mail me?

pampurr1 pampurr1
Aug '20

Pam,

I did not take notes, only listed questions/concerns that I put on record during the public section. It may be best to get a copy of the meeting to watch/listen to, as all of the remote zoom meetings are recorded.

They are looking to cut down all the trees onsite prior to winter, but really had no formal timelines. They even hinted that they have no current intention of building the town homes (they will be the very last phase, and that their retail plans may be changing....literally nothing in concrete.

They also did not produce the parking agreement with CVS that was contingent of their original plans being approved....yet the board approved them to start work and extend their approval.

Darrin Darrin
Aug '20

So....basically they hinted at changing everything, asked for the A-OK to start doing what they hinted won’t be done, and gee, do you think the trend is for less density, more upscale or more density, more commercial and less upscale? Who cares, let the developing begin!

Ever hear the saying; “ if you get the camels head into the tent, the body will follow?”

Bend over, lub camels :-( shove your heads into that tent. I smell yav — yet another variance.

Good job Darrin, think you read tween the lines well and know what’s coming. Can’t believe these neighbors are avoiding their future property devaluations coming....:

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Aug '20

Last night I tuned into the meeting for a short time.

I have a question: how can they move or rearrange (or start) without the necessary planned plans approved?

Now how long until this happens?

Is this to to appease this issue?

Bernie Bernie
Aug '20

This is so awful. Why did the local leaders do this?

StigerTiger
Aug '20

"I have a question: how can they move or rearrange (or start) without the necessary planned plans approved?"

Bernie, they have an approved site plan, they've had one for just about 4 years now. They mentioned at the meeting that they may want to change one aspect of the retail building but the overall site layout would remain the same. If they want to make that change then they would have to come back to the LUB for that approval

What they asked for at the meeting was to do the clearing of the lot, grading an putting in the detention pond only prior to getting all their outside agency approvals. However, they gave no time line on when they expect those agency approvals and no time line when they feel they will start the actual construction. So they could clear out all the trees and then leave the lot barren for another x amount of years.

They agreed to put in some landscaping along the exterior as buffers for the neighbors but that would not be nearly the same as the 50' trees that are there now.

I did not see the need to grant this request due to so many open questions and I am disappointed in the board's decision. I thought I made a valid argument to deny they request but others felt that adding the detention pond and clearly of the site was enough of a benefit to the town/residents. Time will tell who was right.

Their final 1-year extension request is coming up in Feb '21. Let's see what kind of progress has been made on that site at that time to determine if the LUB should grant that final 1-year extension.

Jim L Jim L
Aug '20

The Land Use Board has been packed with Empress Maria’s Lackeys. It started with ramming the Quick Check Gas station down that neighborhood’s throat (She promised the developer the towns support before he even bought the properties – absolute fact), continues with the gross mismanagement of developing the Bergen Tool Property (concerns of Stiger Street, Prospect Street, Bergen Street, and 4th Street property owners are summarily dismissed), and she hopes her misguided influence will continue with the ongoing pandering to the developers of the Paftino’s Bilby Road project and the property behind WaWa. The Zoning Board was dissolved and folded into what became the Land Use Board for the express purpose of consolidating power and weeding out members who did not fall in line with her wishes. November can not come soon enough to rid us of this Mayor. She is an embarrassment and has done nothing to help this town. Goodbye and Good riddance.

Buck Hillstar
Aug '20

What a ridiculous asinine post by a coward hiding behind a fake name. First of all the LUB has nothing to do with the QC site, it was handled by the zoning board. There is 1 member of the old zoning board that is now on the LUB that was part of the QC application. Second,The zoning and planning boards merged because we were having such difficulties fielding both boards and had to cancel meetings because we couldn’t field a quorum. Third, there are I believe 4 registered Democrats on the LUB so to state we are the Republican Mayor’s Lackys is laughably. And your last comment is so void of reality it’s not worth commenting on. Enjoy your miserable life hiding behind your keyboard

Jim L Jim L
Aug '20

Buck HIllster, you are a coward. If you believe you need to be so derogatory, you should at least put your real name to your ridiculous post. May I ask what community service you do for the town? Or do you just sit back and criticize everything you don't agree with?

Richie
Aug '20

Four years has been a long time not to be able to produce the parking agreement that is a requirement for them to start construction....not sure why the board did not stand on this issue....oh that's right everyone but what 2? board members are new to this topic and probably don't even know about the history of the property?

I was also surprised by the lack of questions coming from a select few board members, why don't we have members that are actively involved.....we used to

Darrin Darrin
Sep '20

Darrin -

Over the past 8 years, Zoning, Planning, and now Land Use Board members who did not "fit in" were quietly not reappointed and replaced with those who are more compatible to the wishes of this administration. That is where Buck H is 100% correct.

That was not normally the case with previous Mayors.

Hopefully the next Mayor can fix that and put the town first again.

Barnacle Bill
Sep '20

"Buck Hill" is NOT Hackettstown. "This administration" hasn't even commented on the LUB so how does that even figure in?? Are LUB "appointed"? Sounds like not understanding government. Just like knowing who votes and who doesn't unless a tie on the Council.


Gc
Yes the land use board is appointed...not elected

Bug3
Sep '20

Land Use Board
Board Members
Name Title
Al Camporini Chairperson
Robert Stead Vice Chairperson
Joseph Bristow Mayor's Designee
Shawn Burke Board Member
Corey Tierney Board Member
John Stout Board Member
Brian Weaver Board Member
Robert Moore Board Member
William Mennen, Esq. Board Attorney
Shannon Drylie Board Clerk
James Lambo Alternate #2
Donald Sherman Alternate #1
Stephen Wolfrum Alternate #4
Paul Sterbenz, P.E. Board Engineer
Dan Bloch, P.P. Board Planner

pampurr1 pampurr1
Sep '20

Sorry Pam but they list is not accurate as there have been some changes in 2020.

And no Barnacle Bill or Longtime Townie or Buck Hillstar or whatever name you change to next you are wrong The change over occurred for 2 reasons. 1) the board members attendance gets to be so bad that We couldn’t field a Quorum and had to cancel meetings so the mayor had no choice but to replace them or 2) the person asked to step down as they weren’t interested in serving or could no longer make the commitment. You were the only board member the Mayor replaced that didn’t fit those 2 examples and you know the reason you were no reappointed. I’m not going to get into it on here. You served on the board for over 20 years and the current Mayor reappointed you numerous times during her tenure so if she had a problem with your views she would have replaced you years ago.

Jim L Jim L
Sep '20

Since Mayor Maria is resigning (or already has) and is leaving town, she must have known for some time that she was going to do so, seems like she should have recused herself from any and all matters that are as controversial as the Bergen Tool project.

OldSam
Sep '20

Old Sam the mayor does not hold a seat on the LUB and therefore has not vote or say on the project. The Mayor also does not vote on Town Council matters unless there is a tie. (which there has not been). So I guess you think every member of the LUB and every member on town council is incapable of thinking for themselves and is being a puppet for the Mayor. That's some power she holds with that $6,000 year salary.

Jim L Jim L
Sep '20

Jim, the mayor has made motion to approve ordinances that directly related to reappropriating what was allowed to be built on the bergen tool site, I was at that council meeting, so were you.

Darrin Darrin
Sep '20

Nope. That’s not accurate. The Mayor doesn’t make motions. She announces what the ordinance is and looks for a Motion. Either for or against and then the council votes. Mayors only vote if there is a tie.

Jim L Jim L
Sep '20

Jim, review the minutes from the 10/9/2015 Town Council meeting, as am I

They don't have these posted anymore but you may have them saved, I am OPRA requesting them as I cant find them on my computer but know I have them.

In my notes and as I remember it, the mayor made motion to adopt ORD 2010-08.

Darrin Darrin
Sep '20

Darrin I don't need to see the minutes, I know how the meetings run. The Mayor reads every ordinance out loud and then asks for a Motion. Its then up to council to make a Motion either for or against the Motion and then Council votes. the Mayor does not and has not ever made a Motion on any ordinace.

I believe the exact language she uses is "I will look for a motion on Ordinance..." perhaps that is what you heard.

"The mayor is the town's chief executive officer, overseeing its day-to-day operation and presenting an annual budget. The council is the town's legislative body. The mayor attends town council meetings, but may only vote in the event of a tie."

Jim L Jim L
Sep '20

This is an exact reason why it is so hard for citizens to participate. Like most things in life, knowing the rules, and more important, the language is crucial in order to play the game. Unfortunately, and I am no exception, both are often used as a source of power for folks to get their way.

Lessons for citizens --- if you want to effect change, you have to get there early, often, and learn the terminology, the process, and the rules. I would daresay almost every town has a difference. It takes time and practice to effect change as a citizen; if you expect to turn up one night, just at your time on the agenda, and change the world, they will basically hog tie you with words and rules.

While it's a participative democracy, one time wonders really can't. Don't know how many times I have had great ideas, but really bad understanding of the rules and been basically discounted and ignored.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '20

Jim -

Sorry to tell you - More than a few people around here see things differently than you. Hard to believe, but true.

The Mayor does have a voting seat on the LUB. She chose a designate to fill it instead. Other Mayors have sat there (when it was the PB) and voted. She chooses a Designee who logically I would assume she sees as likeminded, but of course he is free to vote as he sees fit.

The power she holds isn’t money; it’s that if you want to have a say in things around here you better not stray too far off the ranch.

Leaders are not afraid to surround themselves with those who offer opposing viewpoints. That is how we all grow.

Barnacle Bill
Sep '20

Jim, you could be correct, I am still going to review the meeting minutes

but with that being said, when or if the mayor states "I will look for a motion to approve on Ordinance..." certainly seems to sway which way he/or she wants the board to vote.....

Darrin Darrin
Sep '20

"Jim, you could be correct,"

go ahead, but the good news is, I'm always correct :)

And BB I'm not sure why you are still hiding behind your fake names, you made it very obvious who you are. And I can tell you first hand, I started out as the Mayor's Designee spot. Not once did she call me to discuss a applicaiton or how to vote. Heck now she doesn't even know if her current Designee person is attending meetings or not. Since going to Zoom he's missed most of the meetings including the last Bergen vote.

Also now that we are a LUB, the mayor and council spot have even less power then they may have had before since they have to sit out of all the Variance applications. The reason being is if the LUB votes it down and the applicant wants to appeal, they appeal to the Mayor and Council.

Jim L Jim L
Sep '20

Now now Jim It's a public forum, people have the right to remain anonymous if they so choose, lets not shame them for posting their opinions/views anonymously.....yet another reason why people don't get involved.......

Darrin Darrin
Sep '20

Hey, if Darrin is right and there’s a change in the wind coming, you wont need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows: more retail, more density.

At that point, you know the elected officials shouldn’t be and they should take their appointees with them.

Maybe they slid that qcheck by on a historic district technicality, but does the historic district have teeth yet. Probably not.

And if the slaughterhouse goes in against a specific direct ordinance written against it without overwhelming no-brainer that-law-is-stupid reasons, yeah, you won’t need a weatherman to know that wind stinks.

On the flip side; I do like the CVS, if you have to have one. Seems to be popular too and many of my old friends from other in-town stores have jobs there.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Sep '20

lets not shame them for posting their opinions/views anonymously. Yet another reason why people don’t get involved?

Hmm help me with that logic. Funny cause it’s probably the other way around. People don’t want to volunteer to be on these boards because they don’t want to deal with cowards using fake names to blast them on this site. What so you guys can dish it but can’t take it? So it’s ok to blast the mayor and LUB on here but I’m not allowed to call out the lies and bs?

Jim L Jim L
Sep '20

What is this change of wind you speak of?
I see if people leave we can push the wind the other way

CoolKid
Sep '20

Darrin said in the last meeting there may have been a whisper about a potential change in plan. I was trying to say IF there’s a change, I bet it’s for more density, more commercial and IF the LUB acquiesces, the politicos should be voted out because at that point, looks pretty obvious they just can be bought.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Sep '20

Jim, hate to say it, but you sign up for this anytime you take a political position, anywhere...

