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Letter to the Editor: Barberio’s Out-of-Touch Policies Fail to Address Affordable Housing Reality

Dear Editor:

Mayor Barberio’s recent rhetoric about a lawsuit against affordable housing is too little too late, and it appears NJ Highlands present director Ben Spinelli has the situation finally going in the right direction.

If Mayor Barberio and his administration had smartly conformed to the regional plan in 2010 rather than allowed John Inglesino to suspend conformance and then remove Parsippany completely in June 2014, all for false reasons, which have been exposed and made available to the public. The Mayor nor any council-member at the time performed any due-diligence in seeing through Inglesino’s deliberate disinformation.  In short Barberio and others should be supporting Ben Spinelli’s efforts to temper the developers in their unrealistic attempts to continue their endless and unsustainable continued building that brings minimum affordable and maximum market will bare. Municipalities need to become allies of the “Affordable Housing Reform Act”, not go off on their own at this late date, and waste more tax dollars.

It was because former Governor Christie allowed the Housing Issue to be passed to developers remedy that we are in this situation, Barberio and others should of started back then resisting this unwise move, and demanded developers stay with State Planning and Smart Growth perimeters. Apparently Barberio is still alienated, and out of touch with the reality of the situation, and promotes fear, rather than pragmatic actual solutions that are already in play. (Waterview remains the greatest failure of Barberio’s misguided fear tactics that favored unwise development, when open space was extremely possible. He betrayed his entrusted community after the No Rezone outcome) (Inglesino should be banned from practicing law in Parsippany).

See below 2-recent correspondence on the AH in the Highlands from Coalition:

Affordable Housing Reform Act what we should be supporting not a Barberio & Company Lawsuit. Nick, your concern is well founded and you are not alone in harboring that concern. Ben Spinelli has trumpeted the fact that the market rate units needed to in order to meet the number of required affordable units will far exceed the carrying capacity of the Highlands. There is no magic wand that will resolve this conflict. However, the reason we succeeded in amending the recent Affordable Housing Reform Act, which finally recognized the need to limit growth in the Highlands, was because of the impacts to the Highlands resources if numbers assigned by the state applied in the Highlands.

Parsippany has been built out already and has the highest water deficit in the Highlands.
The document is the Highlands Municipal Build Out Report, which was provided for each Highlands municipality back in 2008. For the Fourth Round AH numbers, they are being updated to reflect on-the -ground changes and recent changes in the Land Use Capability Map (LUCM) Zones. However, the build out reports do not consider Designated Highlands Redevelopment Zones, which cannot be calculated because Redevelopment Zones allow for flexibility from the LUCM zone mapping (although all Highlands resources within a Redevelopment Zone must be identified and avoided, and if disturbed, mitigated under a policy of no-net-loss to Highlands resources). The extent of the designations within a municipality are not known because they are designated over time and since each is evaluated during the designation process, the amount of development (as redevelopment) is unknown until the designation is made. Parsippany is an interesting outlier because most of the development in the town, due to the extent that the town is developed, will be redevelopment. It would be safe to assume that Parsippany has the greatest percentage of impervious cover in the Highlands.

Are warehouses increasing our housing demand? Barberio never thought of this, only tax ratables, then allows PILOTSThe warehouses, or any commercial development, increase the municipal affordable housing obligation factoring the anticipated number of new employees. I don’t know what the ratio is, but it is a factor. So, not only is the commercial development (e.g. warehouse) not affordable housing, but it increases the obligation, expanding the unmet need. 

Nick Homyak

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Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Parsippany Focus publishes all verified letters to the editor, noting that these letters do not represent the publication's opinions or facts. A letter to the editor is a written message sent by a reader for publication, expressing their opinions, comments, or feedback on topics of interest. These letters provide a platform for readers to contribute to public discourse, respond to articles, or share their views on current events, policies, or other relevant issues. They are often concise and focused, aiming to inform, persuade, or engage other readers. It's important to note that anyone can have a different opinion. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or content of the letter to editor or press release.
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