Thank you to everyone that attended last night's board meeting. The attendance of Councilman Jon Ettman was arranged with relatively short notice but nevertheless, we had a great turnout and it proved to be a very useful and informative event for our community. For those of you that weren't in attendance, we wanted to provide a brief summary of the meeting.
Councilman Ettman began the meeting by providing an overview of the affordable housing mandates that our town is facing and recent court developments involving the town. He clarified that affordable housing differs from low-income or Section 8 housing. He explained the town is required to increase the number of affordable housing units within the town. The town has been involved in litigation with various real estate developers over proposed affordable housing construction. One of those developers is the current owner of the old Toys R Us complex that neighbors our community. He stressed the town has no ability to prevent the developers from proceeding with plans but is actively negotiating to try to limit the number of units built. Councilman Ettman advised that the affordable housing mandates do not take into account community impacts, such as traffic congestion, increased school capacity, nature preservation, or environmental concerns.
The developer will eventually have to submit plans to the town's Planning Board for review in connection with town zoning and planning requirements. It's at that stage where we, as a community, will be able to voice our thoughts and concerns about the proposed development. Hopefully we will be able to apply enough pressure to assure that our quality of life is not negatively impacted and that the charming character of our community remains intact.
There is an Affordable Housing Meeting that is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m. Jay DeStefano created an event on our Facebook group. We encourage everyone to RSVP and attend. The more educated we are as a community about the proposed development, the better positioned we will be to have our voices heard and concerns addressed.
See https://www.facebook.com/events/119315876683702 for further details