Comments/replies can be posted under “Your Voice” Other online comments: http://www.nj.com/forums/harrison/
Recently Mayor Manzo commented on Redevelopment under “Your Voice.” In addition, Committeeman Mr. Heim provided an additional comment on the Henry Harris Landfill under “Landfill.” It is the mission and purpose of this website to provide researched facts and links on concerning issues within Harrison Township as well as questions reflective of our research.
We are of the same mind as the mayor as quoted in Mullica Hill Life Magazine. “Greater Interaction leads to greater influence and gives the people a voice when it comes to development within their community”. “Every resident’s input is valued and has an impact on our actions”. Lou Manzo – Mullica Hill Life Magazine
Township Committee Agenda 3.3.14 Unanimously Approved Resolution 081-2014 .
3-6-14 How can the Harrison Township Committee morally, ethically and legally pass Resolution No. 081-2014?
How can the Harrison Township Committee morally, ethically and legally pass Resolution No. 081-2014 which authorizes the JLU, at the next JLU meeting, to determine whether Lots 2, 5, and 21 of Block 64 qualify as a Condemnation Redevelopment Area while Resolution No. 082-2014, passed during this same township committee meeting for Block 52, sought determination of lots qualifying as non-condemnation redevelopment? With designation of Condemnation Redevelopment as to Block 64 comes the ability of our government to use eminent domain. Use of eminent domain, in this particular case, appears to have been repeatedly addressed by the township committee as to having no intention to apply to this situation. It appears with passage of this resolution there seems the strong probability to use eminent domain to force inclusion of the extended land behind Lots 2 and 21. The words “eminent domain” are written within the resolution itself. These lots extend into this redevelopment area (see zoning map). It appears the strategy last night (3/5/2014) was to apply use of eminent domain to include this additional land jutting into this area of Block 64. Perhaps it will now appear more enticing to developers with redevelopment designation. Again we address the zoning as it stands now and duly note with redevelopment designation, there appears the strong possibility of mixed use housing units in a condensed space along with commercial/business units. Plans, as such, were addressed within the former online plans as to The Villages of Mullica Hill. With redevelopment designation, plans similar to the Villages of Mullica Hill could become reality. Our hope now rests with the citizens of Harrison Township as to their voice, with the members of the Joint Land Use as to their vote, and ultimately rests with the Township Committee as to their vote with thoughts as well as each independent, individual vote be cast with addressing what appears as to the moral and ethical issues as to how Block 64 was legally addressed at last night’s meeting. (see below – Approved Resolution and New Jersey Housing and Redevelopment Law)
RESOLUTION NO. 081-2014 - RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COMMITTEE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF HARRISON AUTHORIZING THE JOINT LAND USE BOARD TO CONDUCT A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION TO DETERMINE WHETHER CERTAIN LOTS IN BLOCK 64 (North Main Street area) ON THE OFFICIAL TAX MAP OF THE TOWNSHIP OF HARRISON QUALIFY AS AN AREA IN NEED OF REDEVELOPMENT (Interpretive Statement: Directing the Joint Land Use Board to undertake a preliminary investigation to determine whether Block 64, Lots 2, 5 and 21 is a (Condemnation Redevelopment Area) RESOLUTION NO. 082-2014 - RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COMMITTEE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF HARRISON AUTHORIZING THE JOINT LAND USE BOARD TO CONDUCT A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION TO DETERMINE WHETHER LOT 9 IN BLOCK 52 (the parcel of land across from Spicer Street on Woodstown Road)ON THE OFFICIAL TAX MAP OF THE TOWNSHIP OF HARRISON QUALIFIES AS AN AREA IN NEED OF REDEVELOPMENT. (Interpretive Statement: Authorizing the Joint Land Use Board to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine whether Block 52, Lot 9 qualifies as a Non-CondemnationArea)
Sep 11, 2013 – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law bill A-3615
Whereas,The New Jersey Supreme Court in Gallenthin Realty Development, Inc. v. Borough of Paulsboro, 191 N.J. 344 (2007), clarified one of the criterion for designating redevelopment areas in New Jersey and emphasized that the use of eminent domain cannot be justified to acquire property unless it is blighted, rather than merely not being put to its optimal use; 2. Section 6 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-6) is amended to read as follows 6. a. The governing body of a municipality shall assign the conduct of the investigation and hearing to the planning board of the municipality. The resolution authorizing the planning board to undertake a preliminary investigation shall state whether the redevelopment area determination shall authorize the municipality to use all those powers provided by the Legislature for use in a redevelopment area other than the use of eminent domain (hereinafter referred to as a “Non-Condemnation Redevelopment Area”) or whether the redevelopment area determination shall authorize the municipality to use all those powers provided by the Legislature for use in a redevelopment area, including the power of eminent domain (hereinafter referred to as a “Condemnation Redevelopment Area”).