And to help you with the logic, you can certainly correct people when incorrect info is being spread, but to do so by shaming/name calling is just unprofessional in my opinion

If someone wants to stay anonymous, that's their right, much as it is your right to correct info that you see differently, just keep it professional

People have concerns for the board, they took the time to address these concerns during the public portion of the meeting, yet little to nothing was actually addressed at this last meeting and the residents did not get what they asked for, the board decided to benefit the developer over their long time residents wishes, with absolutely no legal requirement to approve this.

Additionally, the use of Zoom meetings is a major problem in my opinion. I personally know of 2 residents that wanted to be on this very meeting, and I could bet there is more, but could not attend them meeting because they do not have the means and/or knowledge of how to use zoom.

Darrin Darrin
Sep '20

Please zoom has actually made it easier. There is a phone call option. Anyone that wanted to join the meeting Just needed A phone. Also it allowed you to join without having to drive all the way back to NJ. You don’t live in town anymore right? So zoom was a benefit to you.

Right to remain anonymous? Really Lol. That’s a joke right?

And yes I have no problem with criticism just like I have no problem calling people out with their bs. Two way road. The difference is I’m not hiding.

Jim L Jim L
Sep '20

Not for all Jim, I personally like it for a few reasons, but certainly do not like it
"more" then in person meetings With this being said I personally have had problems dropping out, hard to hear people, etc. If you drop out right as public discussion opens up (as someone I know did) and cant get back on before they close public discussion, then what?

Additionally what good is calling in when a developer is referencing a drawing that has not been posted for the public to review on the town site? The drawings that were shown on the developer's engineering representative computer for this last meeting were NOT available online for the residents to see, as the attorney pointed out by making him mark it.

And to answer your question/assumption since it seems to concern you, I still reside in NJ, not far from town at all, and YES I still OWN in Hackettstown, what are you attempting to prove or are you just trying to get me to shy away from posting/speaking too by purposely spilling little details of information that are not public knowledge and/or your business/right to spill?

Darrin Darrin
Sep '20

" what are you attempting to prove or are you just trying to get me to shy away from posting/speaking too by purposely spilling little details of information that are not public knowledge and/or your business/right to spill?"

paranoid much? I wasn't trying to do anything but to point out that the zoom meeting was probably better for you since you didn't have to travel into town to attend it. Right to spill? dude you already posted on HL that you moved, i'm not sharing any private information about you.

http://www.hackettstownlife.com/forum/819059#t820609

and the drawings used in the meeting were the same as the ones on the town website. They were just in color at the meeting.

Jim L Jim L
Sep '20

Lol, did you just reference a post from 2017? Quite some memory you got there, gold star for the day ya creep!

For me, given the choice, yes I prefer zoom, despite the multiple drop outs, others I know of hate it and prefer in person. Given the possiblity of technical difficulties I dont find it appropriate to make same night decisions.

Darrin Darrin
Sep '20

Creep? Nah. I just have an amazing memory and knew you posted that you moved. Then since I’m a stickler for facts I easily found the post since I knew you mentioned it in either the Bergen or WaWa thread

So apologize accepted.

Jim L Jim L
Sep '20

Guys,

Town Council Meeting on October 22nd with Jade on it.

If you are unhappy with the land use board's decision to allow the developer to cut down all the trees without meeting many of their requirements pertaining to the approval they received for the overall plans, I suggest you attend and voice your concern to the council, might be the last chance!

Darrin Darrin
Oct '20

Is this meeting going to be in person or over ZOOM?

Bernie Bernie
Oct '20

Zoom meeting.


Is this including the trees that surround the bicycle jump mounds? Fourth Street.

pampurr1 pampurr1
Oct '20

Correct pampurr, when we say cut down all the trees, clear cut, etc, that means ALL the trees on the site minus CVS's lot, all the way to the East Prospect property line, to the Fourth street property line, to Bergen Street.....right up to the back of the houses, ALL trees cut down.

IMO It needs to be brought to the TC's attention that the public does not agree with allowing the developer to start this work while not producing all the requirements of their resolutions from the previously (4 years ago?) approved plans and that it never should have been approved by the LUB to begin with.

Many of the items that are still open could be show stoppers for the approved plans, so why would we let them clear cut this piece of wooded property we have remaining in town without the knowledge of how long it will remain that way?

Now, I am not sure if Town Council has the ability to overrule a decision previously made by the land use board, but it could be worth a shot.

Jim L, do you know if the town council has the ability to deny an approval previously granted by the LUB?

Darrin Darrin
Oct '20

Darrin, municipal governing bodies do not have the power to unilaterally void approvals granted by land use boards.

However, any site plan approval granted is not indeterminate. The Municipal Land Use Law affords developers protection from zoning changes for a very specific period of time: I believe it is three years for a preliminary approval, two years for final, with the developer able to request two one-year extensions. After that, the previous approvals are pretty much worthless if the municipality wants to block the development through zoning amendments.

ianimal ianimal
Oct '20

The item on the agenda is for the Developer's Agreement with the town & Jade.

Jim L Jim L
Oct '20

How can they have a developer's agreement when they have not submitted the necessary approvals and documentation to have the meeting that was supposed to happen last week and didn't?

michelemorp
Oct '20

The original Developer's Agreement would have had to have been approved and recorded before the CVS went to construction... I presume they are now seeking an amendment to that agreement.

ianimal ianimal
Oct '20

the developer's agreement is only for Phase 2A of the project, which is the clearing of the site and temporary detention pond.

And in the developer's Agreement is they must have that pre-construction meeting.

Jim L Jim L
Oct '20

I think what Michele is saying is we were informed there would be a pre-construction meeting October 15th, but it never happened.

We were under the impression that the pre-construction meeting would occur first so that if there were any concerns from the neighbors leading to changes with any aspects of the plan (for instance hours of construction), it could be implemented IN the developers agreement. Essentially the preconstruction meeting would help to further build the developers agreement, but I guess that was not the case.

But, with that being said, it was very nice last night to see that the Town Council is staying vigilant with this project. Brought back some of my hope for this town! Thank you all involved!

Darrin Darrin
Oct '20

FYI Jade has asked to be on the Monday, Nov 23rd Town Council Meeting to discuss their project if any residents are interested.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '20

Define discuss? Cuz I think of a discussion as at least being a two-way dialogue if not multi-party. Or is it “present?” Like sitting there to hear what they are going to do to us in our best interest now. I mean isn’t it you that says this turkey is fully cooked and no one is changing the stuffing now?

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Nov '20

@SD "Like sitting there to hear what they are going to do to us in our best interest now."

Hit that nail RIGHT ON THE HEAD!

Darrin Darrin
Nov '20

Sat on the meeting tonight, just so everyone knows Jade is asking for a 30 year pilot (payment in lou of taxes)

Jade has bumped up their initial monetary offer, and as of this meeting the town has asked to see the new numbers to be presented on the next TC meeting, but in my opinion with the amount of housing this is an insane ask, what does everyone think?

Darrin Darrin
Nov '20

I agree with you. I'm not sure there is any great benefit for the town in this instance. A PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) will typically just benefit the developers or private investors. Certainly a long term abatement of 30 years seems unrealistic in this case. Perhaps if the town wanted to get the project moving again a Short Term PILOT of 5 years could be granted. However the annual service charge to the town would need to be substantial based on all of the calculations required to determine the feasibility of such a program. If the site was still blighted and distressed and truly in need redevelopment as it was years ago, then the examination of such a request makes sense. At his point it seems to me that the developer is looking for any help they can get to continue with the project. As it has stalled to an extent already that should be a sign that all is not sunshine and roses with the current financial health or extent of exposure the developer is able or willing to make.

The numbers should guide the decision though. I'm not sure the fiscal benefit to the community is there.

Here is a good article discussing the subject.

https://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2018/05/03/tax-breaks-developers-nj-impact/545778002/


Re: Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

Thank you for the info Greg!

That is where I am very confused, just plugging some very low presumptions of net taxes the town would collect from this property I cannot even get close to as low as they are offering.

Additionally, I do not understand how it would even be a option to put in 108 units and pay 0 school tax for 30 years (as I understand it)

From online records, Jade is currently paying just shy of $72k a year in taxes for the vacant land, netting 2.16 mil in 30 years....for vacant land.....how is a offer that is 3.? even appropriate to bring to the table?

Darrin Darrin
Nov '20

It can be an awful nice flat piece of land for now. Just look at housing sales and just say no to this.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Nov '20

Hi Darrin. PILOTs are extremely complicated and while Greg’s link gives a simple explanation the studies can get very confusing. I’ll try to simplify it as best I can while only sharing what was discussed at the public meeting

Right now they pay $72k/yr for vacant land

With no pilot, once built the lot would have an estimated value of $xxmill and at the town’s tax rate the town would collect 21% in property taxes and the BOE would collect 58%. That amount increases a little every year as the value of the lot increases


With the PILOT, the town collects a % of gross rent while the BOE only collects their share of the pre built vacant land value

Tonight They countered their offer with a higher % of the gross rent and that increase they say will increase the town’s cut to $3million MORE than if they were normally taxed over 30years But the town has not seen that report yet.

But again that’s $3million more over 30yrs with the BOE getting left out of the deal. So if the project generates a decent number of school age kids that results in the BOE having to increase their budget then the remaining town residents would have to cover that increase.

Jim L Jim L
Nov '20

The town needs to be very careful here especially during what the housing experts are calling “the covid exodus”. That property and the units to be built there could be significantly more valuable in the coming year if the exodus from “city life” continues changing the value this whole deal is being based on.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
Nov '20

Thank you very much for the explanation Jim, and your right, super confusing!

Just looking at the facts, they are wagering a % of rent income to the town, but units would have to be built to collect this rent income, and as of yet, they haven not proven to us that they are ever going to actually build anything.

The real confusing part to me is how is this even an option? We all pay a large chunk of school taxes, and the whole point of this project as portrayed during the meetings was how much of a benefit it would be to the town to take in more taxes. We all know our school's are what need the money the most, the town seems to be surviving just fine currently and is debt free last I heard.

Looking at the brass tax, it's surprising to me that governing bodies even have the ability to make a deal such as this which in the end, really just gives them more money and leaves the schools out of the deal.

In the end of the day though, what was the first thing the Jade attorneys mentioned? "Well you let this person and this person do it, so we want to do it." Mind you, their facts were partially wrong, but this goes to the point of setting precedence. If the town does a developer a "favor" expect all the next developers to come up to the podium asking for that very same favor, Myself as well as others have been preaching this in public comment for years.

Darrin Darrin
Nov '20

Isn’t there a study that indicates how many students, at what ages, will be entering the schools from this project?

Aren’t all the apartments multiple bedrooms?

Most things in the world are governed by WIFM. You have to imagine this benefits those asking for it. WIFM is the town accepts? WIFM if they don’t? Remember, that 58% covers a budget growing at 3% per year; with a per student cost of $xxx growing at 3% per year, and property values fluctuate up and down.

What happens if the town says no? Is that worst case scenario that bad? Got rid of the building. Did some clean-up. Have a popular CVS. Is anyone dying to have this little park?

I know one of the neighbors says don’t t less, don’t give anymore, for this development.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Nov '20

"What happens if the town says no?" - They'll file suite with the state, claim the town is unreasonably depriving them of their investment, and demand "builders remedy". If granted, then no open space, twice as many buildings, twice as high with the town giving up twice as much in incentives.

Ask Mt Olive about how high density it can get.


"The real confusing part to me is how is this even an option? "

Darrin in simplest terms it is an option because that is what anyone making a major financial decision should do. Look at all available options, look at the pros and cons of each option, and then make the best decision based on all facts available. I wouldn't read anything into it other than the town is exploring all options available and at the end of the day, the town will choose the option that is in the best interest for the 9800+ residents in town.

"Isn’t there a study that indicates how many students, at what ages, will be entering the schools from this project?"

Yes, that is what the study looks at.

"What happens if the town says no?" - They'll file suit with the state,"

Well, I guess in this day and age anyone can sue for anything but the town won't make any decision based on a threat of a lawsuit.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '20

Jim L can confirm, but I believe we have a fair housing plan in place that meets the COAH obligation, which would negate a developer's claim for a builders remedy type of suit.

Either way, a PILOT deal is a loser for the town, especially the schools. Current taxpayers would in essence be picking up the tab for the students living in the new development.

