Millburn resists affordable housing

From mrincredible:

Absolutely nobody in NJ surprised. 


Big story on NPR/All Things Considered tonight about this. 


I believe I read that it will be 100 units all 'affordable'  in concerning.  It is really better to blend in and have a diverse tenant population.  


I heard this report on WNYC this morning and some Millburn resident was complaining about the extra number of kids that would be added to classroom load and the school budgeting. The nutty woman was referencing an added 100 units.  I immediately thought about all the units that are finishing completion on Millburn Ave near Morris Ave. There are beaucoup of them that will add scads of kids.  She seems to have handily ignored these units, plus all the other construction going on in Millburn.  With all the approved and in-process apartment building it seems a little late to bring up the town development, and it also seems like her main complaint has more to do with affordable priced (low priced for low-income people).  The story was about a state law mandating affordable housing and that Millburn has been ignoring that law.  She seemed to want to turn her head to that law.


mrmaplewood said:

I heard this report on WNYC this morning and some Millburn resident was complaining about the extra number of kids that would be added to classroom load and the school budgeting. The nutty woman was referencing an added 100 units.  I immediately thought about all the units that are finishing completion on Millburn Ave near Morris Ave. There are beaucoup of them that will add scads of kids.  She seems to have handily ignored these units, plus all the other construction going on in Millburn.  With all the approved and in-process apartment building it seems a little late to bring up the town development, and it also seems like her main complaint has more to do with affordable priced (low priced for low-income people).  The story was about a state law mandating affordable housing and that Millburn has been ignoring that law.  She seemed to want to turn her head to that law.

Those units are in Springfield, not Millburn.


jmitw said:

I believe I read that it will be 100 units all 'affordable'  in concerning.  It is really better to blend in and have a diverse tenant population.  

these people can serve coffee and make sandwiches in town, but only live there if they blend in.  Just wait until the builders remedy lawsuits come in to this.


It was a pretty vicious election cycle over this issue, especially in the South Mountain section. I lean towards the side wanting to provide more low-income housing. However, I don’t have kids in the school system so that has muted me a bit on this issue. 


PeterWick said:

It was a pretty vicious election cycle over this issue, especially in the South Mountain section. I lean towards the side wanting to provide more low-income housing. However, I don’t have kids in the school system so that has muted me a bit on this issue. 

it really isn't about the school system.  The system needs to adapt to the residents.  The town can't legally prohibit construction of affordable units.  



DanDietrich said:

it really isn't about the school system.  The system needs to adapt to the residents.  The town can't legally prohibit construction of affordable units.  

That is one of well worn arguments from those in opposition. Really and truly. It isn't 2 minutes until that line comes up if affordable housing is discussed. I know 'cause I live right in an area of town where it is a hot hot issue. Plus, there's the racist assumption that those kids wouldn't be able to keep up in the Millburn schools in the first place so it would put an extra burden on the system. As for not being able to "legally prohibit construction", there seems to have been years and years worth of methods to keep it out of the town. There is that building out by the mall that has some affordable units - and already that issue has gotten some awful word of mouth about how those residents are trashing the place and that no one in their right mind would want to live there.


I’m also in Millburn. Most of the people who oppose the lower income development (which is proposed on the current town dump next to the middle school in one of the most congested parts of town) are also opposed to ALL of the new development. There are new apts (or condos? Not sure) going up at the old Wells Fargo site across from the fire station and more planned on the old Annie Sez and I think Summit Health site in SH (all developments have a small number of low income units planned). Their concerns are too many kids in the schools, increased traffic and just generally don’t want changes in the town. So it isn’t that they are ONLY trying to block the 100% low income development. But yes also lots of racist talk about the possible renters.

I fully support increasing the low income housing in Millburn to meet or exceed regulations, but I’m not a fan of the 100% development on the old dump site. It could be toxic for residents, will cause terrible traffic issues, and I don’t like the idea of a 100% low income complex. If it was me I would look into some of the existing apartment complexes in Millburn/SH and try to fund some low income units there. Also maybe buy up some condos and make them low income (but then they have to manage them so not sure about that either).

I feel like I’m in a weird position where I hate the vitriol against the low income housing but also hate the plan the previous committee tried to push through. it is very frustrating that both parties (but mainly the dems who have been in power most years) have been pushing this down the road for so long that they had to come up with this plan.





