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|Casino Avenue/Irene 2011|
|Casino Avenue/Irene 2011|
Published: Saturday, August 25, 2012, 11:30 PM
Despite the concerns of locals, they say they will be able to mitigate any issues with flooding and will meet state environmental requirements. They have not yet received all the required state permits, and the height of Birchwood Avenue will need to be raised to do so, but they believe they will eventually be given the final go-ahead.
“In order to move forward we have to repeal the old ordinance that allowed us to establish a charter commission,” the mayor explained, adding that by doing this he hoped residents would come forward to say how they feel about the issue one way or another. Right now even he is on the fence.
“It was late in the year when it was brought up, right around the holidays when most people are busy. Now we have had the ability to think about it clearly and the timing is better,” the mayor said.
“We need to plan three years ahead, not one,” Hannen said, explaining the township is a business “and businesses plan ahead more than a year.”
On the other hand, while Adubato admitted the addition of a full time administrator certainly resulted in improvements, she felt there was no harm in asking residents how they felt. Specifically she pointed to how inconsistencies from year-to-year resulted in the township getting mired in situations like Birchwood.Birchwood is a builder’s remedy apartment complex development on Birchwood Avenue that the township and residents living adjacent to the proposed project have been against since its inception. As a result the township incurred well over a half million in legal costs to fight the project, a number that some officials say is more “like a million.”
Following that is the town form with the mayor and councilman selected in partisan, not political, elections.
By DELL SIMEONE
June 20, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
Cranford residents living on Nomahegan Court have taken issue with what some are calling ‘The Great Wall of Westfield,’ as a builder’s remedy lawsuit results in a housing unit being built on the border of town.
At issue was the fact that the 24-units only included four affordable housing units and none involved senior housing.
Concerns brought up by the Cranford residents included water run-off, traffic and changing the look of the neighborhood.
“We wanted to be good neighbors,” he said, pointing out that under the settlement agreement, the developer was limted to 24 units, as opposed to the 60 they originally requested.
“We were sued. We didn’t want to change the zoning,” another councilman interjected.
February 07, 2013
By DELL SIMEONE Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
Westfield Leader Editorial
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Cheryl Hehl, Staff Writer
August 22, 2012
CRANFORD — Although the township has been fighting the Birchwood Development for years, in the end taxpayers end up footing the legal bill that grows day by day. However, the township stands strongly behind this effort and does not intend to back down. Regardless of the cost.
Later, the Mt. Laurel doctrine, a controversial judicial interpretation of the New Jersey State constitution, laid out exactly what towns could and could not do when it came to fulfilling their affordable housing obligation. This doctrine required that municipalities, like Cranford, use their zoning powers in an affirmative manner to provide realistic opportunities for the production, or development, of housing for low and moderate income people.
Unfortunately, although the township discussed and even planned multiple times to satisfy their affordable housing obligation, they failed to solidify those plans and follow through. This led to the builders remedy lawsuits and more than a half million in legal costs as a result.
As of the end of May, McKenzie had sent the township $78,940.94 in bills since 2009. It should be noted that this amount reflects Cranford’s portion of the special master’s charges, in addition to other legal charges levied against the township.