Barnacle Bill
Nov '20

And, based on the density, location, and design, I would hazard to guess that whatever school-age resident estimates were made, the potential is higher for greater not less than the estimate.

Who paid for the estimate?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Nov '20

The study was asked for and paid for by the Developer. The town uses an independent 3rd party to conduct the study but the developer flips the bill for it. So no costs to the town and no obligation to the town to reward the PILOT.


And yes the town has successfully negotiated our Fair Share housing plan with the State and has credits to spare for the next round of COAH obligations. The town is in great shape both financially and with its COAH obligations.

Jim L. Jim L.
Nov '20

Jim L, my how is this even a option question was meant to be deeper then that, PILOTS in general, how is that a option, nothing to do with this developer.

To be honest, in a nutshell, PILOTs sound like a way for a developer to pay off a town to get to build what they want, sooner then they can afford, and is somehow legal to screw the BOE in the process.

But in the terms of this development, the BOE not getting the % is a major issue, as there is 108 units going in, most of which are multi-bedroom. For the other residents to have to "pick up the tab" if you would, for the additional students for 30 years is a bit mind blowing.

From what I gather, a PILOT would make sense in a office or retail development, I do not understand how it can be applied to a residential development, unless said development was maybe a 55+ comunity or something.

Darrin Darrin
Nov '20

In a society where even people without children pay into the school system, why should developers and poor people with too many kids get off the hook?

Warrener
Nov '20

Exsqueeze me: we are a society that has decided that education is that important. Therefore, we all chip in. Frankly it’s our best investment IMO.

What kind of society only offers education to those willing to pay? Not a good one. Certainly not the economic engine for the world.

Second: need Jim L on this but IF the developer gets PILOT, I don’t think the renters necessarily get a lower rent.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Nov '20

In a PILOT the builder generally gets a reduced property tax rate for a fixed number of years and then it reverts to the traditional tax structure. The benefit of a PILOT program is that the revenue goes directly to the town instead of being divvied up between the municipal budget, BOE and county. In a PILOT in NJ the split is 95% township, 5% county.

The town, should it so choose, could plow a large portion of the PILOT money back into the schools. Also, the tax structure on the land itself remains the same. The PILOT applies only to the improvements to the land. If the town is getting $30,000.00/year for the vacant land, they will continue to get that plus whatever tax revenue is generated by the improvements, generally escalating yearly until the project reaches "full taxation" at the end of the PILOT.

Hopefully, the BOE was involved in the negotiations and some provision was made for some revenue from the PILOT to be used to offset any additional burden to the school system.

ChrisK ChrisK
Nov '20

I’m not familiar with the PILOT program, but to me it sounds like a tool that a municipality can use to help to develop a property that it wants developed, but when the project might not be financially feasible for the developer. But, in this case, does the town really care if that land gets developed? From a pure financial perspective it might be best to leave it exactly as it is. They receive $72k/year and it doesn’t cost them a dime. Plus no additional kids in the school system.

FarmerJake FarmerJake
Nov '20

CK --- thanks that's some good info that sounds spot on, perhaps with some unintential spin as FJake alludes to. Bottom line is IF we do a PILOT, we are giving something away that was not part of the original deal. We are taking incoming tax revenues off the table. Sure, the town can provide some level of coverage, however last time I checked 21% never equals 58% and I doubt the town would go deeper in it's pockets than that, if that. No matter what, no matter how you slide the financial hockey puck, the taxpayer pays. You invest money to make money ----- that's the real question the town government needs to ask. Anything that's happened thus far is sunk cost ----- now, they must start again to review this new investment, this new project, and it's potential return.

The rest of this post points to the old adage that if you get the camel's head in the tent, the body will follow. Not sure who the camel is though, Jade, the town government, or the taxpayer.

Ask yourself this: JADE's expertise is developing less desirable properties, distressed one might say. Does anyone believe they woke up a few weeks ago to the concept of a PILOT program? Why not in the original proposal which was made and had good enough ROI to be made without it? Has that much changed in housing to the negative? Last time I checked, housing sales looked good, lower middle class rentals still a viable market.

Or are they are sneaking it in because the town government's camel head is already in the tent and this was their plan from the beginning believing there is no way we can say no being this far down the road.

I would be asking ---- has Jade done PILOT before. Is this their normal tactic to begin a project and then spring it out?

Then I might think about ---- what if the town government just says no --- beyond the lawsuit, is Jade the camel and has so much invested they must proceed? If the project goes bust, do we lose something or do we just not potentially get something ---- at this time? I mean the property has be improved, the building is down, and I think some hazardous waste work was done (not 100% sure on that). So, aren't we already better off? What's the downside of no?

But the real bottom line is to make up the 58% BOE payments ------ it's the taxpayer whose head is in the tent with Jade/town government provided some shoe leather in the rear. IMO. Because we were sold on a 79% rate for a rate-able and they are pitching 21% now with only the taxpayer, one way or another, to pick up the tab.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Nov '20

Looks like Bergen Tool PILOT Mayor and Town Council discussion will be Thursday January 14th, meeting starts at 7pm.

Darrin Darrin
Jan '21

Yes, Jade is coming back to Council on Thursday's meeting to continue the PILOT discussion.

Jim L Jim L
Jan '21

Jade is not on the agenda:

https://www.hackettstown.net/sites/g/files/vyhlif646/f/uploads/january_14_agenda.pdf

Barnacle Bill
Jan '21

yes sir they are, 4th page, about 3/4 of the way down

DICUSSION, Bergen Tool Phase II, PILOT

Darrin Darrin
Jan '21

Nice job by the council voting this down. Many good points brought up by residents and Business owners, but ultimately not a "win-win" as the developers tried to claim.

As one resident said, no one forced them to buy that property. Not the town's job to ensure they maximize profit, especially at the expense of the rest of the taxpayers.

Carve 2 roads, build 6 McMansions and a strip mall and be done with it.

John H.
Jan '21

Yes, I agree, great job by the Council!!!! I am very happy to see that the town is putting the residents first.

During the meeting a few local business owners spoke to try to encourage the council to approve this, Czig and Debbie from Exit Realty to name two from memory, but in reality their persuasion is really no different then hearing the developer's persuasion, they are looking to make a buck off this development, while the residents have to pick up the slack in taxes due to a bad deal.

Luckily, the Council proved they are truly on the resident's side, factually there is no financial benefit from the offered pilot until years 28, 29, and 30, and if any of the projections (actual building/getting people to buy/rent) does not happen, these numbers diminish and it can become a looser for the town.

Darrin Darrin
Jan '21

I could see where czig would be for higher density in walking distance. Makes good business sense. Or does it. I vote with my wallet too.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Jan '21

Thank you to Jim and darrin for keeping us non informed informed !


FYI Jade is coming back to the Thursday, March 11th Town Council meeting to ask to revisit the PILOT decision for the Bergen Tool site. The Agenda and zoom login info will be on the town's website shortly.

Jim L Jim L
Mar '21

is the Council obligated to hear them if they've already voted the PILOT down?

Barnacle Bill
Mar '21

Look at what Asbury Township Warren County is going through with their land use Board and former Mayor. Lawsuits all over the place. A no is never a no. Lol.


BB, if they come back with an offer that is better for the town, shouldn't they hear them?

Richie
Mar '21

No matter the offer, I can all but guarantee it won't make up for the loss of school taxes, the burden of which will be spread out to the rest of us. That's the problem with these programs.

Barnacle Bill
Mar '21

I would think it's only proper to listen to what they may have to say just one more time. However no matter what the discussion, it's still very clearly just lipstick on a pig scenario in my opinion.


Haven't they had MORE than "just one more time"?.

Bernie Bernie
Mar '21

Didn't they say at the last meeting that what was currently being offered was their best offer?

What more could be offered, or was that a fib?

The fact that this contractor never fully fulfilled their written obligations during Phase 1 is enough for me to not want the town to do any more favors....the town is debt free, it's not like any of our taxes will go down because of this development, let the property sit until we can get someone in that can afford what they want to build!

Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

Jade requested a delay to a later date make yet another attempt at getting PILOT status for this project. As reported on WRNJ this morning Councilman Lambo had inquired if this should be the last hurrah if you will regarding how many times the council should allow a hearing for the same request. The Mayor stated that since they are property tax payers currently, they should have the opportunity to be heard again.( ironically looking to not pay "taxes"). Councilman Sheldon echoed that sentiment as well. Personally I agree with Jim. If anything I would think after the initial denial the applicant should perhaps have the opportunity to present one more offer in rebuttal but I would think that is enough. I mean they could continue to present over and over if they don't get a satisfactory decision. Simply make your best offer and live with it. Obviously the law will govern the process here. As Darrin has pointed out many times, it appears this developer has a track record of non compliance with prior resolutions. I say buyer beware.


UGH!!

Bernie Bernie
Mar '21

I would think that if the town did not listen to another proposal that there could be litigation against them for not negotiating in good faith. A Pilot is a negotiation, nothing cut and dried.......Just my thought.

Richie
Mar '21

Sometimes negotiations conclude.
No “ meeting of the minds”.
Impasse reached.
Principles part ways.
Apparently, developer continues to seek further concessions.
Time for best and final.
Yes or no.
B-bye.

Stymie Stymie
Mar '21

Eggs aker lee Stymie!


didn't they give Jade permission to cut down all the trees?...So naturally they will be back after that is completed and then they will get their deal

bug3
Mar '21

Yea and no. They got permission to knock down the trees from the land use board but in order to do that they need to enter into a development agreement with the town. But the development agreement is being held up until the pilot gets sorted out.

Jim L Jim L
Mar '21

Jade is on Tuesday 3-23 LUB agenda asking for another extension

Jade is also on the Thursday 3-25 TC agenda for another discussion, assuming about the pilot

Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

Topic: Land Use Board Meeting
Time: March 23, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81656495361?pwd=MWlsWTFiWEVVV1JEVGZzUFZhTHRPUT09

Meeting ID: 816 5649 5361
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Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

Great decision by council tonight in my opinion. As Councilmen Lambo, Kunz and the Mayor stated, the schools would most likely suffer under the proposal of a PILOT here in town.


Yes agreed! Great job council!

What I don't understand is how the liability of the foundry sand becomes the town's problem? We warned them during the planning phase, but they accepted that risk and told us it wouldn't be a problem....well.......

The long in the short is that by keeping the foundry sand no developer is interested in this property due to the liability, thus they are having issues finding someone to build it.

And since when did this project go full rental?

Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

If I remember correctly, the sand was to be remediated by using it as a base under the paved roads and parking lots of the development. Is that no longer being allowed?

Barnacle Bill
Mar '21

BB- from what Mr. Rice stated tonight many of the large home building companies like Ryan Homes etc, consider the foundry sand as a liability and apparently will not enter into projects that have this scenario such as this site.

Darrin I was saying just that out loud during the testimony tonight. The developer took a risk and it seems it is now a problem. His problem not the town's. He even stated how the town engineer was very specific not to have it used under any of the town owned portions of the area such as sidewalks and roadways. That should have been a tip off that it was a risk...


Couldn't agree with you more Greg

If you remember, we warned them too, and questioned if this would be a problem, they assured no issue.

Their problem should not be passed off as a town's problem to save them a buck, dig it out, remediate the site fully, ship it out to be properly disposed. I know it's permissible by DEP to use it under roads, but if it will hinder your project, take care of it, do not make it some one else's problem

And again, since when did this project go full rental? They were waiving that around last night like that was the plan all along, but I do not remember that being discussed or approved, did I miss a meeting and a public notice?

Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

Darrin as far as the site going full rental, it was brought up at council when they first came to us with the PILOT last year. I mentioned that they are trying to switch the townhomes from for sale to rental. Their attorney stated they never committed one way or the other whether they would be rental or for sale. So I read him the part in the Resolution where it clearly stated a homeowners association would be responsible for the 3 acres of open land. Our town attorney stated they would need to go back to LUB to get that change to "property management company". There would be no legal standing for the LUB to deny that change so it would get done. So as much as we would prefer them to be for sale we wouldn't be able to prevent them from changing to rental.

The reason they are changing to rental is as you guys stated above. They can not find a builder that will take on the liability of the foundry sand. If they go rental then they would build them themselves and keep the liability.

