Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Monday, September 10, 2012

PILOT Program Stalled

The Bloomingdale Town Council was supposed to hold a public forum and then an immediate vote on the PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) program the Avalon Bay/Bloomingdale Urban Renewal LLC rental development t being constructed on Union Avenue.

The mayor did not have enough council members present to bring the issue to vote:  Councilman Glenn Schiffman was absent from the meeting and had recused himself because he lived too near the project.  Councilwoman Jo-Ann Pituch was on vacation, and Councilman Mark Conklin was absent due to a family emergency.  That only left Councilman Ray Yazdi and Councilwoman Linda Shortman, who said she had only heard the details of the plan at the closed meeting on Tues., Sept. 4.

Much of the public debate revolved around the fact that Avalon Bay would be getting tax breaks other apartment building owners had not, and would not be receiving.  At the Sept. 4th meeting, Mayor Dunleavy noted that development of the Union Avenue tract and the larger Meer tract, which is still in limbo, were both court ordered through the Mount Laurel housing edict, forcing towns to accept low and moderate income (COAH) housing.  Both Bloomingdale Joint Venture (the Meer tract) and Avalon Bay waged successful builder’s remedy lawsuits against the town, alleging that the borough had not met its Council on Affordable Housing Fair Share Plan.

Avalon Bay will involve 174 rental units.  The Meer Tract, if developed, will host 360 residential units, including 72 low and moderate income units on Federal Hill. Though the Meer tract is not imminent, the builder does have court approval to develop the land.

Bloomingdale has had a long, bitter battle over the Meer tract, which would virtually eliminate Federal Hill, the site of the infamous Pompton Mutiny during the Revolutionary War.  The Union Avenue site, Avalon Bay was the likely site for the execution.  Somewhere between the Pompton Mutiny and the present day, the land was declared a “redevelopment zone.”

If you want to know just how underhanded all this is, I recommend you read “Cities Without Suburbs” by David Rusk, one of Obama’s Zombies.  Rusk encourages cities to aggressively “annex” their suburbs to break up their peaceful communities and use their tax money to support the crumbling cities and their entitlement programs.

New Jersey is a number one target and the only thing preventing annexation is the suburban towns’ incorporation.  So they’re using COAH as a back door to our taxes.  Once annexation is accomplished, we’ll have taxation without representation.  The next meeting will be Sept. 18.






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