MTC/Planning Board Special Joint Meeting Print E-mail



7:30 PM Start

195 Changebridge Road, Montville Municipal Building




            Planning Board:

Mr. Maggio                  – present          Mr. Karkowsky           - present

Mr. Sandham, Mayor   - present           Ms. Nielson                  - present                      

Mr. Lipari                     - present           Mr. Lewis                    - present

Mr. Hines                     - present           Mr. Canning                 - present

            Mr. Visco                     - entered late    Mr. Speciale (alt#1)      - present

                                                                        Mr. Tobias (alt#2)        - present


            Township Committee:

            Art Daughtry - absent

             Tim Braden, Deputy Mayor - present

            Don Kostka – present

            Deb Nielson – present

            Jim Sandham – Mayor – present


Also present:

Joseph Burgis, AICP

Michael Carroll, Esq.

Frank Russo, PE









Chairman opened meeting for any public discussion on items not listed.  No public.  No discussion items from Planning Board either.  Board & Township Committee proceeded to the public hearing discussions on Affordable Housing and COAH certification process/resolution.            


Public hearing on Fair Housing – Master Plan

COAH certification Resolution – Township Committee Meeting


Secretary noted compliance with MLUL notice requirements


Mr. Burgis gave background information on affordable housing issue, describing where we have been, where we are today and where we are going in future, as well as changes in Trenton.  He reviewed the Mt. Laurel decisions, going from Mt. Laurel l thru Mt. Laurel II which focus were twofold:  the constitutional obligation to provide fair share housing numbers in a developing municipality as well as ‘what’ constitutes your fair share of regional needs for affordable housing, summarizing that eventually each municipality has to provide affordable housing, which resulted in development of COAH and obligations of COAH in supplying fair share numbers to a township (every six years or so).  This forced municipalities to stay current with these needs.


We are in good position.  We have a lot of credits in our housing tank to meet our prior round obligation and a good portion of growth share obligation since back in l985 we were part of Mt. laurel litigation settlement, and we settled for 565 affordable units, many of which were built, and that is why we are in a good position.


Presently there are three components:  rehab of 14 units, prior round of 261 and growth share of 84 units.  Initially the numbers for growth share was 316, but we took an issue with this number, and ultimately reviewed their data and provided information supporting actual numbers using zoning regulations, environmental constructions. 

Highlands allowed municipalities an extension for one year based on their regulations in highlands.  This growth share number went from 316 to 84 and this is where we are today.  Our obligation for growth share is 84, prior round 261 and 14 rehabs. 


Final backdrop, several additional items:  litigation is ensuing over past number of years.  He reviewed all of the various litigation cases pending against COAH, as well as Governor’s Christie’s task force which would alter affordable housing in state, as well as the Lezniak bill and various forms of it that would modify affordable housing needs. Just recently, the Governor made statements identifying his position on how it should be readdressed, and in essence all of these items made a number of similar recommendations which were to abolish COAH, take afford able housing issue and put under DCA, repeal the fair housing act, and reduce set-aside requirement from 20 percent set-aside to 10 percent set-aside.  They recommended regional contribution be reinstated (it was deleted) and that primary focus would now be rehab vs. new construction, all of which are a dramatic change in state of NJ.


DCA, when they do their reviews of our housing plans would only be reviewing underpinnings of plan, not determining new housing need numbers and most important and not serving as a mediator for disputes.


With this as backdrop, our housing plan will address our obligation.  Our prior round of 261 is completely addressed by existing housing in township.  See page 25 for table identifying those projects.  We have so much credit that we still have 211 excess credits to apply to our growth share obligation.  We don’t have to rezone any lands in our township to meet this.  There is only one other that is in a good of a position in the state.


Left is the rehab of 14 units.  COAH regs require that we seaside at least $10,000 per unit for ½ which is $70 and we need this in mid point of 2018 which we mean we have to set aside in 2014 70 grand in our budget for rehab.  We would then have a marketing plan to encourage residents to apply for these findings, and if income eligible and represents elements acceptable can get grants and/or loans.


Housing plan is extensive document.  An ordinance is included, identifying an affordable fee ordinance on new residential, spending plan and resolutions which are required to adopt, including resolution forwarding this to COAH, which indicates this document is endorsed and we are seeking certification.  Benefit is that it protects township from future Mt. Laurel litigation thru 2018.  After saying this, one caveat to offer is that based on what is being said by Governor and Lezniak bill, all of this could change.  You could be entitled to further reduce if numbers drop, and we can amend this element with a new public hearing.  If numbers are projected up, you are only account able for these numbers thru 2018. 