Everyone on the council sees the benefit of the project and wants it to be built. Some of us just want them to pay their full share of taxes especially when we know it will bring a lot of kids to our already full schools. Their offer last night was enticing. There was a clear benefit to the town. Unfortunately for the developer, the town is in great financial shape. We are debt-free and have $2mill in capital improvement surplus so we do not have to make deals like this that would screw our BOE, which would then pass the burden on to the residents to pick up the difference. They tried to argue that with the surplus the town would collect, we could decide on our own to give the school more money from our cut. Well great, if we did that then we would lose all the town benefit of the PILOT so the agreement would be useless to the town.

And all due respect to WRNJ, the numbers they reported this morning were inaccurate.

Jim L. Jim L.
Mar '21

I thought they testified a percentage of rentals as their plans for the project when presenting for approval

Sounds like these numbers were not captured in the resolution, but how can we agree to one thing that was based off testimony, and it's okay for them to just change this?

That was not the plan that we agreed to.

Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

There was nothing regarding % of rentals. They agreed to pay the fee for the10% COAH.

From the resolution:
WHEREAS, the proposed development would include: 108 multi-family residential units (66 townhouse units and 42 apartment units), 15,900 square feet of commercial space, a new municipal roadway to connect Bergen Street with Stiger Street, a new stormwater management basin, and a new 3-acre area of open space to be set aside for recreational and open space activities;

The problem for them it clearly states "Homeowners association" throughout the resolution which they would have needed to change.

"jj.The submission of documents establishing a homeowner's association for the common open space and common property designated within the development in a form satisfactory to the Board Attorney and Board Engineer. The homeowner's association shall be established prior to the issuance of any certificates of occupancy for a townhouse unit in the development."

Jim L. Jim L.
Mar '21

I understand nothing was captured in the resolution, but the number units that would be rentals was discussed in their verbal sworn testimony during the meetings...which in my opinion was the basis of our approval. This is at least how I remember it

And correct me if I am wrong, but that homeowners association was also to maintain the 3 acers open space? So how would the town know that the open space would be maintained if there is no association?

Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

it was never discussed as rentals or for sale. it was always discussed as apartments and townhouses.

that what they would need to change. It would have to be changed to read the rental property manager is responsible for maintaing the 3 acres of open land

Jim L. Jim L.
Mar '21

Fairly certain that it came up, but I lack the motivation to start going through meetings, it's Friday after all!

Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

well lucky for you Darrin, I lack no motivation, lol. I read through the 3 public meetings regarding phase 2. I found no mention of what % would be rentals and what would be for sale. just always referred to them as apartments and townhouses.

there was significant testimony regarding the "homeowners association" which of course means the townhouses were intended to be for sale

" Madden asked if there would be any lighting restrictions for the townhouse owners. Selvaggi replied there are no restrictions on residential homes elsewhere in the town. Sterbenz suggested the Home Owner’s Association documents could include any possible lighting limitations."

"Matusewicz asked what would prevent the townhouse owners from screening their decks and making a screen room. Larsen replied all of the restrictions would be in the Home Owner’s Association regulations."

Jim L. Jim L.
Mar '21

they clearly intended the townhouses to be for sale and switched to rental when they could not find a builder to build them with the foundry sand on-site.

Jim L. Jim L.
Mar '21

It might just be the COAH % I am confusing along with, as you stated above, they were always portrayed as for sale units.

These guys have been back so many times, and have changed their plans so many times, I can't even keep up anymore!

Thanks for the info Jim, you have been super helpful!

Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

Ha you can’t keep up. Between LUB, council meetings and subcommittee meetings I’ve met with Jade so many times I have to keep track of what was said at what meeting. Anything I share here has been stated at a public meeting

Jim L Jim L
Mar '21

They should just remove the foundry sand, while yes, it was stated it is permissible by the governing body, if you cannot get an interested developer because of it, that is saying something right there, and is your problem as the property owner for not doing your research, not the town's issue to cut you a deal that could potentially hurt the town financially so you can build a development that includes what everyone else is considering a liability.

They will be back, I am sure of it

Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

I am thinking there are not too many place that take possibly contaminated foundry sand

Bug3
Mar '21

Did a google search and there are companies that would be able to take the foundry sand. Here is one...... https://www.ercofusa.com/services/foundry-sand-recycling/

Richie
Mar '21

But..what does it cost?

Bug3
Mar '21

^
Not our problem!

Darrin Darrin
Mar '21

I am familiar with several of the principals involved.
Just need to make sure they don’t dispose of it ala “The Great Escape”.

Stymie Stymie
Mar '21

No idea Bug. That's the developer's issue and I'm sure a legit developer researched it even before the project was presented.

Richie
Mar '21

Jade on the Council agenda for 5-27-2021 at 7pm, yet another Pilot discussion

Darrin Darrin
May '21

Jade PILOT was approved tonight with no explanation to the public of what they were approving and no public comment was opened prior to approval.

All I know is I heard there will be a tax abatement and the apartments will be 1 bedroom. Additionally the foundry sand is staying. All but 1 council member voted in favor of this so I hope it is in fact a win for the town

Would have been nice to know what they were approving, I saw nothing in the meeting notes explaining the PILOT......

Darrin Darrin
May '21

I don't think it was approved yet. This was to approve moving forward with putting together a financial agreement and development plan. Once that is put together I assume then the details will become available to the public. I will say there was clearly some better terms proposed as hinted to by a few council members with their positive comments. I have confidence that they have and will conduct their due diligence in this matter.

On the cannabis front, I laughed to myself that there was no public comments tonight. Only on this forum do folks comment either way, not where it counts. I guess folks got baked and forgot the public comment portion was tonight! LMAO. It is a good move in my opinion.


Greg, I am trying to keep open minded and hope that they do come back to actually explain to the public what they are agreeing to, but I am having a very hard time getting over the fact that Jade said themselves that they approached every single developer in the area and nobody wanted to touch the development due to the liability of the foundry sand, at least that was the aspect they mentioned.

Whether we think foundry sand is a big deal or not is a mute point, If every single reputable developer is saying no, isn't that a huge red flag??? So why would the town essentially give these guys, in the form of tax breaks, funding to build something that every other developer said no to??

And secondly why wasen't the towns response to ship out the foundry sand? We warned them that this was their risk in multiple meetings and the way it looks to me, the town is now paying (through tax agreements) for the developers blunder.

Darrin Darrin
May '21

I do agree it is a bit curious regarding a developer and the foundry sand issue. I was surprised when their council stated that with the current real estate demand, folks are essentially willing to accept more risk. I assume he meant a buyer and the developer. That's all fine and dandy until the pendulum swings again. We all know, particularly in NJ how fickle the real estate market can be.


Yes Greg, I dont think that is something I would have said on public record if it were me....they basically admitted to knowing people don't like it but being they need housing they will just do it.....doesn't seem like the ethical way to be building and in reality this is why I am upset with our town's willingness to be financially vested to make this happen

Darrin Darrin
May '21

The town and Developer reached an agreement on the concept of a PILOT/ Abatement

The townhouses will now be For Sale, full market value, and instead of a 30yr pilot that they were asking for, they will get a 5-year tax abatement. So the Schools are not cut out of their share of the funding.

The apartments will all be 1-bedroom apartments instead of a collection of 1,2, 3 bedroom apartments as previously intended. In return, they will have a 30yr pilot on those apartments. So in theory, with them being 1 bedroom, there will be little to no impact on the school population from those apartments.

The town still gets their 10unit credit for COAH

As for the foundry sand, it will only be on the developer's land, it will not be under any town-owned land/road. So the developer is assuming all the risk. If there is an issue in the future then it's the developer's issue, not the town. Keep in mind the State EPA states foundry sand can be capped under roads/sidewalks/driveways/parking lots which is what they are planning on doing. So they are still following the EPA/DOT recommendations.

The next step is a redevelopers agreement and then a financial agreement. Both will be done at public meetings with public comments. This was just the town agreeing to move forward with the concept.

Jim L. Jim L.
May '21

Jim,

Couple things

Being the plans are changing will they have to come back before the land use board for a new approval?

"So the Schools are not cut out of their share of the funding." What is the abatement..... How much reduction over the 5 years? If there is a tax break being given the town and schools could be loosing some money, I would be interested in seeing the actual numbers of full tax, vs abatement, vs pilot....I think we need those to be able to educate ourselves on this decision.

"So in theory, with them being 1 bedroom, there will be little to no impact on the school population from those apartments."

1 bedroom apartments could be used for single parents with 1 child, or will there be an ordinance against that?

We are looking at how many 1 bedroom apartments now? You may not know this answer obviously if the developer is going to have to come back with new plans

While YES, the foundry sand as being used is completely EPA permissible, it is obviously enough of a liability that NO other developer wanted anything to do with this project.....that really says a lot. I do not think it is the town's responsibility to cut them a break so that they can do what NO other developer wanted to touch, especially when it is really as simple as removing it. While yes they feel that it can stay, and legally it can stay, that risk was on them and it is unfair to the town for us to cut them financial breaks because of it....the residents suffer so the developer can succeed....it is money out of the town's pocket so the developer can put money in his pocket.

Thank you for the clarification, good to know there will be future meetings and the public can be involved

Darrin Darrin
May '21

there will be 35 one-bedroom apartments vs the previously approved 42 two-bedroom apartments.

As for the rest of your questions, you can ask all these questions at the public meetings, I am done talking about Jade and pilots. Been way too many meetings, emails, & reports over the last year. I'm exhausted. The town held firm and looked after the best interest of the town as well as the BOE. Most towns would have jumped on the first pilot offer as that would have brought in the most money to the town but completely screwed the BOE. In the end, the town got what they wanted, the townhouses will be For Sale, and there will be little impact on the schools from the apartments.

Jim L. Jim L.
May '21

Most towns are also not in as good of financial standing as our town is.

If we can afford to cut this developer a 5 year break so he can build what no one else would touch we can most certainly afford to give the residents a tax break right?

Darrin Darrin
May '21

So basically..who ever buys those town houses will be sitting on a environmental time bomb...

Bug3
May '21

Sure thing Darrin,

Come to a town council meeting and make a compelling argument on how giving you a tax break will bring, jobs, businesses, and added revenue to Main St.

Jim L. Jim L.
May '21

Hey, more money in the residents pocket through a tax cut is more money they can spend in town right?

That's how all these stimulus checks work.....right?

More people would be willing to upgrade their houses and ultimatly raise their taxes if they had a tax break right? I know for a fact there is a lot I would do to my house if it was not for the fear of what my taxes would go up to...they are too high how it is

On the flip side, turn your question around, what will this cost the town with the added infrastructure, policing, road care, kids in schools and where do we end up financially over the course of the next five years? Can we actually afford to just give that money away? Certainly we loose some to get a development...there is no payback as we are only getting what we would have had from day 1 if we didnt give a break.

As mentioned before, I would be really interested to see the actual financial analysis of this before I conclude it is good for the town.

Darrin Darrin
May '21

The taxes collected during the first five years of the abatement are still more than enough to cover the municipal expenses during those years. The will be no shortfall that the residents have to cover

And luckily we don’t need you to conclude if this was a good deal for the town. That’s why you vote for council to represent the residents in decisions like this. We did our due diligence and looked at numerous reports by an independent third party that ran all the numbers for us and then made the best decision for the town based on the data. If you want to be part of the decision, run for council. Of course you have to be an actual resident of Hackettstown to run

Jim L Jim L
May '21

No one said I was needed, what I said was I would like to know the numbers before I decide on my opinion....I am entitled to my opinion and to voice my concerns in a public meeting or on a public place such as this forum, just like every tax paying home owner is in town....which I am...thanks for your heart felt concern though

Darrin Darrin
May '21

Being that this project was previously approved, I personally think that this is about the best financial agreement that could have been made by the town. As far as the tax abatement goes, all's I can say is that it worked out great for the area across the street where Quick Chek is some years back that was in need of redevelopment also. Kudos to the council for fighting for what is best for the town!

Richie
May '21

Richie, yes, I agree, these best as far as financial agreements...but as for the best for the town.....

I still feel we should have "held their feet to the fire" and the town should have made them ship out the foundry sand....that was the developer's risk, not the town's....and with this, the town will loose some income because of it while the developer saves money.