"Not able to keep up in the schools." That's a deplorable sentiment. Our obligation is to educate everyone. That's why there are mandates for special education.


Sure is entertaining, in a dyspeptic way, to watch the discussion of the topic and the bill Gov Murphy just signed into law on one of the Millburn WhatsApp groups. If you accept everything they say, it’s perfectly clear.   Millburn’s already saturated  (so we shouldn’t have to build more.) All these new developments going up were approved behind closed doors by the previous TCs (repeat above refrain). There’s already some affordable units going in (repeat above refrain). Hopefully the new TC members can negotiate (repeat refrain).


Maplewood and South Orange also resist building affordable housing.

Who can name how many affordable units have been built in our two towns in the past 5 or 10 years?

Our governments keep talking about it and making deals with developers but only the minimum required by law get built.


South Orange is well on the way to catching up.  But all three towns have work to do to overcome the damage done by the last generation.



Maplewood has been up to date on its current obligation.  The new legislation could change that.


There's no comparison.

Both Maplewood and South Orange have hundreds of of units of affordable housing, and they are either current or will be when projects currently being built come on line.

Millburn has 38 units and needs 1,300 more.

The time for "finding units in existing developments" is past.  If Millburn was sincere in wanting to properly plan development, well, they had the chance.  They'll be lucky at this point to have any say going forward as the state is likely to take control of the planning process.

yahooyahoo said:

Maplewood and South Orange also resist building affordable housing.

Who can name how many affordable units have been built in our two towns in the past 5 or 10 years?

Our governments keep talking about it and making deals with developers but only the minimum required by law get built.

^^ This take was once true but is several years out of date now.


max_weisenfeld said:

There's no comparison.

Both Maplewood and South Orange have hundreds of of units of affordable housing, and they are either current or will be when projects currently being built come on line.

Millburn has 38 units and needs 1,300 more.

The time for "finding units in existing developments" is past.  If Millburn was sincere in wanting to properly plan development, well, they had the chance.  They'll be lucky at this point to have any say going forward as the state is likely to take control of the planning process.

yahooyahoo said:

Maplewood and South Orange also resist building affordable housing.

Who can name how many affordable units have been built in our two towns in the past 5 or 10 years?

Our governments keep talking about it and making deals with developers but only the minimum required by law get built.

^^ This take was once true but is several years out of date now.

In 2018, the Avalon opened in Maplewood with 235 units.
Guess how many were set aside for affordable housing..... 6.

Maplewood Crossing has about 150 units and only 16 are for affordable housing.


I believe South Orange now has a 20% minimum standard for affordable housing in all new developments.  We have come a long way from days of old, when Village Government responded to Mount Laurel by zoning land that they expected would never be developed (the quarry, Orange Lawn), and focusing on paying for rehabilitation of housing in our less-affluent neighbors. 


max_weisenfeld said:

^^ This take was once true but is several years out of date now.

thanks for that info Max. I haven’t been following numbers too closely. I honestly didn’t know Millburn was SO far behind the number needed. Ridiculous and does seem like we need a full low income building. Still don’t love the location of the proposed building. wish they could use the Annie Sez and/or SMG sites instead.


wendyn said:

max_weisenfeld said:

^^ This take was once true but is several years out of date now.

thanks for that info Max. I haven’t been following numbers too closely. I honestly didn’t know Millburn was SO far behind the number needed. Ridiculous and does seem like we need a full low income building. Still don’t love the location of the proposed building. wish they could use the Annie Sez and/or SMG sites instead.

affordable housing is not the same as low income housing, which is a loaded term anyway.  There are a lot of working folks earning decent scratch who can't afford to live around here.


--- then there's the op ed in the Ledger about the conflict between housing, affordable or not, and flood damage. The state wants to prevent building on sites that are prone to flooding. At the same time, the state wants to promote new, affordable construction.

Who amongst us can remember the flooding on Millburn Avenue, around 1972? That one also did damage to property on Main Street, by Church Street.

Then the flood on Millburn Avenue a couple of years ago. Damage from that one, extended to Ocean Street. Fortunately, the rehab/flips in south Millburn are contained within the footprint of the existing houses. And the duplexes are going for $900+k. Flips in Short Hills are expanding the footprints.

And none of those are "affordable." But they lead to increased water runoff.

Fortunately, we in Maplewood, don't have to worry about flo --- by the way, when will the library be completed?



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