Tutor time COAH development by Livingston

http://www.lshcoalition.com/

Livingston Township plans to build a huge high rise on a small 1.25 acre lot boarding Millburn/SH near the Tutortimr site for coah development
Actually I thought this lot was in MB/SH........................

Your thoughts?

According to Item, nearby residents successfully fought a medical building on the site about seven years ago. Should have taken the medical building I guess. Lesson that you have to evaluate carefully what you oppose because you might easily end up with nearby horrible Coah units.

Maybe Ahold will sell its land and a developer will ask Springfield to allow Coah units on the Ahold site. Makes perfect sense to me.

It sure stinks for the people living there. I had known the site was in Livington because of a dispute over a proposes medical office building that was turned down before TutorTime moved in to the existing (formerly restaurant) building on the site. That makes it very difficult for the residential neighbors, all of whom are in Short Hills, because from Livingston's point of view it is a great location for such a development because while it will impact the schools it is remote from other Livingston residents.

However, you need to keep the COAH stuff in perspective. We are not talking a low income housing project here. The developer is using the "developer remedy" route to force approval of a building that is way too large (4 stories) for the site by invoking COAH. But only 20% of the units will be "affordable" and even that probably does not mean "low income" but rather "moderate income".

Here is a press article on the subject from the Item:

http://66.132.220.90/NC/0/833.html

Livingston settles lawsuit over South Orange Avenue property

(by Harry Trumbore - December 11, 2008)



The prospect of four-story apartment buildings being constructed on the northern border of the township moved closer to reality last week when the Livingston Township Planning Board and Town Council approved the settlement of two lawsuits between that municipality and developers seeking "builders’ remedies" under state affordable housing regulations.

The developers sought to prove Livingston was not providing its fair share of affordable housing under rules set by the Council on Affordable Housing.

One of the suits targeted property on South Orange Avenue bordering Millburn Township residential properties on Rippling Brook Drive and Lawrence Drive. The 4.2-acre property was once occupied by a restaurant and is the current site of a children’s learning center.

Under the terms of the settlement, the developer is permitted to build a maximum of 100 multi-family units, which would include at least 20 rental units affordable to low- and moderate-income households.

According to Livingston Planning Board Chairman Peter Klein, the Superior Court has scheduled a "fairness hearing" on Jan. 12 to review COAH compliance in the settlement.

"Assuming the court approves the settlement," Klein said, "there has to be an amendment to the Master Plan to reflect the settlement." He said at that time the Town Council must hold public hearings.

Livingston Township administrators say the developer of the property, TMB Partners, has two options.

The first is to build one large structure with 84 units. The second is to construct two attached buildings with the maximum of 100 units. If the second option is chosen, the developer also may construct an office building where the learning center currently stands.

"From Livingston’s viewpoint, this is the best settlement we could reach against the possibilities of continued litigation," Klein said.

Millburn Township residents living in the adjoining neighborhood don’t agree and have begun organizing a grass roots group, the Livingston-Short Hills Coalition, to fight the proposed construction.

Rippling Brook Drive resident Rosalie Rubin, a representative of the neighborhood group, maintains that in 2001, Livingston denied variances for the developer to build a medical office on the same site.

"This is really very puzzling to us," Rubin said. "If that could have been turned down and deemed inappropriate for the lot, then how can this monstrosity be acceptable?"

Rubin made the point that the proposed apartment buildings will be four-stories high.

"We have no problem with affordable housing," she said, explaining that the high-density housing will overlook many of her neighbors’ backyards. Rubin also said increased traffic created by the apartments will impact traffic at the nearby intersection of White Oak Ridge Road and South Orange Avenue, forcing drivers to cut through residential neighborhoods.

The high-density housing is driven by COAH regulations, said Livingston Township Manager Michele Meade.

"We are directed to provide increased density. The premise is to increase density so that a developer can afford to build market value housing," Meade said.

Although Klein maintains Livingston continues to look at various properties that might be suggested as alternative building sites for developers, Meade said the municipality has little choice in the matter. She said that under a "builder’s remedy" suit, there is no choice for a municipality to chose where affordable housing will be built.

"It takes a lot out of our hands," Meade said. "Our philosophy was rather than continue the lawsuit to settle and negotiate in good faith to modify the plan as much as we can."

