Monday, September 16, 2013

Developers Play Hardball as Housing Market Improves

The current crop of major housing developments on the drawing boards have several common ingredients. Strains on town services and school populations, traffic and environmental issues, and pushback from local residents.

Developers are increasingly resorting to tactics that might be described as a carrot and stick approach. They've been encouraged to negotiate with the town council for tax abatements or PILOT agreements before going before Zoning or Planning Boards. They've threatened legal action if they don't get their way.

In Cedar Grove, one of the industry's biggest developers is pulling out all the stops to push through a project that would contain 411 units across 53  buildings -- increasing the population of the township by an estimated 8%. Part of Hovnanian's strategy is a lawsuit with the state Council on Affordable Housing that would require the town to house over 300 residents in affordable homes.

Bloomfield's developers are more than likely taking notes.

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