Maybe this was the plan all along...who knows

I would think that a developer would know what can and cannot be built, or what risk another developer would be willing to take in the liability department.

Darrin Darrin
Jun '21

What irks me is that the LUB laid out the problems with this land well before the developer invested in it. He was tasked with preserving the Admin Building which he purposely let crumble. He knew full well he was to deal with all the foundry sand on-site. Now he cries at the unfair cost burden, which was his goal from the get-go.

As far as funding, that is a lie, and ultimately his problem, not the town's. There are areas in Newark which for years were untouchable as brownfields that now are being remediated at an astonishing rate and cost, because real estate values have escalated. There is funding out there, But RR is looking for his best deal. Don't buy the sob story - stay strong.

Barnacle Bill
Jun '21

BB, What did we get in return for that admin building?

An American sawmill "memorial" made with the bricks from the old admin building..."it will have a nice plaque memorializing the historic site"....wait....the developer didn't save any bricks....so that did not happen either.....

But lets give them a tax discount so they can make more money! Getting played is a ugly for our town!

Darrin Darrin
Jun '21

"Getting played is a ugly for our town!"

getting played? Funny from where I'm sitting the town got everything we wanted. Maybe it's not what Darrin wanted, but we represent all 9800 + residents, not just the one who is on HL the most.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '21

Jim L
That contaminated sand is a lawsuit waiting to happen

Bug3
Jun '21

ugly look

We got some of what we wanted Jim....to say we got everything we wanted is a ignorant understatement, facts just two messages up, heck the town even wrote it into the books, only to have it ignored and ultimately say "oh well"

Many residents voiced many concerns during the meetings, not sure why this is just boiling down to HL posts....

And....it's not built yet, so we will see where we end up, way too early to even attempt to say we got everything we wanted, you have been doing this long enough that you should know this will not be the last we hear from them....

From where I am sitting this has been the town giving and giving and not getting much in return deal.

Darrin Darrin
Jun '21

"We got some of what we wanted Jim."

yea I'm not sure you and I are using "we" the same.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '21

We = the town.....clearly

Okay, so fact check....

How can you say the town got everything they wanted when in the ORDINANCE for the property the admin building was to remain intact, and it didn't, no steps were taken to even ATTEMPT to, after letting it sit for years the developer comes back and says look how bad of shape this is in! Like it was a surprise..

How can you say the town got everything they wanted when the next plans showed an American Sawmill memorial, since we now couldn't keep the building....and when asked the developer said they did not save any bricks?

How can you say the town got everything they wanted when we are giving a 5 year abatement on townhomes and a 30 year pilot on apartments? Are you saying the town did not WANT that income?

The list goes on and on

A forthright statement would be, this is the best deal we could come up with to try to get this property developed and we feel the town can make it work financially.

To portray we got everything we wanted is non-encompassing of all the past we have with this property

Darrin Darrin
Jun '21

Its hard to fact check you when you have so many facts wrong.

2010 Ordinance to keep the building
2011 Sprinkler system burst causing roof to collapse
2011 Jade purchased site
2013 Ordinance to keep building amended.


https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/warren-county/express-times/2011/02/water-weakened_beams_caused_ro.html

https://www.nj.com/warrenreporter/2013/02/hackettstown_mayor_discusses_b.html

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '21

What we wanted/Got

1) redevelopment of a major eyesore on Main St
2) Flood issue resolved with no money spent from the town's budget
3) Major retailer anchoring our town's Main st
4) mixed-use of retail and residential that will booster our Main St
5) 3 acres of open space for town residents
6) Townhouses for sale at full market price
7) apartments to have little to no impact on schools
8) a large increase in ratables to the town
9) COAH credit of 10 units towards our Fair Share housing requirements

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '21

what facts are wrong?

The property sat from 2011 to 2013 (using your dates which i believe to be correct) in Jade's hands with no attempts to save it, they just let it get worse...which was my point

And if your are talking about the roof that happened not 2 months prior to them purchasing the property that is a moot point, as they purchased the property knowing of the ordinance AND the roof and still did nothing for 3 years to keep it from getting worse....you literally made my point.

Care to discuss the other points made?

Additionally, with this last meeting, now numbers of apartments seem to be changing, which means the approved plans will need to be amended, and a meeting to approve new plans is in order I would think....so again, your saying the town got everything they wanted, yet we have not even seen new plans....

Darrin Darrin
Jun '21

I applaud your optimism, but you can't list things that have not happened yet and say we got what we want.....

after all, we have been going at this for how many years now....10+

Darrin Darrin
Jun '21

Again "we" when you use it is different when i use. "we" have seen the new plans. "We" are getting what "we" wanted. "You" have not seen the plans. "You" are not getting what "you" wanted

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '21

Where is the open space? Is it a playground for kids? Or a park? Desperately needed on that side of town.

Seenit
Jun '21

Seenit ---- there is Alumni Field and Riverfront Park which has a playground for kids.

happiest girl
Jun '21

seenit,

Once this site is completed (whenever that may be) there will be 3 acres of open land in the back that is open to the public. Right now there are no plans for a playground, just a walking trail. However, that may change if the rec department is interested in taking over the 3 acres. A few years ago, they were not, but since then, the new rec director has been more open to the idea. But I need to get the site built first before pursuing that again.

I agree a playground with a ball field or hoops is definitely needed on this side of town for residents/kids to walk to.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '21

Hackettstown proper really does lack open space for recreation

NorthJersey
Jun '21

If the town is interested in taking it over we should be more aware of the capping we were previously allowing of the contamination under it....that will become our problem

Look at CVS.. it was signed off as cleaned and then the next year they found contamination in the ground water underneath the building.

While the open space is great, I personally wouldn't want the town responsible for a previously contaminated site

Darrin Darrin
Jun '21

again "we" are aware.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '21

Jim L.,
That sounds wonderful!
The walking trail is a great start and we'll all have to petition Joe for new rec fields when the time is right.

Happiest.... Riverfront is across town. I'm talking about North Main street.

Seenit
Jun '21

Darren, doesn't this seem better than the approved project? Fewer apartments, more tax income, and fewer students for the schools? To me, it seems better than the approved plan! In my opinion, it's a good job by the Mayor and Council on probably the best deal it can be.

Richie
Jun '21

What is the plan for the bicycle mounds in the back of the property by Fourth Street?

Pampurr Pampurr
Jun '21

I believe they call that a "naturalistic play area", lol

ianimal ianimal
Jun '21

Re: Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

Richie, yes it certainly does sound better, at a cost of income to the town unfortunately, what the cost will be is yet to be shared....the public has not seen the plans yet

Pampurr, they are cutting down all the trees and that becomes a walking trail about 50 foot off the property line....picture of the plans was posted, but is here too...these were the last approved plans

https://www.hackettstown.net/sites/g/files/vyhlif646/f/uploads/jade_200709_construction_sequencing_plan_1.pdf

Darrin Darrin
Jun '21

" at a cost of income to the town unfortunately,"

the cost to the town for the abatement is very minimal. And if the townhouses are staggered( built out over a couple of years) then it's even more minimal each year. we're looking at on avg $50k a year tax break during the abatement years. The town can easily absorb that, heck we have to deal with that occasionally with existing commercial and residential properties getting tax adjustments.

The town is in a good financial position to not feel any impact on the abatements and the long term financial benefit the project will bring to the town more than makes up for any shortfall the town will face upfront.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '21

That's what I was thinking also Jim.

Richie
Jun '21

So if the townhouses will be built over a couple years, when can we expect the open space open to the public.....in 10 years???..because that's all the residents are really getting out of this deal....otherwise it's just a over populated development...which left alone is just a field and woods...which I am sure some bordering properties would much rather look at then a townhouse 25 feet away.

Why not add into the deal a deadline for the open space so the residents don't loose?

Darrin Darrin
Jun '21

we get it, you bought a house next to an abanded factory and now hate that something is finally getting built on it.

Jim L. Jim L.
Jun '21

Jim, my house is next to the CVS....my fish have been fried since that building went up, this development will not change my view, but it will for all the residents on east prospect, 4th, and bergen street....and I feel for them while you don't seem to care.

Let's keep on topic and just not stray because the discussion is to hard for you, I asked what I believe to be a very good question....why not add in a deadline for the open space to be open to the public...we are setting ourselves up to never see it....they want a tax break, we want the open space in a reasonable timeframe.....why not?

I though you were here to help the town, and I applauded a council and land use member coming onto this forum...but recently you seem to be slipping back to your old Darwin ways.

Darrin Darrin
Jun '21

Seems Jade is on the Town Council meeting agenda this Thursday 12-9-2021

"Motion to amend the Jade Hackettstown Phase 2A Developers agreement"

Not sure the details, it could be something small and meaningless, but you never really know with them......

If anyone has details please let us know, Thank you!

Darrin Darrin
Dec '21

Some info for the neighbors:

Construction will begin mid to late January, with the initial phase being an estimated 4 months duration consisting of cutting down the trees and grading work. They are estimating 3200 trucks to/from the site, roughly up to 100 trucks per day during this period

Permissible work hours are 7:30AM - 7:00PM Mon-Sat NO Sundays and NO holidays. If working hours and/or days are violated you can contact the police and/or the Mayor and the job site will be shut down until they can hold a construction meeting with the town. The town made it very clear that no exceptions will be given to working days and hours for any reason

The ONLY street that is allowed to be used for ingress and egress to the site by construction vehicles is Bergen Street, if construction vehicles are found on any other residential roads you can contact the police and/or the Mayor and the drivers will be ticket and the job site will be shut down until they can hold a construction meeting with the town. At no time can construction traffic block any road or block the residents of Bergen street to and from their homes.

Huge thank you to Mr. DiMaio, Mr. Sterbenz, and Mr. Tynan for being incredibly vigilant to protect and put the residents first during this project. It seems a lesson has been learned from the pitfalls during the CVS project and I see a totally different approach during this project which in my opinion should really help the residents.

If anything needs to be corrected, please feel free to do so, but this is what I had from my notes

Darrin Darrin
Dec '21

100 trucks a day on bergen street will destroy that road

Bug3
Dec '21

The portion of the road that will be destroyed is being eliminated through the Phase 2 Bergen Street realignment.

Bergen Street will no longer connect to US-46 but will make a 90-degree turn through the Bergen Tool property and connect to Stiger Street.

ianimal ianimal
Dec '21

ianimal how dare you use facts and logic. Only doom and gloom are allowed on HL.

Jim L. Jim L.
Dec '21

Correct, but the town made it very clear that it is to be upkept for the residents until the new road is in place, thus if they destroy it, they have to immediately fix it in the meantime

Additionally there is some HMUA concerns running under that road, that if damaged, they immediately need to be fixed

Darrin Darrin
Dec '21

What is the path going around the "open space" --- it shows it feeds out onto Third Street, and also feeds out going towards Fourth Street. Is it a vehicle road, or a foot path?

happiest girl
Dec '21

I wonder if the town advised the residents of bergen street of their " plan" or if it will just be a pleasant suprise come January.

Bug3
Dec '21

Everyone in the area was invited to the pre construction meeting that Darrin attended so yes Bug they were notified if they bothered to attend the meeting. Perhaps Bug you should spend more time wondering what YOUR town is doing. Hmm. Or you only troll Hackettstown things ?

Jim L Jim L
Dec '21

Re: Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

Bug3 it's a foot path not for vehicles.

ianimal the only issue I saw was how the curbs come out to slow traffic down. The plans that I had seen have them. You can see the same types of curbing on Franklin Street in Morristown behind the Hospital.


Re: Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

This area should a major concern with the curbs coming out as far as they do I. Regards to snow and the difficulty turning the ladder truck down that street if ever needed.


Bug3,

Bergen street is the only ingress and egress they have to their lot without actually passing houses, so its the lesser of the evils IMO.