Gary Lewis:  this is worst case scenario in terms of growth plan.  Mr. Burgis: yes, it can only get better.  Our affordable housing number would likely go down.


Mr. Koskta:  could rehab number change?  How do you qualify for it?


Mr. Burgis:   numbers may go up.  Governor clearly indicated that the primary focus in future should be for rehab so there will be no new additional units.  He indicated governor’s directive is to identify to find units in township that would be low/moderate assistance units that would benefit. 


How this is defined, asked Mr. Lipari?  Mr. Burgis summarized it is done by methodology of median/low income figures in a region.  What you would need to do to participate for loans/grants, you are obligated with a deed restriction that says for next six years you will leave in that house, and if you move, you will need to pay back that loan.  If you leave beyond, that restriction is listed.


Deed restriction:  Mr. Braden asked do you need an attorney to include in their deeds.  Actually COAH requires this, but it is an easy form but is a standard form and has passed legal review in past. 


Likelihood is that COAH won’t exist, but DCA will.  Some of the legislation says DCA will take most of COAH regs.  Deb Nielson:  if this is adopted, then we are protected even if numbers go up and we would be grandfathered at 14.  Discussion ensued on funding and legislation requirements.  Funding mechanism is to the extent of new units in township, portion of value of this house and this house is then used for rehab obligation but what happens if we run shortfall.  Township is obligated to adopt a resolution with intent to bond for deficiency. 


With a surplus, you could provide additional funding mechanism for loans/grants or additional affordable units, however the kicker in the Lezniak bill and in Gov. Christie recommendations are if funds aren’t expended over a period of time, the State of NJ can take this monies and use it somewhere else in the state.  There is no defined window at this time.  They are still putting regs together so no specific time period established.  If you haven’t prepared a plan within two years of date of regulations, they will take the monies.


Mr. Sandham:  for obligation itself,  on the calculations and developable lands, noting that COAH counted things like medians of highways, dedicated open space lands, have we challenged this.  Is it 253 lowest and possible numbers or are there further challenges.


This is challenged by League, and a group of 20 which is a conglomerate of townships in a lawsuit.  A lot has been changed since this case was heard back in December:  Governor’s task force and Lezniak bill all dramatically modify the way the state will be thinking about affordable housing.  Most significantly, state will not give numbers, and gives it back to the municipality.


Gary Lewis:  funding aside for rehabs, it appears there is little choice on this.  Is there no difference for zoning for new units if you had a need vs. not providing for rehabs?  Mr. Burgis:  the MLUL requires that a township in order to have a zoning regs must have a land use plan and housing plan so technically, we have to adopt a housing plan.  Townships are not required to file plans with COAH.  You can choose to or not choose to do that component, but you have to adopt a Housing element.  Filing the plan with COAH, you are protected from Mt. Laurel litigation; you know what an incredible expensive prospect this could be.  The benefit in particular to Montville is that because we have so many existing affordable units, you have a plan that you don’t have to do more than what you did and it should get certification.


Gary Lewis:  back to funding, if rehab component of 50% of units total $70G, we need to know back of the envelope estimate, and you have to income prospective applicants for users, there has to be costs for this activities.  So rather than focus on $70G, if we need to do baseline, should you figure $70 G plus to cover those costs or should we go higher.  The TC should give consideration to this.   One of the reasons we recommended a fee ordinance is because this helps for that cost.  You don’t have to adopt a fee ordinance.  You are under no regulation to do so thou.  If you a re not going to impose it on the individuals generating the need, you would have to raise it by taxes.  There is a majority of towns that use the development fee ordinance.  We are recommending a 1% fee in Montville.  Regulations allow up to 1 ½%.  We gave projections in spending plan to show how much revenue can be generated, but it indicates that the governing fee ordinance will pay for rehab costs and will defray administrative costs with housing plan. 


Mr. Burgis gave some examples of this (i.e. annual filing as to what has taken place with housing plan.)  Development fee monies can pay for that.  It can pay for preparation of housing plan.  There are beneficial elements to a development fee.  Some people can view this as a ‘user’ tax.  If it is limited to new single family house, those individuals will be paying freight in future for rehab of others homes in township.  The rate can go as low as you want.  Have seen these as low as 75%.  Most towns go for 1 ½%.


