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Concern for Holmdel and Lucent

Concern about age-resticted component of Lucent plan being converted to affordable housing

When I moved to Holmdel about 5 years ago and looked around for ways to get involved I met some people concerned about land use.  As a planner, homeowner and family man I expressed curiousity about the Lucent property.  Essentially I was "shouted down" in soft tones and told that there was a process underway...people on the case...lots had been done...and I was new and did not know the whole story.

Five years later there have been many changes in the economy and world at large but Lucent sits there.  I realize there is a plan and a contract purchaser.  I am fluent in the redevelopment process in general, not limited to Holmdel and the Lucent property.  I am fluent in areas in need of redevelopment and the adoption of a plan.

What concerns me is the age restricted component of the plan.  On its face it is housing that does not bring with it school-aged children that may overburden our excellent schools.  My concern is that in NJ specifically, a developer/property owner with age-restricted housing that it cannot sell/rent is able to approach the State of NJ and plead economic hardship.  In the State of NJ there is a change of use provision that allows age-restricted housing to be converted to low-income/affordable housing since the state of NJ has such expensive real estate in general and is always looking to encourage low income/affordable housing development.

So, my concern is that in NJ, where there is a clear oversupply of age-restricted housing, that the units to be located on the Lucent property would not sell and the owner would be able to convert them to low income/affordable in direct conflict with the goals of Holmdel.  We would not get an increased tax base.  We would not get residents that would contribute to the economic vitality (seniors) of the area but without school impacts.

We may get a low income development on the lawn of a 2 million square foot landmark design by Eero Saarinen and a population Holmdel is ill-equipped to serve far removed from the commercial district along Rt 35.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Good Neighbor November 29, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Affordable housing in Holmdel sounds like a fabulous idea
Jon Boody November 29, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Affordable housing would be just fine, so long as the residents are willing to pay property taxes that are equal to the average amount paid by other Holmdel residents. If they pay taxes that are proportionate to their home value the rest of the Holmdel residents will be forced to pay more to make up the shortfall from the affordable housing residents.
bud November 29, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The condition of sale on behalf of any development plan must be that the existing building be be brought up to code prior to any additional housing be built. It would take at least $20 Million plus to make that happen. Recent flooding in the basement will not help. None of the elevators meet code, entire A/C system is antiquated and must be replaced in total, heating systems must be upgraded or replaced, etc, etc. If not performed this way, what incentive will there be for ANYBODY to fix that building? I will believe this property is "sold" AGAIN, for the 4th time, when I see a deed transfer in Freehold.
Tagg Romneystein November 29, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Jon are you an idiot? So you think that all homeowners should pay an average property tax? Instead of the annual tax levy being distributed proportionately based on the property values it should just be divided up by the number of homes and split evenly? Did it take you a long time to come up with that? Maybe we should do the same for income taxes. Lets divide the federal budget by the number of citizens and there is your tax bill! Genius.
Tony Orsini March 12, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Robert, you got it right. Care to be a candidate for township committee? Perhaps you could teach our governing body something.

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