Their only other option would be through CVS's main street entrance, but I am pretty sure CVS would not every allow that, every other means to their property woul dhave them passing residential houses

Happiest, it is strictly a walking path

Darrin Darrin
Dec '21

Jim L
Maybe I do live in Hackettstown
Perhaps your internet snooping is being fooled by a vpn

Bug3
Dec '21

Bergen Street at Main is about 12 or 13 feet wide with very tight curb radii of 10 feet. I wouldn't want to try to pull an 80k tri-axle in there the way it is. Are they going to let them open that up and make it wider during construction?

ianimal ianimal
Dec '21

ianimal

That certainly didn't stop the two I saw behind me on East Ave. on Tuesday around 4:20PM that violated the 4 Ton limit sign, nor did it stop the Tractor Trailer on Monday around 4:30PM that not only drove across the same bridge, but then turned around at the driving range/mini golf course by the farm there and drove right back across it again. Apparently many of these drivers either don't know what they're doing or they're just flagrantly violating the law because the just don't give a flying F. Of course the Washington Twp. cops are usually busy along the Rt. 46 Hackettstown hill, or sitting just past the East Ave./Rt. 46 corner (I guess waiting for red light runners?).

I have no idea where the large dump trucks were going, though curiously they turned from East Ave. onto Rt. 46E, but then made that first U after the road splits in order to come back towards Hackettstown. I would think the best enforcement of the Bergen Street area site would be via several well-placed video recorders that would capture violations in real time, in order to back up what any concerned citizens may report.

Phil D. Phil D.
Dec '21

sorry Bug no internet snooping needed, just a great memory. you've mentioned you lived in Great Meadows multiple times here on HL

http://www.hackettstownlife.com/forum/951529
http://www.hackettstownlife.com/forum/855886

Jim L. Jim L.
Dec '21

Jim he could have moved to Hackettstown due to their frequent power issues in GM.

Lmao

Point Lambo


Re: Bergen Tool Project Phase 2: Townhomes and Apartments

Jim's memory is incredible

Just playing devils advocate, what if he was posting for a family member or friend?

Ianimal, Jade owns the adjacent property to that turn, I am sure they can widen into their property temporarily if need be

Darrin Darrin
Dec '21

I live in that neighborhood, and was NOT notified or invited Jim!

Voteforchange Voteforchange
Dec '21

BS

Fake name fake news.

Jim L Jim L
Dec '21

Not a fake name or fake news. I will say it again I live in that area and was NEVER notified or invited to ANY zoning mtgs or planning mtgs!

Voteforchange Voteforchange
Dec '21

Then you don't live close enough to the area. Those that were legally required to be notified were legally notified.

Jim L. Jim L.
Dec '21

The meetings are always posted on the town website, town bulletin board, and newspaper as required by law prior to the meeting

https://www.hackettstown.net/

Additionally you can sign up for the meeting agendas to be emailed to you by contacting the town clerk and asking to be added to the email list

Darrin Darrin
Dec '21

Hey Jim, stop trying to intimidate people by sending emails after you disagree with something posted!
I promise you I live right in the heart if this area being affected, and let me repeat since you don't understand, We We're NOT notified! Should I say it slower or louder for you? Believe it. And don't start bashing me, I'm not a troll, I am a pissed constituent! Stop talking to people like you better, listen to understand.

Voteforchange Voteforchange
Dec '21

"We We're NOT notified! Should I say it slower or louder for you?"

no you can stop hiding behind your keyboard trying to act tough and say it to our faces. There is a LUB meeting tomorrow night 7pm Town Hall. There is a public comment section. If you say you live in the area and were not notified of the what 50 public meeting on Bergen Tool then show up tomorrow and state that and prove you live within the Legally required range.

If not then STFU no one cares what you say on HL.



" I'm not a troll, I am a pissed constituent!"

don't care, don't vote for me. I have no patience left for keyboard warriors.

Jim L. Jim L.
Dec '21

voteforchange......I realize you don't want your address posted, but just out of curiosity can you say what street you live on?

Richie
Dec '21

Richie, even if they state what street they supposedly live on, there is no way to prove that is correct. The only way to prove it is to show up to a public meeting and put it on the record.

Jim L. Jim L.
Dec '21

Vote for change- a list of residents within 200 feet is provided to the applicant .
If you were not notified I suggest you challenge the applicant.
You can really throw a wrench in the process if you choose to do so.
Might I add that I find Jim L a most unpleasant and pompous individual.
Your inflated sense of self worth displayed in your posts renders neither yourself nor Hackettstown at large any positive benefit.

Stymie Stymie
Dec '21

What does putting on the record do? Nothing. Just like Hackettstown Town Council- nothing! Why is it not possible that I wasn't sent notification, is it not possible for mistakes to happen? Don't you want to know when they do, Mr town council?
Jim- I'm no key board warrior, you sir are a bully and don't worry, I didn't vote for you nor will I ever. And no since Jim the bully goes after everyone, I am not comfortable telling my street. I live within 2 blocks of Bergen, and my street still floods during heavy rain,btw! But you will say I am wrong about that too. Why do you gaslight people?

Voteforchange Voteforchange
Dec '21

"Why is it not possible that I wasn't sent notification, is it not possible for mistakes to happen? Don't you want to know when they do, Mr town council?"

again if you live outside the 200 ft radius of Bergen tool then you were not notified. "Within 2 blocks of bergen" doesn't mean you live within 200ft of the site. So no you did not need to be notified, which means, wait for it, I was right and everyone that was legally required to be notified was legally notified.

Jim L. Jim L.
Dec '21

Just a FYI, not every meeting requires the 200ft radius be notified, only one in which they add to, or present/change plans...I am sure there is more to it then that, but if they are approving something that was previously approved, like this last meeting I was speaking about, the TC (town council) was approving what the LUB (land use board) already approved....the LUB meeting which occurred months ago was a 200ft notified meeting during which they notified in person the attendance that the topic was headed to the TC, the TC meeting was not, nor did it have to be 200ft notified, it was just posted as required by law

On the other had, every public meeting needs to, and is legally posted to the town website, town bulletin board, and newspaper as required by law prior to the meeting. Agendas can be found on the town website....you just have to stay vigilant in keeping up with them.

Like I stated before, you can sign up with the town clerk to be on the email chain of the town meeting agendas, this is what I have done and it keeps me from ever missing an agenda...trust me, it's a lot of work keeping up with these things

Darrin Darrin
Dec '21

Jan 25th 7 PM Land Use meeting:

Review of Ordinance 2022-02 relative to the adoption of a redevelopment plan for lots 18.01 and 18.02 in block 21 situated in the Stiger Street redevelopment area.

Any info on the ordinance? It is not posted on the website

Darrin Darrin
Jan '22

Call town hall and ask them to email you a copy of the 2022-02 ordinance.

Richie
Jan '22

it will be posted when it goes back to the town council for public comment and adoption. The LUB is just reviewing it and will give town council their opinion and/or recommended changes. There will be no public comment on it at the LUB meeting tomorrow regarding it. Public comment will be at the Town Council meeting once the draft is completed

Jim L. Jim L.
Jan '22

That's pretty much what I figured, thank you Jim

Darrin Darrin
Jan '22

The 2022 redevelopment ordinance for the property has been posted for review

https://www.hackettstown.net/sites/g/files/vyhlif646/f/uploads/ordinance_2022-02_0.pdf

Meeting is Tomorrow Feb 22nd at 7pm

Darrin Darrin
Feb '22

There should be a major concern with the following statement in the ordinance

"Public access to the open space shall be permitted, subject to the rules established by the homeowner's association"

Essentially with this statement the homeowners association could set fourth a rule that says public can only access the open space with an approved use permit and otherwise it is only for the associations use....this is a dangerous statement!

There is also a lot of talk about parking garages, in particular a two story parking garage. They have also added in coffee and donut shops, INCLUDING restaurants and drive throughs as a permitted use

I do find it interesting how it says over and over that the new construction shall fit in with the surrounding neighborhood, yet it allows for 3 story / 50 foot buildings plus architectural features to be built....what house on any of the surrounding roads is 50 foot tall?

Sounds to me like they are lumping this into main street's features and not the features of the residents of Bergen street and Stiger street that this development is actually surrounding.

Darrin Darrin
Feb '22

""Public access to the open space shall be permitted, subject to the rules established by the homeowner's association"

Essentially with this statement the homeowners association could set fourth a rule that says public can only access the open space with an approved use permit and otherwise it is only for the associations use....this is a dangerous statement!"

of course, Darrin failed to mention is this was already discussed at the last LUB meeting, which he attended, and is being changed so the HOA will not be able to set any restrictions on public use of the 3 acres. Weird that knowing this is being changed you would still try to scare the public Darrin.

And I'm sure voteforchange will be at tonight's meeting, right????

Jim L. Jim L.
Feb '22

You got Jim L

Voteforchange Voteforchange
Feb '22

Snarky, snarky, but for what reason?

You did mention it at the last meeting, but it was not an official meeting on the ordinance as it was not distributed to all the board members prior to the meeting, thus the official meeting was moved to tonight.

Additionally nothing was stated (publicly at least) about changing that verbiage at that particular meeting as it was not an official meeting on this topic and our town planner was not in attendance. It was stated that it could be discussed at the next meeting, which is tonight's meeting.

Thanks for letting us know this is going to be changed though!

Old ordinance:
108 residentials
15,600 sq ft of retail
3 acres of open space and a retention pond.

New:
101 residentials
MINIMUM of 25,000 sq ft of retail (1st floor and/or incorporated into first floor plans)
3 acres of open space and a retention pond.

We are trading 7 units for a minimum of +9,400 sq ft of retail? does not seem like a even trade space for space. Also, with that minimum verbiage, it leaves sizing up to whatever can fit following the setbacks designated in the ordinance.

Darrin Darrin
Feb '22

Council Meeting
Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 7:00pm

Public hearing and final adoption, Ordinance 2022-02 an ordinance adopting the redevelopment plan pursuant the local redevelopment and housing law for property located at block 21, lots 18.01 and 18.02

Resolution approving redevelopment agreement with Jade Hackettstown Associates Urban Renewal, LLC., and Hackettstown Crossing Associates, LLC, concerning Block 21, Lots 18.01 and 18.02

Introduction, an ordinance amending the 5-year tax exemption and abatement Block 21, Lot 18.02

Introduction and ordinance approving a Tax Exemption and Execution of financial agreement.

Lots of Bergen Tool property stuff going on at this meeting!

Darrin Darrin
Mar '22

What is the tax exemption for Jade?

pampurr pampurr
Mar '22

A 5 year tax exemption?

Nothard
Mar '22

The exemptions and related issues were discussed in this thread last May. Scroll back and read the multiple posts.


There have been about 15 public meetings on it so it should be a surprise to anyone that’s been following the site

Jim L Jim L
Mar '22

Are they looking to change it Jim, or is it as discussed?

The "amending" has me concerned, but I am not sure if that is just logistical being the site now has a redevelopment plan

Darrin Darrin
Mar '22

Find out Thursday night 7pm.

Jim L Jim L
Mar '22

They made it very clear they have a Dunkin Donuts interested in the front of the site at the last meeting. The old ordinance did not allow drive through coffee shops, this new ordinance / redevelopment plan now allows for it

They are also very slightly lowering the number of apartments (-7 1 bedroom apartments) for almost double the allowable retail space (+ minimum of 13,100 sq ft retail)

The new wording on the concern of the open space is as follows:

Public access to the open space shall be permitted, subject to the rules established by the redeveloper of the homeowner's association in its declaration of covenants and restrictions as approved by the planning board's attorney and which rules may not be amended thereafter by the homeowners association without the town's approval.

Darrin Darrin
Mar '22

A 3rd DD, within couple miles of the other two.

Roywhite Roywhite
Mar '22

".......without the town's approval."
What town body/bodies/or individual(s) would fall under giving the approval?

OnTheEdge OnTheEdge
Mar '22

I would hope that means they would have to come back in front of the TC or LUB for a publicly (noticed) meeting

Darrin Darrin
Mar '22

Lets not forget the new DD proposed for tonys luncheonette

Bug3
Mar '22

The proposed DD at Tonys Luncheonette is Mansfield.

Mom of 1
Mar '22

Yes that is correct

Its on the Hackettstown border about a mile or 2 from the existing one on mountain ave....seems a little too close to the existing DD

Bug3
Mar '22

…and theres a DD next to Marshalls 1/2 mile away from Tonys.