Deb Nielson:  as to draft fee ordinance, administrative costs, no more than 20% can be used for these fees.  Mr. Burgis:  it is a regulation built into the regulations.  The reason is to make certain that townships don’t spend too much on administrative cost vs. using monies to see rehab work or for new construction of affordable. 


Deb Nielson:  this housing element, this is a recommendation at this time, the TC must take this recommendation at face value or modify it.  Joe Burgis:  these are all drafts at this time.  It is the governing body’s responsible for governing body to deal with spending plan and draft fee ordinance.  COAH requires draft and will render comments.  If you get substantive certification from COAH, you will get 45 days to adopt ordinance and spending fee, as well as other ordinances identified as draft.


What if we have a building boom, and we reach that goal, can we modify that ordinance or sunset it?  Mr. Burgis:  your obligation is for 14 units and you are done.


Mr. Kostka:  it is a one time rehab to a unit?  Mr. Burgis:  someone can make a second application.  In terms of the obligation, there are 14 units to rehab, and you got requests from 14 different homeowners that met criteria, then you are done.  We can assume after 2018 there may b e a 4th round.


Mr. Sandham:  what is the effective date and is it based on site plan approval or not obtaining a building permit or CO.  Mr. Burgis:  it is based on filing of a building permit; one pays 50% if obligation at building permits with 50% at CO time.  It is when they come in for building permits, and they are subject to this fee. 


Mr. Sandham:  general discussion ensued on the fee noting that this would not be something we need to deal with this now.  The funds we have to build are $70G we have to provide for “Plus” additional funds to manage it.  Mr. Burgis indicated there may be some way to put a waiver on this requirement, but he has to ‘search’ into it more and will let Township Committee know.


Tim Braden:  what about ‘knockdowns’?  Mr. Burgis:  they are specific exemptions under the fee impact ordinance.  Noted that he did include that developments receiving prel/final prior to adoption this ordinance is ‘exempt’.  The other section on page 3 of the ordinance talks about the residential demolition.  This area of ordinance discussed.  These are just guidelines, and we can modify these.


Joe Burgis:  reading item no. 2 on page 3, it should read preliminary/final subdivision and site plan approval.  Some of our resolution provides for the affordable housing and Mr. Karkowsky asked to make sure they will still be required to provide this.  Mr. Burgis indicated it would do so.


Mr. Braden:  who determines rehab funds?  Mr. Burgis:  create a committee to handle it or as many as others do, you contract with a company that does this for a living and it is paid for out of developer fund, and is a unit fee.  Deb Nielson:  we have our housing director also.  Gary Lewis:  difference being is that some entity has to evaluate the structure to make determination that it is truly in need of renovation.  Someone has to certify that these are significant structural elements.  Mr. Braden understood that, but voiced concerns on $70G and someone has to decide the allocating of this monies.  Mr. Burgis indicated in suburban communities he would be shocked to find 14 units.  It has to be a low/moderate income qualified housing unit, and they have to be willing to have a deed restriction.  Mr. Braden:  it could be a senior out there on a fixed income:  it could be anyone as long as they qualified.  But you are typing your home up.  Discussion ensued. Mr. Kostka:  I can live in a 2M home I qualify I can find that I am qualified for a roof.  Mr. Burgis:  there is a lot of income certification information.  Mrs. White: it has excessive information and you require assessment of homes.  Mr. Burgis:  same type of income.


Russ Lipari:  if you compare other communities to Montville, how do they address this?  Mr. Burgis:  it varies.  Mahwah handles it in house; upper saddle river thru another entity.  It is a decision of Township Committee.  Mr. Kostka:  we have to market it, and we have to have an affirmative marketing plan, it will identify where you will advertise, etc. 


Are these funds ever disbursed on a lottery system if there is a large demand?  Mr. Burgis indicated he has never seen this happen.  Only time this was seen in lower income facilities and that is where these types of programs are most popular.


No further comments


Opened to public….


Leona Reshner, 20 Timber Road – The $70G:  we have a large senior community, and they receive this, they are committed to six years.  Do you have to assume these people are committed, and think $70G will go quickly.  Then we still have all of Rachel Gardens (Mrs. White clarified only a portion is affordable – 25% of overall rental units).  This is a rental program and doesn’t qualify.  She feels we will go thru monies quickly.