At public forum on COAH housing last month, Livingston officials said the municipality is obligated to provide 700 units of affordable housing by 2018.

Meade said if the court approves the settlement, all residents living within 200 feet of the proposed construction site will be notified when the Town Council will be meeting to amend the Master Plan. Millburn Township will be officially notified as well, she added.

Posted By: Walter

Maybe Ahold will sell its land and a developer will ask Springfield to allow Coah units on the Ahold site. Makes perfect sense to me.


That is actually what many in Springfield wants to see happen.

Well I didn't know that Springfield residents were actually considering that, but the reason it makes sense from Springfield's perspective is that there are few Springfield homeownes living near the facility. There is an aparmtnent complex nearby. Glenwood residents who opposed the Stop & Shop because of undesirables crossing through Glenwood from the SH station could be faced witht he same problem with the undesirables crossing throught to commute.

Posted By: WalterWell I didn't know that Springfield residents were actually considering that, but the reason it makes sense from Springfield's perspective is that there are few Springfield homeownes living near the facility. There is an aparmtnent complex nearby. Glenwood residents who opposed the Stop & Shop because of undesirables crossing through Glenwood from the SH station could be faced witht he same problem with the undesirables crossing throught to commute.


I would take issue with the word "undesirables" but you are correct that Glenwood residents likely would not be happy.

However, any residential development that would have a vehicle exit on Millburn Avenue would face the same requirement as Ahold to get approval from the Millburn planning board. Unless they can plan the development so the vehicles would all go onto Morris Ave. that could be a major obstacle.

Actually that vehicle exit route is possible -- there is a long private road from Morris Turnpike into the saks parking lot. If you look at a bird's eye view of the area you see it --
someone posted it on one of these threads within the past year.

At least both potential developments would not add more students to the MB/SH schools.

Perhaps Millburn Township committee could just buy the 1.25 acres from Livingston with Open Space funds and turn it into playing fields.

Cross town purchases are difficult.

In any event Livingston does not own the site, the developer does. So you would first need a condemnation proceeding which I would expect the developer to fight vigorously.

As an outsider, let me say that Millburn has taken its turn doing major development on the edge of town, away from residents homes, when it allowed the Mall at Short Hills to go in...most of the traffic goes to neighboring towns, but the property taxes paid by the mall lower your taxes signficantly compared to neighboring Essex towns, I believe.

At least the other towns in question are talking about doing something to help address the lack of moderate income housing, rather than the shortage of designer boutiques...(yes, its a nice mall, and I sometimes shop there too...)

Fight to keep the density somewhat appropriate to the neighborhood (which is not necessarily single family housing, given the specific location), and I'm a supporter. Fight to avoid moderate income housing, and I'm not.

The mall is totally surrounded by Millburn and has been there since the early 60's, before much of the surrounding development was built.

Yes, mbmom the vehicle route to Morris avenue is possible and could easily be used for a development. No need to have any exit to Millburn Avenue for delivery vehicles and for commercial traffic. A nice mixed income development would seem to be an excellent use for the land.

And maybe (as Schweb poits out) the residents would not really be undesirable. They would add additional shoppers, etc., to support the downtowan district.

Posted By: WalterYes, mbmom the vehicle route to Morris avenue is possible and could easily be used for a development. No need to have any exit to Millburn Avenue for delivery vehicles and for commercial traffic. A nice mixed income development would seem to be an excellent use for the land.

And maybe (as Schweb poits out) the residents would not really be undesirable. They would add additional shoppers, etc., to support the downtowan district.


I would assume that a developer would do an 80/20 with only 20% COAH (after all the property would not come cheap) and no developer is going to give away the 80% of the units that are market rate for units in walking distance to a train station. So, since it will not impact the Millburn school enrollment I would consider it a net positive for the area. As mentioned unlike the Livingston site it is not backing up on existing single family residences.

so, will the Tutor Time be closing?

No, the Tutor Time will not be closing.

Posted By: asgoldbergNo, the Tutor Time will not be closing.


So they will build the homes around it?

I think Tutor Time will be closing but just not yet. Only when the development is ready to move forward.

I'm guessing that any child currently in Tutor Time is likely to have time to graduate before the first shovel of earth is moved.

Tutor Time is just a tenant but one would hope they are reputable enough to either secure another location in the area or to give plenty of notice to their clients.

