About a month and a half ago the Atlanticville (a local Long Branch-area paper) ran an article about Eatontown’s decision to file a complaint against the state regarding the latest round of COAH regulations that were issued. This type of stuff makes me bang my head against the wall and wonder why any of us pay taxes to such a ridiculous system. What’s the problem here? Well, even though it is a bit long, I’ll let the article explain:
According to a series of proposed amendments to COAH’s current round-three regulations, Eatontown’s affordable housing obligation jumped from 92 units to 447 units, Tarantolo said.
“Where are we going to build [the 447 units]?” Tarantolo asked, adding, “I have no idea.”
According to Tarantolo, COAH officials used a geographic information system (GIS) to map out the available land in the borough where affordable units can be constructed.
A GIS is a system that collects various forms of statistical data and maps it according to its geographic location.
“When they worked out the new numbers, they did it using the GIS to determine the number of acres that were still green in particular municipalities,” Tarantolo said.
“As it turns out, COAH just arbitrarily took green space and said this should be developed and some of it should be for affordable housing.
“The GIS labeled some of our parks and open space as buildable land. We suspect they made a mistake.
“The parks and open space are already registered with the state as not being able to be built,” Tarantolo said.
If COAH removes the acreage from the borough’s parks and open space from the vacant-land calculations, Eatontown will see a significant reduction in its affordable housing obligation, Tarantolo said.
Let me put that in layman’s terms for everyone out there. The state used a system that said designated “green spaces” (i.e. parks and protected wildlife area) are okay to build affordable housing units on. Are you f’ing kidding me? Someone at the state was paid to sit down and figure out a new formula for affordable housing and they produced Round Three of COAH by saying that green spaces are legit for building on? What?!
This is the kind of stuff where in ancient Rome you’d find yourself in the Colosseum with some pretty big cats. In New Jersey, though, we reward our morons by giving them taxpayer-funded raises and one of the most ridiculous publicly-financed benefits packages in the nation. Way to go, New Jersey!
Why is this so hard for people to understand? If you want to provide increased housing options for our existing residents, then you need to start redeveloping brownfields across the state. For those of you that don’t know, brownfields are former industrial lots that need serious environmental attention before they can be rebuilt. Many community based groups are doing a magnificent job of making former warehouses into usable community facilities or housing units. Just look up in Paterson where there are a growing number of housing options (yet still not enough).
As for COAH – it might be time to throw it out the window. The system is obviously broken when we are counting our preciously scarce open space in as “buildable lots.” Frankly, it’s that type of idiocy that gives this state a bad name. Fire the person that dreamed up this farce and start again. Now!