Roywhite Roywhite
Mar '22

I just received notice that the Council Meeting Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 7:00pm has been cancelled

The next meeting is March 24, 2022 - 7:00pm

Darrin Darrin
Mar '22

FYI, the question should never be why do we need another one, you will not get far with that....it is D&D's responsibility to figure that out, and if they want this location, I would say it's safe to say they feel the business would be successful.

The question we should be asking is if the location is appropriate for this and/or will it cause off site impacts or unsafe conditions.

Darrin Darrin
Mar '22

I’m proposing the question to ask is does the town and population around another proposed DD want, need, or care if its there and if the proper laws or procedures are in place to keep it out. If its wanted, or no legal recourse available then build it, they will come.

BTW I think a DD is being constructed in White, down the road for over a couple years now.

Roywhite Roywhite
Mar '22

Down the road? Meaning 10 miles away???

Philliesman Philliesman
Mar '22

Why is there a need for another dunkin in town

Brian Brian
Mar '22

A need for another Dunkin' would be to eliminate the excessively long drive thru lines which creates traffic hazards on Mountain Ave.

Route 46
Mar '22

Yes there is a need.
The Planning Board needs one on the Rte. 46 side of town to screw up the traffic flow just like the one on Mt. Avenue.
It’s all about symmetry.

Stymie Stymie
Mar '22

The town is very aware of the pitfalls of the one on Mountain Ave, they have already mentioned it. They also asked that if this is going to be the case, an extensive traffic study needs to be completed.

I will wait to see the plans. As long as there is no possible way traffic could back up onto 46, and it does not affect the surrounding neighborhood (including the residents of Bergen street) I do not see an issue.

Keep in mind, it has not been stated yet, but I am guessing they are going to be asking for 24hr. CVS wanted 24hr but were denied due to the proximity to the residents of East Stiger. Dunkin is a whole different ball game due to the traffic they bring in.

Also, with the way the redevelopment plan is worded, I believe the Dunkin would need to be first floor with apartments on top, not sure how that would work.

Darrin Darrin
Mar '22

A lot of speculations. Just wait until you see the plans at the next public meeting.

Jim L. Jim L.
Mar '22

Council Meeting
Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 7:00pm

Public hearing and final adoption, Ordinance 2022-02 an ordinance adopting the redevelopment plan pursuant the local redevelopment and housing law for property located at block 21, lots 18.01 and 18.02

Resolution approving redevelopment agreement with Jade Hackettstown Associates Urban Renewal, LLC., and Hackettstown Crossing Associates, LLC, concerning Block 21, Lots 18.01 and 18.02

Introduction, an ordinance amending the 5-year tax exemption and abatement Block 21, Lot 18.02

Introduction and ordinance approving a Tax Exemption and Execution of financial agreement.

Darrin Darrin
Mar '22

Looks like they started cutting down trees and clearing land

Bug3
Apr '22

Man it’s hard to watch even more trees going down in this town. Heartbreaking.


So it was alright to cut the trees down for where you live? But not the trees for others. You’ve declared it enough. So sad. More people, more buildings. Look around. Plenty of trees.

Go with that
Apr '22

Build baby build

Philliesman Philliesman
Apr '22

Does anyone know where the final approved plans can be found? Thanks

shady shady
Apr '22

Shady, call the construction dept. I'm sure they can assist you.

Richie
Apr '22

Thank you Richie.

shady shady
Apr '22

The last approved plans are on file with the construction office and the public can request to see them, I had posted the overview here: http://www.hackettstownlife.com/forum/758124#t953490, but with the addition of the redevelopment plan these are going to be changing, and the public is yet to see the new plans.

From what they said, the town house section will remain mostly unchanged, although I do not know if that still holds true since the board eliminated the shared parking 20% reduction and their parking did not meet requirement, Jim maybe can help us with info on that one.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

There has not been a public meeting regarding the new changes to the site plan so I am not going to comment on what they might be. Come to the Land Use Board meetings if you want to see the requested changes.

Jim L. Jim L.
Apr '22

Jim,

My question holds true with the current info, with the existing townhouse plans, will their previously approved parking plan meet requirement without the 20% reduction?

It was stated that the townhouse plans were not going to be changing, so I figured I would ask, if this is dipping into new business I apologize!

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

There is a town council meeting at 7pm on 4-14-2022 regarding the 5 year tax exemption for jade, they can be found here:

https://www.hackettstown.net/home/news/ordinance-town-hackettstown-county-warren-state-new-jersey-authorizing-execution-long-term

https://www.hackettstown.net/home/news/ordinance-town-hackettstown-county-warren-state-new-jersey-amending-chapter-18-five-year

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

Was there any flooding around Cvs or the Bergen area from that last storm?

Babit Babit
Apr '22

I'd be very surprised if there was not. We had quite a bit of rain. If not then kudos to the engineer on the site as that has been a chronic issue there I understand,


Strike one on the construction, Dump truck videoed running a stop sign and driving down residential roads, strictly not permitted. Developer received a warning

As for the flooding you can thank the residents that brought the true extent of the flooding to the engineer's attention during the design phase of CVS, this caused the engineer to request a flood survey be performed and the CVS and East Stiger drainage system was revamped from originally planned. The phase 2 drainage improvements should help the entire tract and surrounding residents even more!

All the tax abetments on last weeks meeting were seemingly rubber stamped, public comment first, immediately approved by the board with no discussion by the town officials.

I found it very odd they did public comment first with no explanation to the public of what they were approving, and no board discussion. Usually the board discusses, then they open it to the public, then the board votes in most any meeting I have been to.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

I found it very odd that no member of the public had anything to say during the public portion of the meeting given how much you all have to say on this site hiding behind your keyboards.

Jim L Jim L
Apr '22

I find it amazing that people choose to work or volunteer in public service when they are so very poor at dealing with the public.

Babit Babit
Apr '22

Jim, put two and two together for a bit here....I spoke to other members of the public out front after the meeting while all but two of you went out the back door of town hall...everyone was majorly set back by how the meeting was handled, rushed is a understatement. The public was not prepared to be called on first, we were expecting the board to have some sort of discussion...anything.... about what was changing, but I forgot, you guys do that behind closed doors.....

Public showed up to see what this was all about and the board didn't say a peep about it, and called on the public first...we rely on the town officials to explain things to us, that's why we go to meetings.

This meeting was handled VERY odd, and everyone else that was there to hear it whom I spoke to after the meeting agreed.

Meetings like this are exactly why the public raises eyebrows about what is going on in town.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

nice try trying to be dramatic. Nothing was rushed. We gave the public the opportunity to speak, ask questions and gave feedback. You all choice not to. Now a week later you want to draw up some drama on this site by saying it was "odd". its' sad. Sorry only you and 2 other people came to the meeting and none of you spoke. Let me explain how all ordinances work since you see confused.

The town introduces an Ordinance at a public meeting. By the time the council introduces an ordinance, the ordinance committee and town attorney have already gone over the drafting of the ordinance. The rest of the council receives all the info and gets to discuss the ordinance at the public meeting. Once all members of the council give their opinion or gets clarification at the town council meeting its voted on to introduce it and hold a public meeting. Then the members of the public have 30 days to review the proposed ordinance. there is a public comment meeting on the ordinance before the final vote. Most ordinance get no public comment, some, like the livestock proposed ordinance, gets a lot of public comment which does effect the council's opinion and caused the ordinance to be rewritten based on public comments or gets the ordinance withdrawn completely. I can name 2 ordinances that were completely withdrawn based on public comments in the last couple of years alone.

you had 30 days to read the ordinance and ask questions. If you were all unprepared, that's on you. We have already drafted the ordinance, read the ordinance, received feedback from our town engineer, town attorney and the 3rd party financial company. We've had a ton of public meetings regarding the site and the PILOT/ Tax Abatement. This ordinance just put everything we discussed at prior public meetings into an ordinance. If you wanted clarification or to ask questions, you had the opportunity to do so.

The only thing that was odd was a subject that gets thousands of comments on this site got zero public comments when you all were given a chance. hmmmm

Jim L Jim L
Apr '22

Dramatic?!? Excuse me for being concerned about what’s going on in town

A week later? The meeting was 3 days ago before a holiday weekend, sorry that my update schedule did not fit your expectations, but I didn’t see you updating anyone here.

Maybe there is such a small amount of people going to meetings because of responses like this.

And yes, sorry I found the meeting odd, from the fact of public discussion being moved first, to the fact that a 5 minute time limit to speaking on public was mentioned over and over again, to the fact that there was no discussion about this abatement even though this was introduced months ago and a redevelopment plan was introduced in between then and this meeting…the public thought the board would have discussed if and how that affected this financial agreement, finalizing at the fact that all but two of board members saw members of the public outside and took the back door rather then coming out and saying hi….yeah….odd

I am sorry you feel this way Jim, and I appreciate all you do for the town, and mostly find myself agreeing with your points, but your condescending tendencies are getting the best of you. Clearly I am not the only one who has noticed. The public relies on professionals for when they do not understand things, and it’s nice to be able to discuss topics like adults and not be talked down upon by our professionals.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

Not to stick up for Jim, but I believe he is correct. I was able to research what the change was as could anyone else, and the way I always remember it was that the public asks any questions first at a public hearing and then on to the council for questions or comments. It has always been that way.......And through my research, the change was to include dwellings, multiple dwellings, and mixed-use structures in the ordinance instead of just commercial structures.

Richie
Apr '22

And there you have it, someone in the public has an issue. Someone serving the public basically just says that ain’t so. Somehow, I do not think anything was resolved and both parties probably feel worse than when they entered the conversation. Always telling the public they are wrong, even if they are, is not public service.

Babit Babit
Apr '22

Richie, I think your looking at something else, this ordinance was strictly the 5 year tax abatement

Babit, I can handle being wrong and I accept when I am, everyone can be wrong at times...it's about correcting or explaining without the unnecessary attitude that makes a professional

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

Darrin, I have it right in front of me. Ordinance 2022-03. If you go down to the 3rd and 4th paragraphs it details the changes........Just out of curiosity, what ordinance are you referring to?

Richie
Apr '22

2022-03 and 2022-04

I believe you are confusing the abstract of the project with actual ordinance changes...both ordinances were a tax abatement ordinance and not a land use change

Regardless, sounds like you are talking about 2022-04 as I do not see what you are speaking about on -03

AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF HACKETTSTOWN, COUNTY OF WARREN, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, AMENDING CHAPTER 18 (FIVE-YEAR TAX EXEMPTIONS) OF THE TOWN CODE:

https://www.hackettstown.net/home/news/ordinance-town-hackettstown-county-warren-state-new-jersey-amending-chapter-18-five-year

AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF HACKETTSTOWN, COUNTY OF WARREN, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A LONG-TERM TAX EXEMPTION AGREEMENT, PURSUANT TO THE LONG-TERM TAX EXEMPTION LAW, N.J.S.A. 40A:20-1 ET SEQ., WITH JADE HACKETTSTOWN ASSOCIATES:

https://www.hackettstown.net/home/news/ordinance-town-hackettstown-county-warren-state-new-jersey-authorizing-execution-long-term

Can you paste here what sections you are referring to? I attached links to the ordinances

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

What I was talking about is what was on the agenda for the last council meeting. I am pasting the section I was talking about. It may not be what you are but here it is.

WHEREAS, Chapter 18 of the Town Code presently provides tax incentives for new construction of commercial and/or industrial structures pursuant to the Law (the “Tax Exemption Ordinance”); and

WHEREAS, the Governing Body desires to amend the Tax Exemption Ordinance to provide for real estate tax incentives for dwellings, multiple dwellings, and mixed-use structures located within the Stiger Street Redevelopment Area.