(c) If the resolution assigning the investigation to the planning board, pursuant to subsection a. of this section, stated that the redevelopment determination shall establish Condemnation Redevelopment Area, the notice of the hearing shall specifically state that a redevelopment area determination shall authorize the municipality to exercise the power of eminent domain to acquire property in the delineated area.
Gallenthin v. Paulsboro Supreme Court of New Jersey Holding: Upon grant of certification, the Supreme Court, Zazzali, C.J., held that statute that allowed redevelopment of land that was in a stagnant condition did not give borough authority to redevelop property owners’ land simply because it was not fully productive.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: 3-3-14
Fundamental to understanding what constitutes property as within AINR….BLIGHTED AREA……CONDEMNATION REDEVELOPMEBNT AREA?
Quotes below by Mayor Louis Manzo Clarification on the Redevelopment Designation, PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) Program & the Block 64 Redevelopment Plan (Clarification on the Redevelopment Designation)
“The website post a link to an article written in March/2011 about the use of a PILOT in Schenectady, NY that states that “a PILOT is a tried-and-true lure to developers and tax payers are not always thrilled with the deals made.” This article about a specific situation hundreds of miles from Mullica Hill serves as the basis for the website’s sweeping and general interpretation of PILOTs and how they are utilized in Harrison Township by the current governing body”. (see link above Mayor’s Clarification on Redevelopment)
CLOSER TO HOME: Preliminary Investigation Washington Square Redevelopment Washington_Square_PI
Washington Square Project Comes Back By Michelle Caffrey / South Jersey Times South Jersey Newspapers
on April 20, 2012 at 7:00 AM http://www.nj.com/washington-townshiptimes/index.ssf/2012/04/washington_square_project_come.html
“One of eight specific criteria be met to qualify for the designation”. “Our motivation in seeking this designation is to maximize our residents input on the development of a given property and how it affects the neighboring properties and the community as a whole”. “This would afford those current home owners the same benefits and flexibility in the future (as the developers of the vacant land)”. (see link above Mayor’s Clarification on Redevelopment)
Quote by R. William Potter, Esq. A reading of the Supreme Court opinion in Gallenthin v Boro of Paulsboro, 191 NJ 344 (2007). “
That landmark ruling clarified that AINR does NOT mean property recommended for “improvement” through redevelopment. Yet that was the “standard” employed to date by the Township planner, the Melvin Group. That standard was rejected unanimously by the Supreme Court in the Gallenthin case. The Melvin Group must know this. So it must be asked WHY is Melvin propagating such obvious misinformation? Clearly, lots 2, 5, and 21 are not BLIGHTED as the Supreme Court defined the term”.
“No property owner can nor should “volunteer” –Opt in –to have his/her property designated as BLIGHTED. Only property which has been found through “substantial credible evidence” to meet the strict Gallenthin v. Paulsboro constitutionally mandated test of “blight” can be AINR or BLIGHTED AREA or CONDEMNATION REDEVELOPMENT AREA. Such property must exhibit several severely negative characteristics which are causing a pattern of “blight” that may be summarized as showing (1) actual and substantial harm to the inhabitants and (2) to surrounding area properties. Being designated as BLIGHTED is a highly negative declaration. It causes property value to fall dramatically and property is virtually unmarketable”.
“The relevant law, however, does not stop a property owner from volunteering to have his/her property studied to determine if it is BLIGHTED –provided the Gallenthin standards are applied in that investigation, and not the clearly unconstitutional standards applied so inexcusably to date by the Melvin Group”.
“There was NEVER a consideration to use eminent domain to take private properties on north Main street”. “Any portrayal is a total misrepresentation of the truth”. (see link above Mayor’s Clarification on Redevelopment)
Quote from letter sent out to the residents in Block 64 (JLUB Public hearing 6-6-13). “The designating of an area as a “redevelopment area” expands the Township’s authority and powers” “It also allows the municipality to take the property against the owner’s will through an action in eminent domain. Should this property be determined to be an area in need of redevelopment”.
Letter to Township committee 8-12-13 by R. William Potter, Esq. ”If the Township does not intend to use eminent domain, then it has in effect conceded that it is using its redevelopment powers for an improper purpose –to advance a particular redevelopment plan for non-blighted properties. Moreover, whatever may be the current intentions of current Township officials,these do not find them or their successors; in short, they are empty promises”. “A blight designation does not increase property values; it drastically reduces them. We have seen this in town after town. The result is the property becomes “imprisoned economically”
“False information concerning this Redevelopment designation and its status”. “Misguided explanation of a PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) program.” (see link above Mayor’s Clarification on Redevelopment)
Quote -(State of NJExamination of Municipal Tax Abatements ). tax_abatement_report While abatement of taxes otherwise owed is uniformly positive from the perspective of the developer, it results, at least in the short-term, in lost revenue for government entities. In addition these financial arrangements can create tax inequity and present opportunities for unfair favoritism or cronyism. Given these concerns, municipalities’ use of abatements warrants scrutiny, particularly in ensuring that the abatement of taxes actually is necessary to spur the property owner’s investment.