Mr. Burgis explained the law and the requirement of rehab numbers.  There are a certain number of residents in community that income qualifies and a certain number will need to be rehabilitated.  For Montville, State determined 14 rehabs.  Regs say that township must set aside $10,000 per unit.


Ms. Reshner continued:  she voiced concerns about fulfillment of commitment, if there are more rehabs, won’t we need more monies?  Mr. Burgis indicated once we have achieved the 14 units, we are no longer under any commitment to provide further rehab units.


Herb Reshner:  talking about someone whose property is rehabbed and have to stay in property for a period of time.  What happens if they can’t afford to stay in property?  Mr. Burgis:  someone can leave earlier, but they have to pay back the loan.  He indicated that the six year period is to avoid the issue of people using these funds for a future resale.  What happens if there is a problem when someone loses their job, etc?  Mr. Burgis indicated that they can ask for a waiver, but has never seen this happen.


Motion made to close to public made by Gary Lewis, seconded by John Visco – unanimous


Mr. Sandham:  indicated to get to this 70G number with that one percent, all you need is 7M for development.  You will get to this number quickly in Montville.  


Mrs. White summarized the actions that are needed noting there is a form of resolution in the file, that the Planning Board needs to adopt and endorse the Fair Share Housing Plan Element, and recommend to the Township Committee the adoption of a certification Resolution that will be forwarded to COAH.  Motion made by:  Russ Lipari, Second:  Gary Lewis


Roll call:  Art Maggio, Jim Sandham, Russ Lipari, Larry Hines, Deb Nielson, Gary Lewis, Victor Canning , Ladis Karkowsky, John Visco, and registering the alternates votes, although not needed, affirmative for Tony Speciale and Larry Tobias


Motion passed.


This aspect of the Planning Board meeting was closed, and the Governing Body opened their meeting on discussion of the certification required to be adopted and sent to COAH by the Township Committee.  Mr. Sandham noted that before the Township Committee is a Resolution petition and the adopted Housing Fair Share Plan just endorsed by Planning Board, and a motion is needed to adopt and forward Certification to COAH.  (Resolution attached).


Motion made by:  Deb Nielson

Seconded by:  Don Kostka


No discussion


Roll call vote:  Mr. Kostka, Mr. Braden, Ms. Nielson and Mayor Sandham – Yes

Motion carried.


Mr. Sandham moved this aspect of hearing is closed, with a Motion made by Mr. Kostka and seconded by Deb Nielson, the Township Committee meeting adjourned unanimously. 


Planning Board will move to their regular meeting shortly after adjournment.


Respectfully submitted,


Linda M. White

Planning Board Secretary


Minutes approved by Planning Board on July 8, 2010













WHEREAS, the Planning Board of the Township of Montville, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, adopted the Housing Element of the Master Plan on May 27, 2010; and


WHEREAS, a true copy of the resolution of the Planning Board adopting the Housing Element is attached pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:96-2.2(a)2; and


WHEREAS, the Planning Board adopted the Fair Share Plan on May 27, 2010; and


WHEREAS, a true copy of the resolution of the Planning Board adopting the Fair Share Plan is attached pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:96-2.2(a)2.


NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, hereby endorses the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan as adopted by the Township of Montville Planning Board; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Township Committee of the Township of Montville, pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 52:27D-301 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 5:96-3.2(a), submits this petition for substantive certification of the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan to the Council on Affordable Housing for review and certification; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a list of names and addresses for all owners of sites in the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan has been included with the petition; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that notice of this petition for substantive certification shall be published in a newspaper of countywide circulation pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:96-3.5 within seven days of issuance of the notification letter from the Council on Affordable Housing’s Executive Director indicating that the submission is complete and that a copy of this resolution, the adopted Housing Element and Fair Share Plan and all supporting documentation shall be made available for public inspection at the Township of Montville municipal clerk’s office located at 195 Changebridge Road, Montville, New Jersey 07045-9498 during the hours of 8:30AM to 4:30PM on Monday through Friday for a period of 45 days following the date of publication of the legal notice pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:96-3.5.





Gertrude H. Atkinson                                                               Dated:  May 27, 2010

Township Clerk

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 September 2010 )
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