From reading the original post it says "'near the tutor time". Just saw the owners this week and they said they are not going anywhere. I assumed the location was the lot across the street. I will check with them again.

So, 7 1/2 years later, the other shoe has dropped...according to the New Jersey Jewish News, after years of battle (and a recession) the former Tutor Time building and site are being sold to Chabad, ending their years-long fight to expand on Old Short Hills Road, and giving them a new facility that fills their needs with no variances or new construction needed.  


So, no new affordable housing? 


susan1014 said:

So, 7 1/2 years later, the other shoe has dropped...according to the New Jersey Jewish News, after years of battle (and a recession) the former Tutor Time building and site are being sold to Chabad, ending their years-long fight to expand on Old Short Hills Road, and giving them a new facility that fills their needs with no variances or new construction needed.  

Yes and no.

A Chabad bought the building and will open a synagogue on the site. However, it is not the Chabad that has been trying to expand on Old Short Hills Rd. The Chabad that bought the Tutor Time building is the Chabad that is currently on White Oak Ridge Road, opposite Gero Park. Betcha didn't know Millburn was a two-Chabad town. This is it: http://www.chabadatshorthills.org/


depending on the county, a single person eligible for COAH housing can make up to about 75k I think..with the average being about 65k max..and 45k the lowest in a county...

the more family members, the higher the income limit...but they still must make enough to be able to pay the rent.  I know someone looking into applying for housing..a 2 bedroom runs about 1000/month....and minimum income is about 36k/year.....

some units are set aside for very low income..which would be about half that.


Thank you...I read the article too quickly.  This new project has nothing to do with the Old Short Hills Chabad.  I'd forgotten that Millburn had two Chabads.

shoshannah said:


susan1014 said:

So, 7 1/2 years later, the other shoe has dropped...according to the New Jersey Jewish News, after years of battle (and a recession) the former Tutor Time building and site are being sold to Chabad, ending their years-long fight to expand on Old Short Hills Road, and giving them a new facility that fills their needs with no variances or new construction needed.  

Yes and no.

A Chabad bought the building and will open a synagogue on the site. However, it is not the Chabad that has been trying to expand on Old Short Hills Rd. The Chabad that bought the Tutor Time building is the Chabad that is currently on White Oak Ridge Road, opposite Gero Park. Betcha didn't know Millburn was a two-Chabad town. This is it: http://www.chabadatshorthills.org/

And thank you for for reminding people that a great deal of COAH housing serves people at lower middle class income levels, who are often priced out of our markets.  Building complexes that include it is a public good, and I'm depressed when I hear reflexive, fearful responses to the idea.

jmitw said:

depending on the county, a single person eligible for COAH housing can make up to about 75k I think..with the average being about 65k max..and 45k the lowest in a county...

the more family members, the higher the income limit...but they still must make enough to be able to pay the rent.  I know someone looking into applying for housing..a 2 bedroom runs about 1000/month....and minimum income is about 36k/year.....

some units are set aside for very low income..which would be about half that.

New COAH housing is being proposed on JFK Parkway, just north of the mall. The neighbors in the Poets' section are not happy.

The neighbors of the Tutor Time building -- which is located in Livingston, but the residential neighbors are in Short hills -- are THRILLED that is was bought by Chabad of Short Hills.


It is the total number of 250 apartments that have some people concerned about the development by the mall. Not primarily the 35 that will be designated affordable. 


But the Tutor Time development would have been more intrusive since it would directly backed up onto single family properties.  The JFK development,  which also includes a hotel,  is not near any houses. 


Originally Roseland wanted to build 400 residential units but Millburn git them to change it to 250 plus a hotel.  Millburn then changed the zoning to accommodate that.  Roseland made it clear that if Millburn did not play ball they would go the builder's remedy route and go for something even bigger. So now the proposal is essentially as of right.  

A big concern is that Canoe Brook Rd might be reopened as a through street.  But the town is assuring that that will not happen and is proposing to build a building at the end of the road so it can not happen. 


The development by the mall was approved unanimously by the Planning Board last night. 200 units (35 affordable) plus a hotel. Approval was no surprise since no variances were requested and it was basically a negotiated deal with Mack Cali to avoid them going for an even larger residential development.



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