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March 24, 2009

Re: Urgent Action, Contact Governor’s Office Today; A-3772 & S-2577, Conversion of Age-Restricted Housing

Dear Mayor:

A-3772 and S-2577, which allows for the conversion of approved age-restricted housing to market rate housing, passed both houses of the legislature and now sits on the Governor’s Desk.   The League has written to the Governor and to all sponsors, and requested a veto of the legislation.          

Since the approval of this legislation on Monday, March 16 by the General Assembly and State Senate respectively, there has been a strong groundswell of opposition from our membership, objecting to the Legislation, its infringement on home rule and local zoning prerogatives, and the speed in which it traveled through the Legislature.    We therefore recommend that you also contact the Governor’s Office to request a veto.    You can direct your correspondence to:

William Castner, Esq,
Chief Counsel, Office of the Governor
Statehouse, PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ  08625
Fax: (609) 777-0393

Please copy the League on any correspondence you send.

The development community argues that these converted units will be starter homes.   However, we have yet to see any documentation or analysis to draw that conclusion.   The backers of the legislation also argue that the market for age-restricted units is saturated and this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, due to the speed that this bill progressed through the Legislature, little attention was paid to what the fiscal impact will be on the community. Many municipalities have allowed higher density of the units based on the fact that they were age restricted and thereby not imposing as much of a burden on local taxpayers. This is a significant taxpayer issue that demands attention.

There also needs to be better documentation as to the number of the ready to go projects statewide.  In order to fairly evaluate the fiscal impact, such a listing should include the location and community of the project, what approvals (both state and local) have been obtained, proof of financing, time frames and other relevant data. We are aware of legislators who expressed serious reservations about the legislation without such documentation.

We would urge you to forward your concerns to the Governor’s Office as soon as possible. 

Very Truly Yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr
Executive Director

      

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