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Court Decision Paves Way for Dedicated Senior Housing in Fair Lawn

A judge Tuesday ruled in favor of an amendment to the borough's affordable housing plan, clearing the path for an affordable unit swap between two developers that would create senior housing in Fair Lawn.

A state superior court judge Tuesday approved .

Following about 45 minutes of court room testimony regarding the affordable housing unit swap, Judge Brian Martinotti concurred with court-appointed special master Stuart Koenig and ruled that the borough's proposed amendment to its Affordable Housing Plan met the necessary requirements set forth by the Fair Housing Act and the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing. Martinotti commended both the borough and the developers for working together for the benefit of the community.

Under the amended plan, the -- currently being constructed along Route 208 in the industrial park -- frees 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 will then be disbursed as an eligible expense from the Trust Fund and put toward the $1.7 million purchase of the 3.9-acre Hadco/KEM site, which would be leased to Fair Lawn Senior Housing, a partnership of multiple non-profit entities. The non-profit developers will kick in an additional $200,000 on top of the $1.5 million provided in lieu of the Promenade's affordable units to purchase the KEM site with the guarantee to develop it into a 64-unit 100 percent affordable age-restricted development.

Once the non-profit developers secure the title to the KEM site, located at 18-35 River Road, they can begin to assemble funding to actually build the senior housing development, which now becomes the major stumbling block.

Tom Toronto, president of the Bergen County United Way -- one of the non-profit developers involved -- said they're hoping to fund the site's construction through state-allocated tax credits and will be submitting a tax credit financing application by the approaching deadline.

If the tax credit application is approved and construction funding is secured -- something Toronto said he is very confident will occur -- the developers expect to break ground on the project by next June.

Before that happens, however, Toronto said the developers will again have to go before the Planning Board in Fair Lawn for approval of slight modifications to their original plan, which called for 50 market rate units and 14 low-and-moderate income affordable housing units.

"Essentially we’re going to follow through on the original footprint that was established when the original application for market rate housing was approved," he said. "We're going to modify it, obviously, because we're not going to be building two or three bedroom units, but rather more one bedroom units, and there will be some architectural changes that will take place, but nothing so significant that it would require a completely new application."

In the event the funding for the project falls through, however, the borough must decide what it will do with the property.

Borough attorney Ron Mondello said Fair Lawn's options would include abandoning the project altogether, bonding and undertaking municipal development of the project or finding another developer to take on the project.

If all goes as planned, the affordable housing unit swap will 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).

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Tommy P September 11, 2012 at 07:11 PM
What a lousy idea! Who came up with the concept of putting elderly Americans on top of a polluted brownfield?
John Jones September 11, 2012 at 07:33 PM
No senior citizen is going to buy or rent some affordable hut on a brownfield located directly across from Paterson. They're going to spend their golden years worried about cancer & being mugged walking to the supermarket? There must have been some big payoff involved.
Life-Long FL Resident September 11, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Both funny (but somewhat true) comments!
Stuart Pace September 11, 2012 at 10:47 PM
and folks are up in arms about the Daly field location for the affordable housing?
Steve September 11, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Have you heard of section 8?
Dolphin Fan September 12, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Hmm, What is affordable for seniors, and how long will it be affordable?
Dolphin Fan September 12, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Do the apartments come with Aquanet, Depends, Bengay, Fixodent and a full supply of moth balls?
Jules Vernon September 12, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Looks like a perfect place for the elderly as they are far more likely to die of natural causes before they get cancer. How do we know the site is a brownfield? Let's get on with the Daly development !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Phil Kestenbaum September 12, 2012 at 02:40 PM
no Stuart. The entire project there is uncalled for this town. There are many reasons. The current meetings are discussing the pollutions on this site. It is quite appalling to think that anyone would want to market a home on this site. The affordable housing is more of an esthetic and moral issue. They are placing these homes in the worst locations of the ill advised tract, right at the trains. If you want to call this 'affordable ' you can.
Phil Kestenbaum September 12, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Yes we can have a Fair Lawn contest which site has more hazardous chemicals. We have on Daly also the chemical used in Listeriine, one of the genuises of the Daly council made this allegation the other night. I can't recall his name. He has been there many times and is agiated about the proper sign for the Daly project. Now he is informing us that the chemicals there on the project are just like Listerine.
Stuart Pace September 12, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Phil, if you needed affordable housing, wouldn't you prefer the Radburn location as opposed to the Kem site? And isn't it odd that one project sold their obligation to another project? I was at the meeting when the Promenade folks said they were ready to build their affordable housing obligation. Other people in town had other ideas evidently.
Jules Vernon September 12, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Develop Daly now. We are tired of the cabal of naysayers standing in the way of progress and development. Or maybe the naysayers would prefer that more Radburn stores go out of business and that the new ones that open resemble the horrible low class Deals. Or maybe they prefer a few more nail salons.
Phil Kestenbaum September 12, 2012 at 06:37 PM
You must be joking Vern. One store went out of business and new one opened up. What is so terrible about Deals? We have gotten things there. Progress for you is impossible traffic and more fatal accidents? Stu, I think both sites are terrible for any sort of housing. This law called COAH afforable housing has been debunked and removed by our current Governer Christie. and it is horribly selective. Please show me where the affordable housing is in Glen Rock, or Tenafly.
LENNY September 13, 2012 at 07:47 PM
AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR TENAFLY IS ON TENAFY ROAD BETWEEN EAST CLINTON AVE AND RIVER EDGE ROAD. NEAR THE POLICE FIRE STATION, SHORT WALK DOWN TOWN AREA.
Deleted because of harassment September 13, 2012 at 10:37 PM
After reading the results of the environmental survey done by the outside consultants, how anyone could build and market human residential homes on that site just confounds me. Add to it the clustering of homes for the "affordable" units to the back of the site, with no proposed additional buffering other than a lack of windows....really, this is the depiction of overburdening land use. Nice that the developer is willing to install a vapor barrier beneath the homes, just in case all the volitile compounds at the groundwater level less than 26 feet from the surface manage to perk up into those buildings, but, as the developer's own expert pointed out, there are two areas of napthlene still in need of monitoring for the next 12 years before the DEP will consider the area no longer a problem. Somebody's child is going to live there, be concieved there and live there, or go outside and play in the dirt over a plume of spreading pollution whose outer edges are continuing to migrate into the homes of the neighbors. But some judge thinks that's a perfectly fine place to put human beings in "affordable" homes, next to an active railway line...This isn't about naqysayers. It's about basic human decency to not do that, to anyone.
Tommy P September 14, 2012 at 01:58 AM
As bad as that is, it's basically stolen money that is building it. Without the force of government redirecting the wealth to put people in harms way, this project would never happen.
Phil Kestenbaum September 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Tenafly has some apartments in town, so does Fair Lawn, loads and loads. Much more than Tenafly. So a judge decides what a town can handle, when the Municipal government in Fair Lawn does not want this developement.
Phil Kestenbaum September 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM
naphlene is the one that they use in listerine, it's fine not a problem didn't you hear the RA rep tell us his expertise. This is an example of what Christie pointed out about judges, Too bad he was elected years ago.

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