A state superior court judge's decision next month in support of an affordable housing unit transfer agreement between two developers would pave the way for the creation of dedicated senior housing in Fair Lawn.
Judge Brian Martinotti will conduct a hearing on Sept. 11 at the Bergen County Justice Center in Hackensack to determine whether the borough's proposed amendment to its Affordable Housing Plan (attached as PDF) meets the necessary requirements set forth by the Fair Housing Act and the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing.
Per the amended plan, the Fair Lawn Promenade -- currently under construction along Route 208 in the industrial park -- would free itself from the obligation of building 38 affordable housing units by paying $1.5 million into the borough's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
That money would then be disbursed as an eligible expense from the Trust Fund and put toward turning the former Hadco/KEM site, located at 18-35 River Road, into a 64-unit affordable age-restricted project.
The approximately 3.9-acre Hadco/KEM development, originally approved as 50 market rate units and 14 low-and-moderate income affordable housing units, would be developed as 100 percent senior housing by the Bergen County United Way, through the Fair Lawn Housing Non Profit Corporation in parternship with non-profit entities Madeline Partnership and the Penwal Corporation.
The proposed affordable housing unit swap in concert with Landmark's earlier decision to reduce its development from 200 to 165 units -- losing seven affordable units in the process -- would increase the number of affordable units planned for the borough's three incoming developments from 92 units (40 at Landmark, 38 at Fair Lawn Promenade and 14 at Hadco/KEM) to 97 units (33 at Landmark and 64 at Hadco/KEM).
The September hearing on the plan will involve discussion on the total number of affordable housing units being constructed in the borough, the methodology by which the number of those units were derived, the contributions being made by the Fair Lawn Promenade in lieu of its obligation to construct affordable units and any other factors relevant to the borough meeting its affordable housing requirements.
Borough attorney Ron Mondello, who will make the borough's case before the judge, said he does not expect an adversarial proceeding.
"I think all of the stakeholders agree," Mondello said. "It’s a win-win for Fair Lawn and everyone involved."
The court-appointed special master, Stuart Koenig, who oversees the borough's compliance with its affordable housing obligation, will be releasing his report on the amended plan on Aug. 28.
"He supports the plan," Mondello said of the special master. "Now we just must see if the judge supports it."
Any objections to the amended affordable housing plan must be submitted in writing at least five days before the Sept. 11 hearing, which is scheduled for 10 a.m.