PARSIPPANY — “Professor” John Inglesino led a very informative and interesting discussion on affordable housing and what effect it will have on the residents of Parsippany. Mayor James Barberio welcomed the standing room only crowd, and spoke for about three minutes before turning the almost three hour meeting over to Township Attorney John Inglesino. “There’s nobody that knows land-use law like Mr. Inglesino,” Barberio said before turning the meeting over to Inglesino.
Inglesino explained the challenges of affordable housing requirements facing Parsippany and supplied answers to many of the questions asked by interested members of Sedgefield and Glacier Hills. Inglesino stated during the meeting that the courts have not decided Parsippany’s required number of affordable housing units.
Also present were Business Administrator Ellen Sandman, Township Planner Ed Sneickus, CFO Ann Cucci and Attorney Owen Weaver.
Barberio sent an undated letter to ONLY Sedgefield and Glacier Hills residents to attend the meeting. Mayor James Barberio said “As I sated (sic) in my recent State of the Town address, our ability to comply with New Jersey Supreme Court draconian mandates on affordable housing is one of the most significant changes we face. We will face this challenge together as a community – so that you, the residents, are fully informed about this challenge and have the opportunity to ask questions and share your thoughts, views and opinions.” Click here to view a copy of the letter mailed to Sedgefield and Glacier Hills residents.”
“Unfortunately, the mayor elected to exclude the council from this meeting,” Council Vice President Robert Peluso said. “As you know, the mayor held this meeting as a private meeting and directed that it was by invitation only. As a result, council members, as well as large numbers of the public, were unable to attend.”
After reviewing a videotape of the meeting, Peluso said “The Mayor and Mr. Inglesino did not tell the whole story and continue to mislead the public. In particular, the Mayor’s presentation makes it appear that all of the units being proposed in town are required under COAH. It is my experience that these units make up only part of a development. I believe there are other options. The Mayor should stop with the smoke and mirrors. The taxpayers deserve to know the full scope of the proposed projects and the potential impact on our neighborhoods.”
Also present at the meeting were two Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Officers at the front door and representatives from the Mayor’s office controlling the desk, which was at the entrance, to ensure only invited guests entered the meeting.
The Mayor did state at the meeting he plans to host future meetings about the subject at which time he will notify all residents. At the time of this article there are no plans announced for additional meetings.
Mack-Cali has intervened in the Township’s Mt. Laurel affordable housing action. This means that Mack-Cali is seeking to construct multi-family housing in Parsippany, a portion of which is affordable housing. Although Mack-Cali has not specified in court papers exactly where it seeks to construct such housing, there is speculation that at least one site being considered is 1633 Littleton Road. That property currently consists of a vacant office building.
Roseland Residential Trust, Mack-Cali’s multi-family subsidiary, recently acquired Two Campus Drive in Mack-Cali’s Business Campus for approximately $5.5 million. The strategic acquisition will pave the way for the execution of the mixed-use master plan for the Campus in Parsippany. This property is adjacent to 1633 Littleton Road.
There are no applications pending with the Township Zoning Board of Adjustment or Planning Boards regarding Mack-Cali’s future plans.
Democrat Council Candidate Katie Cassidy told Parsippany Focus, “I’m concerned about a change of use in even a portion of the Mack-Cali complex. Building multi-family housing there would have a substantial impact on the township, especially near 202, where the traffic is already a problem. What affects Sedgefield and Glacier Hills affects other communities in the township as well. If an issue is complex enough for both the Attorney and the Planner to be present, the Council should be there as well. Sure, that would require public notice per the Open Public Meetings Act, but that should not be too much to ask. The administration should reschedule the meeting to give adequate time for public notice and hold the meeting at one of the high schools so that anyone concerned can go. Parsippany works best when its many communities come together. We should have an opportunity to do that on this issue.”
Democrat Mayoral Candidate Michael Soriano stated “The Route 202 corridor is already beyond capacity, and traffic along the road has been an issue that has gone unaddressed by the current administration for far too long. This is an issue that effects most of the residents of Parsippany everyday, and the outcome of the Mack-Cali project will have an impact in every corner of town. I believe that an issue of such importance that it requires a special meeting at town hall with the township attorney present should be open to all residents of Parsippany, and that the residents of Sedgefield and Glacier Hills would welcome their input.”
The meeting was videotaped and is published below. The video contains three segments.