Hartz Mountain wants to build 500 units of housing on business site; will provide $$ for middle school
The Secaucus Mayor and Town Council last week signed off on a developer’s agreement with Hartz Mountain Industries that provides approximately $1.1 million in impact fees that will be partially used to build a new middle school, and also provides an additional $97,000 for two school buses for the district. Hartz is hoping to build a 500-unit residential development for 100 Park Place Drive. The proposed development will be constructed on a 13.64 acre tract of land located in Harmon Meadow across from Sam’s Club and Walmart. The current property is occupied by Orica Rug, a commercial business.
Developers sometimes pay impact fees to a town because of the impact that the new development will have – for instance, adding new students to the school district, and requiring more public safety personnel. Hartz’s fees will be split between the town, schools, and county.
“When Xchange was built…you guys got absolutely nothing out of it,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli to the school board at an emergency meeting held Tuesday morning. Xchange at Secaucus Junction is a residential rental development by the Frank R. Lautenberg Secaucus Junction Train Station that opened in 2008. The project resulted in an increase in the number of school-age children in the district.
Local officials and school board trustees have been working to address the overall increase in school-age children that has led to classrooms that are at or near capacity in the elementary schools. A current extension and redesign of the Middle School is in progress to accommodate more children and potentially move the sixth grade over to the Middle School.
The four-phase Hartz Mountain project will include approximately 120 units per building, including a number of affordable housing units in compliance with the state Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) regulations. The developer projects that the residential development will generate approximately 17 children from the market rate units and 46 children from the affordable units, for a total of 63 children. The first phase may be completed as early as 2014 but the project buildout is planned over the next five to seven years.
The developer will provide $3,200 per market-rate unit to the municipality. The tax revenue generated from this project could top $1.1 million, which far exceeds the $365,411 the town currently gets in tax revenue from the property.
The developer has also agreed to limit the number of two- and three-bedroom units, guaranteeing that 55 percent of the units will be studio and one-bedroom units, and approximately 45 percent will be two-bedroom units exclusive of the bedroom distributions required by COAH.
“We were also able to negotiate that [Hartz] build it in a way that they keep the number of children down,” said Gonnelli to the school board.
An emergency Board of Education meeting was held on Tuesday morning to discuss the matter.
The Mayor and Town Council would not proceed without the Board’s consent. They unanimously voted in support of the agreement with the exception of Trustee Dora Marra, who left the meeting early.
For more on the proposed development and the agreement, see a future edition of the Reporter.
Shelter has more kittens available for adoption
The Secaucus Animal Shelter has approximately 25 male and female kittens of all colors that were rescued locally available for adoption. The kittens are all up-to-date on their shots. The adoption fee is $35. For more information, call the Animal Shelter at: (201) 348-3213.
CASA seeks Hudson County volunteers
Hudson County CASA currently seeks volunteers for anyone interested in helping children in the foster care system to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to insure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.
CASA (court appointed special advocate) and its volunteers speak for children in court, serve as fact finders for the judges and safeguard the interests of the children while they are in the foster care system.
CASA will host an information sessions about the program and the role of its volunteers on July 17 from 6 p.m. 7 p.m. in Room #400 of the Hudson County Administration Building at 595 Newark Avenue, Jersey City.
Hudson County has nearly 700 children in foster care; most have been removed from their homes for abuse or neglect. For further information, please call (201) 795-9855, e-mail email@example.com or visit: www.hudsoncountycasa.org.