Richie
Apr '22

“finalizing at the fact that all but two of board members saw members of the public outside and took the back door rather then coming out and saying hi….yeah….odd”

And there you go trying to to be dramatic again. First of all most if not all of us go out the back door at every meeting because that is where we park. The 2 that went out the front did so because the back parking lot was packed due to swearing in 2 new cops so they parked across the street. No one was dodging “the public” all 3 of you lol. Now one probably even saw you 3 out there. Give it a rest Darrin. Sorry no one on this site cares enough to attend meetings but don’t try to make things seem shady or dramatic just to try to rile them up. The town passed the ordinances the same way they pass every other ordinance. Nothing odd about it

And as for the public comment section being moved up the beginning of the meeting. It used to always be at the beginning but we moved it to the end due to those dumb zoom meeting we had to do where the public talked over the whole meeting. The mayor announced why he was moving it up to the beginning, because a member of the public had a comment and we wanted the police cheif to be a part of it before he left to attend the event with his new cops. And the mayor even opened up public comment section again at the end because 2 people walked In Late so he gave them the opportunity to speak. Yea real odd. Please you’re grasping at straws here

Jim L Jim L
Apr '22

The general public comment portion was moved to the beginning of the meeting as Jim stated as well as the addition opportunity when the two folks came in after the meeting was under way to discuss a railing issue. Perhaps I'm mistaken but didn't the Mayor also ask for public comment when the actual ordinance was voted on by council? I thought he did and I seemed to perceive a tone of surprise from him when no one approached to comment. I know I was! LOL
I could be mixed up as I do attend most all council and LUB meetings and both the Mayor and Chairman of the LUB always give ample opportunity for public input.


Guys, again, I am not saying the public could not comment!

This whole mess started because the public was surprised the board had nothing to say about the tax abetment and opened it to public with no overview even though there was a redevelopment plan that happened in-between, that's it!

If we were wrong to be surprised, so be it, this doesn't need to spiral out of control....but welcome to HL!

Richie, the verbiage in there is just abstract, the point of the ordinances were a tax abatement because the property owner apparently cannot afford to build to project and pay taxes...actually says it right in the one ordinance

"ii. The construction of the Mixed-Use Project Area will require significant capital investment and is estimated to cost approximately $11,785,384.00. Without relief from the obligation to pay full real estate taxes, the project cannot achieve financial stabilization."

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

"This whole mess started because the public was surprised the board had nothing to say about the tax abetment and opened it to public with no overview even though there was a redevelopment plan that happened in-between, that's it!"

That's how every ordinance works. The town puts the ordinance online for the public to review PRIOR to the meeting so that the public can come prepared to ask questions, comments or concerns. The town is not going to read the ordinance at the meeting and then wait to see if anyone has any questions on what was just read to them. Come to a meeting prepared. we do.

""This whole mess started..." again with the drama. What mess? there was no mess. The town followed proper procedure and passed an ordinance while 3 members of the public sat and watched. I'd hardly call that a mess.

"but your condescending tendencies are getting the best of you. Clearly I am not the only one who has noticed."

So it's ok for you to come on here and imply that the town did something shady but its not ok for me to call you out on your bs? funny double standard we got here on HL

Jim L. Jim L.
Apr '22

Jim, to be VERY clear...the mess I am referring to is the bickering back and forth NOT THE MEETING!!!! LOL!

Sorry, the public felt it was a odd meeting, I stated it, never used the word shady, you did...it is what it is...move on!

Again, there was a big change with the property in question mid financial agreement. The property received a redevelopment plan and it was openly stated that new commercial plans are in the works....sorry that I found it odd to not give the 3 members of the public who were very clearly there for that topic some sort of explanation (if or how) that affected what we discussed months prior when the property did not have a redevelopment plan.

Your trying very hard to push this into something it never was

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

Not to play Devil's advocate, but why didn't you ask this question during the meeting when it was open to the public?

Richie
Apr '22

Simple, I was not prepared for the meeting to go that way, I own that, I admit that

When I looked at the ordinances I gathered that these were re-written from what was previously discussed being the property was now under a redevelopment plan and that redevelopment plan meant changes to what was previously discussed with the tax abatement.

I was caught off guard when the public was called first with no explanation to what I incorrectly though and did not react fast enough, again, own and admit it

Quite honestly I was also baffled by the member of the public who spoke about the taxi issue in town, that was a very interesting issue!

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

" I stated it, never used the word shady, you did...it is what it is...move on!"

really ok let's see:

"All the tax abetments on last weeks meeting were seemingly rubber stamped,"
-you implying we just rubber-stamped it without doing our due diligence.

"Meetings like this are exactly why the public raises eyebrows about what is going on in town."
-you implying something shady happened that would raise eyebrows.

"finalizing at the fact that all but two of board members saw members of the public outside and took the back door rather then coming out and saying hi….yeah….odd"
- you implying we all ran out the backdoor to avoid the mob of people out front.

Jim L. Jim L.
Apr '22

ok so let me try to clear it up because you still seem very confused.

The redevelopment plan and the tax abatement and PILOT ordinances are all part of the process to get the tax relief.

In order to qualify for a PILOT or Tax Abatement, a few things need to be done

1) The site needs to be deemed an "Area in Need of Redevelopment" by the town, which was done years ago when it was first purchased.
2) You need a Redevepolment Agreement- which was done last month
3) You need ordinances for the PILOT and/or Abatement with a Financial Agreement- which was done last week

The fact that in the Redevelopment Agreement, the site plan is going to change a little does not affect the premise of the PILOT/Abatement. The Town came to an agreement last year to allow for a PILOT on the apartments and Abatement on the Townhouses. We just negotiated the terms of those agreements and finalized them in the ordinances. The fact that they want to make minor changes to the site plan doesn't affect that so last month's meeting about the redevelopment agreement didn't change anything that would be in the 2 ordinances we passed last week. It's just part of the process to get the whole site built.

Now they have to go back to the LUB to get their site plan changes approved.

Jim L. Jim L.
Apr '22

Thank you Jim, the above finally answered what I have been asking all along

Your first message saying I am implying certain things is your opinion, which you're entitled to, just know your wrong

It was my mistake to think that plan changes based off a new redevelopment plan may skew the numbers the town was using to calculate out the loss/win $$$ for the town to get this project built by allowing the developer to reduce taxes paid, additionally I thought it would have caused this to be re-discussed to the public.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

According to the State of NJ DEP Data Miner, Bergen Tool and CVS properties are active sites with confirmed contamination. What is being done to remediate the property? Huge trees are being pulled up by the roots exposing dirt and also dust into the air we breathe.

pampurr pampurr
Apr '22

Looks like a few properties surrounding the redevelopment have not abided by the developers request to remove objects/structures from their property.....even "posted" resistance. Hopefully the resistors get theirs and realize they are not special! I mean property lines are property lines, don't take what isn't yours.

Hmmmm Hmmmm
Apr '22

Adverse possession - Also referred to "continuous trespassers' rights," the legal theory of adverse possession allows someone who has publicly inhabited and improved an otherwise neglected parcel of property to gain title after a certain amount of time has passed.

This will get interesting for sure

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

'Exclusive and Continuous' for a Specified Period of Time - The occupation must be continuous and not split up among different individuals. In New Jersey, 30 years (or 60 if a "woodland").

Richie
Apr '22

Interesting……hmmmmm

pampurr pampurr
Apr '22

And that does not apply to county, state or federal land.


I've asked around and the majority of residents point fingers to "one" that feels self entitled and above all others. It'll be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks when that "one" finds out they are a nobody against a major developer. The pompous arrogance will likely catch up!!!

Hmmmmm Hmmmmm
Apr '22

Quite a shame when people think they are entitled to other people's property.

Richie
Apr '22

I own a large chunk of property elsewhere and for this very reason I do my due diligence to walk my property from time to time with a GPS and notify my neighbors of any encroachments and follow up to make sure it is dealt with. I also respect my neighbors and if there is encroachments allow them the chance to move their items, be it plantings, buildings, fences, or other items. I find that respect to one another goes a long way and I have never had an issue where someone refused to move (thankfully)

Part of this property was usable by the town and contained a ball field years ago, not so sure how set in stone the property lines were back then. I also have found some of the town mapping to be incorrect. For instance, my Hackettstown property is still shown to have incorrect property lines on town maps. Following my title search back, the property lines on my property were changed back in the 70s, yet the town maps were never updated.

While I am not sure of the specifics in this case, the property was vacant for many years, my question is: upon purchase of the property did the new owner do their due diligence and notify neighbors of encroachments after their survey, or are we just getting to this now being we finally want to build?

Darrin Darrin
Apr '22

Who cares when it is done. Their property is their property.

Richie
Apr '22

I just think as a homeowner you should exercise due diligence and have a survey with corner stakes performed before any major work and abide by it..... not think "oh they'll never touch that lot, let me grab a few extra feet for myself"

Karma Karma
Apr '22

Does anyone know where to apply for an application for residency when completed.
Thanks.


I keep looking at this space, thinking about all the stores and residences, then the space and I just shake my head, sigh, gonna get real crowded in there.....Let's bring Mountain Ave to the West side of town, sigh.

RE: land grabs. As a yout (nj style youth), in MD, Dad wanted to put in a fence, do it right, got a survey and found that the developer did a piss poor job. Two contingent neighbors, one where the fence would split his new pine trees, the other would lose about 17 inches of his driveways T that he parked on. Dad offered a time period for N1 to feel free to move the tree, and N2 to buy the land as the prevailing price, miniscule given 17 inches by width of a plot. N1 did nothing, N2 got vocal in disagreement.

After the time period, drill fence poles we must and right through the pines and right through the driveway. Amazingly, the 17 inches of pavement made a perfect spot for our woodpile to keep it dry and let the wood crap run down the driveway, a sign Dad was a bit miffed.

Babit Babit
May '22

I agree Babit. It’s going to get very crowded over there. Not excited for the increase in traffic over on the independence side of town as well with the new apartments going in on bilby road.


If the land is contaminated, why wasn’t the EPA notified? I see mounds of dirt butting right up to people’s property.

emerald
May '22

EPA knows what’s going on.
Money talks.
Same Agency that determined that breathing air at 9/11 site “completely healthy”.

Stymie Stymie
May '22

https://www.nj.gov/dep/srp/srra/lsrp/lsrp_program_overview.pdf

Jim L Jim L
May '22

Yep follow the money. This town is constantly on the take.

Steve Steve
May '22

So sorry Steve.
Following the money can also be equated in the town chasing tax rateables, environmental and quality of life issues be damned.
Tainted soil aside, the density of this project is going to cause traffic nightmares in Hackettstown.
That sir, is a quality of life issue.

Stymie Stymie
May '22

How is that Steve? Just curious.

Richie
May '22

Here is what looks like a list of stores for the bergen site ( download the marketing brochure)

https://jefferyrealty.com/property/hackettstown-crossing/


What an ugly mess from fourth st. Very sad.

auntiel auntiel
1 week ago

Umm bug3 that link didn’t list any stores coming to the Bergen site other than Dunkin.


Download the Marketing Brochure for the list like it says in the parentheses.

Long Time Listener
1 week ago

@ Jim L , if you click on the top picture, it shows it's 1/6 pictures. Scroll across there is a picture of a preliminary sign with the names of about 5or 6 stores. It might be just an example of what the sign could look like???.

Dadof3
1 week ago

high street 13,000 VPD and main street (46) only 11,000 VPD according to 1 of the attachments post by bug? Is that right?

ole' timer
1 week ago

If you think the DUNKIN’ DONUTS creates traffic problems on Mountain Avenue, wait until this project is up and running.
Every day is gonna be a “Grid Lock Warning” day in Hackettstown.
Massive failure by the Town Council and Planning Board.
(and the tainted soil remains)


So, it's officially named "Hackettstown Crossing"?

Any time frame for its completion?

only one truth only one truth
1 week ago

This just adds a whole new level of ugly to the town. Bad enough it looks like a patchwork of bad ideas cobbled together by clueless power hungry individuals.

Some towns look as though they had a clear vision. Ours looks disjointed and sad.


Omg people that’s just a rendering of what the sign will look like. That’s not the list of actual businesses coming in.


Jim L
They have real businesses on that sign..that includes CVS and Dunkin...it would be really really really really stupid for an ad to use the name of a real business on a rendering of a sign on a real-estate ad without permission..but this is Hackettstown..so who really knows


Are we really taking something in a marketing brochure, labeled "Proposed Pylon Rendering" with an ultra realistic business name like "Frozen Yogurt" as confirmed? "Mike's Bikes" and "Karen's Flowers" aren't much more convincing. If those businesses were confirmed, what's the need for the brochure?? The spaces would be all filled.

The source of the brochure is the real estate company, so if anything "this is North Plainfield".


Mike's bikes is a west coast only chain and the other names like Karen's flowers are obviously fake filler


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