““The website included a link to our planner’s report (which is actually titled REDEVELOPMENT PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION - BLOCK 64), but the site titled it “Blight Study”, completely skewing the focus and intention of the study”. (see link above Mayor’s Clarification on Redevelopment)
FACT – New Jersey Redevelopment Housing Law An area determined to be in need of redevelopment pursuant to this section shall be deemed to be a “blighted area” for the purposes of Article VIII, Section III, paragraph 1 of the Constitution. If an area is determined to be a redevelopment area and a redevelopment plan is adopted for that area in accordance with the provisions of this act, the municipality is authorized to utilize all those powers provided in section 8 of P.L. 1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-8)
The citizens of Harrison Township have not been naive in what has been written or stated within the Mayor’s clarification on Redevelopment. There has been a lot of selling not only of properties but also as to thoughts, concepts, and facts. It is up to the citizens of the township to “buy” into any postings, whether the township’s or this website’s, and formulate their own opinions. It has been repeatedly expressed through both websites to contact the township officials as to voicing their opinions for true representation of the people.
Our website has only agreed with the concept of a lesser burden on the school system with commercial properties. When accessing the redevelopment concept as well as PILOT programs there appears the inclusion of mixed use and with mixed use comes multiple housing units in a condensed space. Inclusion of multiple residential units means an increase in school population. It appears as this issue has not been addressed or clarified. It seems the focus has been with commercial use in clarification but when one looks at the plans for the Richwood redevelopment area there appears inclusion of housing units. Mullica Hill West Apartments appears as to having been designated as to redevelopment and with that comes the units in place being rehabbed plus the additional expansion of new apartments being constructed. At one time, although not submitted to the township formally and no longer posted, there were plans under the Canuso website for development of lots within Block 64 as The Villages of Mullica Hill. There has been an area by Tomlin Station Road designated as commercial but as yet has not been built out. There appears commercial/professional units are still available as well as a lot on Route 77 still unoccupied. The building which housed Starr’s furniture seems to be available since the furniture store retired their business. We have only encouraged citizens to pause and think about the direction you, as citizens, wish to see develop here in Harrison Township no matter how many professional people working with the township have been addressing redevelopment, PILOT programs, Smart Growth, etc. It appears, to the website, the citizens of our township have been and are just as capable to read, digest, and form a valid opinion as to the direction for our township.
We encourage citizens to read both websites fully, to form your opinion, and yes, to contact your representatives, who are elected officials to represent the people. And are sworn under oath to uphold the New Jersey Constitution and United States Constitution.
REDEVELOPMENT ZONES -http://www.harrisontwp.us/business-redevelopment-zones-harrisontwp.html
Township Committee Meeting 2-6-14/ agenda TC 2.3.14
AGENDA – SM 1.29.14
ANNOUNCEMENT: Harrison Township Committee held a special meeting Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 5 PM regarding Resolution No. 067-2014: Resolution of the Mayor and the Township of Harrison to grant an extension until March 15, 2014 to Madison Richwood Beverage LLC to pay the balance due on the award for four (4) plenary retail consumption liquor licenses.
The following link: http://www.nj.gov/oag/abc/downloads/abcmunicipalhandbook.pdf provides information regarding new license issuing (NJSA 33:1-19.3 to 19.5), ABC Bulletin 2457 Item 6, Preliminary Consideration 3 (b), Steps in the New License Process Using the Historical and the Public Sale Options, and the Open Public Meetings Act.
Joint Land Use Board Update 1.23.14 reorg agenda
Kevin Van Hise of Mason, Griffin, and Pierson Law Firm http://www.mgplaw.com/attorneys/kevin-hise/ was appointed solicitor for the Joint Land Use during the recent reorganization meeting replacing Joan Adams, Esq. of Swedesboro. This firm, based in Princeton, has “played an important role in the growth and development of the Central New Jersey area” according to http://www.lawyers.com. It appears this firm has previously represented Harrison Township as Special Counsel since 2011.
1-22-14 LAND EAST OF RTE. 55 RESOLUTION 59-2014 59 Redev Land East of Rt 55 WHEREAS, the Township of Harrison governing body wishes to direct the Joint Land Use Board to undertake a preliminary investigation to determine whether the following properties identified as and consisting of Block 1, Lots 1,2, 3, 4, 4.01, 5, 5.01, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9.01, 10, 10.01, 11, 12 and 13; Block 2.01, Lots 1 and 1.01; Block 2.02, Lots 1, 1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10; Block 4, Lots 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16; and Block 24.02, Lot 1 qualify as an area in need of redevelopment pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-5; and WHEREAS, the Township Committee considers it to be in the best interest of the Township to directs its Joint Land Use Board to conduct such an investigation regarding said area/properties.
