THE SALE OF NOE POND IS SETTING CHATHAM TOWNSHIP UP FOR LAWSUITS AND OVERDEVELOPMENT.
FACT: On June 25th, the Township Committee announced it was taking steps to acquire the former Charlie Brown property, 522 Southern Blvd, in furtherance of its obligations under the 2018 settlement agreement.
FACT: On September 3rd, Kronos Holdings (owner of 522 Southern Blvd) filed a motion to intervene in Chatham Township’s Affordable Housing Judgement of Compliance. Also, on September 3rd, the Silverman Group filed to participate in the Township’s Affordable Housing fairness hearing to present objections to the Township’s proposed settlement. The Silverman Group has represented themselves as the purchaser of 522 Southern Blvd and another property in Chatham Township.
FACT: On September 8th, the owners of Noe Pond announced they agreed to sell the Noe Pond property to a “reputable” NJ developer.
Silverman’s push to stop the Township from buying 522 Southern Blvd at the same time a “reputable” developer has acquired the Noe Pond property is clearly a power play to strong arm up-zoning, increasing allowable housing density on the environmentally sensitive Noe Pond property.
FACT: The Silverman Group sued Millburn in 2018 under “Builders Remedy”. The Silverman Group made the argument that because Millburn failed to meet its affordable housing obligations, the Silverman Group should get a court-ordered override of Millburn’s zoning in order to build a large scale development that the community opposed.
As a Township, we are vulnerable to these types of lawsuits because prior Township Committees failed to build the required affordable housing. Silverman Group knows that. This is why they have swept into Chatham to buy 522 Southern Blvd and the Noe Pond site. It is a transparent attempt to force the Township to accept substantial development of the Noe Pond site that is far more than its current zoning limits.
FACT: Candidates Ashley Felice & Mark Hamilton have argued against a negotiated affordable housing settlement, favoring expensive litigation, and inviting Builder’s Remedy lawsuits. Our opposition supports continuing to kick the can down the road and re-litigating a 45-year-old NJ Supreme Court decision. This is an untenable and risky position which will result in losing control of our zoning rights that the Township currently have with our “Builder’s Remedy Immunity.”
QUESTION – Who are you going to trust to avoid large scale development of the Noe Pond property while also fulfilling the Township’s affordable housing obligations?
Amee Shah and Phil Ankel pledge to:
Actively fight against overdevelopment on the Noe Pond site to limit its impact on our strained infrastructure, schools and town character. And to ensure that any development protects the Great Swamp watershed into which the property flows – including in conjunction with the NJ DEP if need be.
Work in tandem with other local communities to share best practices on how to build suitable affordable housing but also fight against developers who want to use affordable housing lawsuits to bust local zoning control.
Complete the Township’s obligations under the 2018 agreement to continue to secure our ability to control our own zoning/planning destiny against large development companies.
Ensure that the affordable housing the Township builds is done right, with proper consideration of neighborhood and Township concerns. Tough decisions will need to be made – but everyone will be heard.
Please contact us via email at email@example.com if you have questions or need clarification on this complex issue.