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.
well what did the engineer say at your secret meeting?
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.
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
Here we go again with Darren's platform
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.
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, 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.
Sounds like alot more people could move into Hackettstown if this goes through. Can our schools handle the influx?
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.
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!
6. Case #16-01, Jade Hackettstown Associates, LLC
Block 21, Lot 18
(CARRIED TO OCTOBER 25, 2016)
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".
"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.
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.
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.
"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...
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.
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-
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?
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.
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?
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.
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...
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, 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, just do a forum search of all your posts and think about how others would perceive them....
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.
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?
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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...........
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?
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.
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!
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
If anyone wants the scanned originals pm me with your email and I will send them to you so they are easier to read.
Those contaminant levels don't look good. That should delay any more building for a while.
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
Hmmmmm.......thanks for making us aware of this ..this is important. What did they think? Idiots.
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
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...
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.
Is that what the certified mailing said?
The post office lost mine, so I have been unable to see it
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?
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
I didn't see certified letter and I live right across the street from CVS Pharmacy?
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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, But whatever they build has to be publicly accessible and usable?
It cannot be just for the homeowner association?
from the Land Dev Use Ordinance:
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
So the HOA will pay for and maintain playground, tennis cts, etc but it'll have to be open to the public?
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
"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!
between the homes on east prospect and the new townhomes
You may want to come to the meeting tonight Pampurr
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.
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.
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.
Wow, you mean Jade's Attorney didn't tell the truth. Gee, I'm shocked to hear that, is anybody really surprised.
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.
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?
It does look shabby! All they were concerned about was getting that CVS built as soon as possible.
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.
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.
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
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....
Jim L. People still asking about this project. You keep giving the same answer!!!!!
You are the one with all the answers.
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
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
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.
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 ;-)
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.
"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.
The only concern was getting that CVS in ASAP!
"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
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.
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.
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
Porous asphalt... and you just answered the question I was about to ask about how that intersection has improved or worsened re: flooding.
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...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.
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.
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...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.
"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.
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......
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)
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?
So if we all chip in a grand..we can stop it (lol)
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.
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.
When is the construction expected to start?
Looks like penwell was correct
They have not paid any of the 2018 or 2019 taxes
Jade currently owes our town $114,702.71
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...
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
MAY 23, 2019
-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- 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:
MAY 23, 2019
Mayors opening statement as required by the Open Public Meetings Act.
Discussion by citizens.
-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.
Possible executive session.
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......
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.
Doesn't PILOT apply to commercial or industrial properties?... seems kinda strange for residential
Here is a Cliff Notes version of PILOT in NJ.
This is also a very good read on the subject:
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
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.
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?
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.
Chillax, he said IF the town..... not gonna get progressive votes with that attitude ;-).
PILOT pays no school taxes..as per the link
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.
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.
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.....
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?
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......
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
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.
If the taxes are paid, I can tell you the report will be a success.
Just a guess of course.
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
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.
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
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
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, 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!
I noticed that as well, pretty embarrassing coming from a legal department as such.
Guess you get what you pay for....
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.
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
Does anyone know the extent of the ground work they are looking to do?
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
Foreclosure Filing- 3/14/18
Tax Sale- 12/26/17
Final Judgment Foreclosure 4/18/17
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...
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?
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.
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.......
Why haven’t people that live next to this property not received this notice? Previously we have received a letter.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
Pam there is a real easy test to see if you should have gotten notice.
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.
FYI, just recieved email back from the construction office, Jade will be carried to August meeting.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
Where would you put another light?.. not enough room between lights on 46
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Was there a subdivision associated with the overall application or is the CVS operating under a ground lease agreement?
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, 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.
@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.....
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...
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.
FYI the full plans are up on the website. Meeting is 8/25.
I see there are people on the 200 ft notification list that have NOT gotten notice.
Seems to be a legal issue here??
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 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 !!!!!!!
We never got a note. We are on the list. There is a legal issue here. So typical of RR and Jade.
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.
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.
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.
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
Pam my comment is was about phase 2 which was correct. Only Darrin and 1 other person attended those meetings.
What months? . Will check my records and notes and cross reference. You the admin for council?
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.
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.
what happened to the idea of a trader joes... would be much better at that site over apartments???
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
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.
Check with the Land Use Clerk about what?
"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: 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.
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
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.....
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 :>)
Darrin, have they started cutting down trees? My husband told me they already started?
I haven't seen a change in this property behind CVS since CVS settled in there how many years ago?.
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
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
Where's the link to the meeting?
here is the link for the agenda and the agenda has the log on info for the zoom meeting.
Latest plans can be found here:
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Meeting ID: 818 3433 1745
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Germantown: I used to live in a Germantown. Man, did they know crummy townhouses there. I should know. I built some of them :>)
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, I could not attend I have a fractured back. I am in Morristown.Do you have notes that you could e-mail me?
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.
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....:
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?
This is so awful. Why did the local leaders do this?
"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.
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.
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
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?
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
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.
"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.
Yes the land use board is appointed...not elected
Land Use Board
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
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.
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.
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, 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.
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, 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 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."
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.
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.
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.....
"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.
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.......
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.
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?
What is this change of wind you speak of?
I see if people leave we can push the wind the other way
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.
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.
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.
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?
" 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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, 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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
FYI Jade has asked to be on the Monday, Nov 23rd Town Council Meeting to discuss their project if any residents are interested.
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?
@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!
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?
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.
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?
It can be an awful nice flat piece of land for now. Just look at housing sales and just say no to this.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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 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.
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?
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, 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looks like Bergen Tool PILOT Mayor and Town Council discussion will be Thursday January 14th, meeting starts at 7pm.
Yes, Jade is coming back to Council on Thursday's meeting to continue the PILOT discussion.
Jade is not on the agenda:
yes sir they are, 4th page, about 3/4 of the way down
DICUSSION, Bergen Tool Phase II, PILOT
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.
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.
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.
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.
is the Council obligated to hear them if they've already voted the PILOT down?
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
4 weeks ago
Sometimes negotiations conclude.
No “ meeting of the minds”.
Principles part ways.
Apparently, developer continues to seek further concessions.
Time for best and final.
Yes or no.
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
4 weeks ago
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.
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
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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?
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?
2 weeks ago
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 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.
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.
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."
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?
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
Fairly certain that it came up, but I lack the motivation to start going through meetings, it's Friday after all!
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."
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.
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!
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
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
I am thinking there are not too many place that take possibly contaminated foundry sand
1 week ago
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/
1 week ago
But..what does it cost?
1 week ago
I am familiar with several of the principals involved.
Just need to make sure they don’t dispose of it ala “The Great Escape”.
No idea Bug. That's the developer's issue and I'm sure a legit developer researched it even before the project was presented.
1 week ago
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