RICHWOOD VILLAGE http://www.ddg-usa.com/Projects/GR-ID_Richwood/Project.html
By Andy Polhamus/South Jersey Times Gloucester County Times
on January 08, 2014
- Lots Owners
- 5 Township
- 2 Houltzhouser
- 21 Gardiner
- 14 Kniesley
- 3 Mac Property Group, LLC (Cake Boutique)
- 1 Jakimowicz
- …… To Be Announced
The landfill, sandwiched between Route 77 to the west, Raccoon Creek to the east, the 4-H Fairgrounds to the north and Richwood Road to the south, appears to be a quiet, desolate forest in the future.
Our citizens of Harrison Township are very concerned as to the potential
long-term health effect and as to the potential air and water quality now and in the future.
Upon reviewing these posts and as mid-winter approaches, if not already here, concern continually rests with the Henry Harris landfill issues. When can we expect to have another open public meeting regarding the concerns of the citizens expressed during the September public special meeting as well as discussion of the results of the interaction between the NJDEP, the consultant from the landfill, and the township officials? When can we expect to see a posting of “the fact sheet” on the township site? Finally, upon review of Victoria Gaunt’s posting, may we expect a township website posting of the links to all public documents regarding the landfill as set by Roxbury as an example of the posting of public documents and information which appear to keep the public fully informed and up to date?
As of January 23, 2014 the only post, except for its listing under redevelopment zone, for the Henry Harris Landfill was: Harris Landfill Harris Landfill Preliminary Investigation – 2005
DIALOGUE: Committeeman Don Heim says on November 10, 2013: Mrs. Bigwood…we have met with the DEP and are now trying to meet with the consultant for the landfill. Once we do, we will put together a fact sheet and post it on the Twp. website. Subsequent to that, I will look to hold another open meeting to review the information gathered. Thanks. Don Heim Committeeman Don Heim says on December 17, 2013: Mrs. Urban…quick update…as previously informed The Twp. did meet with the DEP. At their request we have now also met with the consultant for the landfill. We have requested information from them which I think we will have in a week or two. Once we receive that we will start a fact and information sheet to post on the Twp. website and to get out to the people who came to the open meeting. I certainly believe that based on some of the info we get, we will look to have a follow-up meeting with the DEP. I will also be looking to have another open meeting mid-winter. Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you. Victoria Gaunt says on December 28, 2013: 2013: Why hasn’t the Harrison Township Committee actively posted information these past six years as Roxbury has? The town of Roxbury has consistently informed their citizens, as per the postings above. Why do the residents of Harrison have to OPRA this information? I initiated involvement regarding the Henry Harris Landfill with the Township Committee six years ago, and continually express my concerns with them. Committeeman Don Heim says on January 5, 2014: That is a great point Vickie and something that we hope to change going forward with the steps we started a few months ago. Thank you. Committeeman Don Heim says:January 26, 2014 at 2:12 pm For the author posting most recently asking again when Committee will again hold a public meeting regarding the Henry Harris landfill, and for any other concerned party…I provide this updat agin here (as I did at our bi-weekly Township Committee meeting this past Wednesday night): Committee is currently waiting on additional information from the consultant for the site. Upon receipt we will met again with the DEP and then hold another public forum. This forum has always been scheduled to occur late winter. Committeeman Don Heim says January 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm To be clear…we are following the same course that was laid out in September and which has been restated several times throughout the process. I apologize for the several typos above…the site would not allow me to click back to correct. Margreta Urban says:January 26, 2014 at 7:31 pm To Committeeman Don Heim, I want to ask if this information you are currently waiting for from the consultant for the site, is the same information you requested on December 17 which you had hoped to have in a week or two? Are there any incentives we can give them to respond more promptly? Committeeman Don Heim says: January 28, 2014 at 9:11 am Mrs. Urban It is the same. Here is the situation..the PM for the consultant has gone out on maternity leave. I have spoken to other team members there and they are tryoing to get us what we need. Thanks. Committeeman Don Heim says: January 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm Finally…a reminder to the anonymous author and to any other concerned citizen…all always have the opportunity to discuss this or any other matter twice at each Township Committee meeting. We look forward to seeing you and discussing this with you in front of the curtain.
RICHWOOD VILLAGE http://www.ddg-usa.com/Projects/GR-ID_Richwood/Project.html
Ruling clears way for Harrison development Harrison town center to take 20 years