(This is a blog that had gone unposted due to Christmas commitment congestion.)
Wayne, New Jersey, won a huge victory against sustainable community development when the town’s Board of Adjustment rejected AvalonBay’s application to build a 422-unit apartment complex in a former industrial complex on Dec. 21.
All our northwestern New Jersey suburbs are riddled with these future urban blight projects. They’ve led to increased traffic congestion, a loss of green spaces, and a decided upsurge in crimes, both in theft and drug use.
These sustainable development communities have been built for one of several of purposes: a) to bolster flagging strip mall businesses; b) to encourage use of non-existent mass transportation, in this case into New York City; c) to lure inner city types to enroll in new, community colleges, one just down the road from where I live, and from the new welfare office; and finally, d) to destroy the single-family home, and the single family that lives within it.
I talk as I shouldn’t, as I live in converted garden apartment condo. Hey, I’m single. There’s no live-in man to mow the lawn, clean the gutters, or tinker with the water heater. I don’t have the income (at the moment, I have virtually no income, save for the pittance I earn as a freelance photographer) to support a house. I couldn’t afford the water bill, much less the taxes on a place like that.
This is America. There should be a home for everybody, whether they want to live in a high-rise tower, a garden apartment, a garden condo, a townhome with a garage, a modest, three-bedroom split-level like the one I grew up in, or a 4,000 square-foot McMansion. Rent or own: It’s up to you and your income. Just don’t expect someone to pay your bills for you, to subsidize a home you know you can’t afford. It’s not fair that you can only afford to rent in a blue-collar town; what’s not fair is expecting the government to subsidize your residence in a brand-new condo complete with all the amenities.
Except for air conditioning; I don’t care if you’re that welfare illegal alien mom ahead of me in line buying your week’s groceries with the WIC check. While Northern New Jersey’s weather is famously temperate, our summers are dreadfully humid. I wouldn’t want to see some poor old man or woman have a heart attack just because they’re impoverished and can’t afford the A.C.
Still, I’m for sending the illegals back where they came from. Why everyone gets into such fits over sending them back is incomprehensible. We’re not talking Nazi Germany here. It’s as simple as processing the illegals already in the detainment camps, putting them on a train, bus or plane, and sending them back where they came from.
Instead, the American taxpayers are building brand new housing for them, better than the houses we live in ourselves. Just image: all that money the taxpayers have spent, thanks to the Mount Laurel (N.J.) Housing order, harboring these fugitives in these high-density, high-price luxury ghettos could have been spent on their tickets back home and on the fence Donald Trump wants to build.
That isn’t what we do in America, Obama and his minions declare. What we do presently isn’t working well, and Wayne, N.J., stands at the forefront of the battle against taxpayer-funded, mandatory, sustainable development, high-density communal residences.
According to The Record of Bergen County: “Before the vote — a unanimous 7-0 vote against — 16 residents spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting, all expressing disapproval of the project.
“AvalonBay had planned to build 336 apartments in a four-story building and 86 town houses in 13 buildings. The company had sought a use variance from the Board of Adjustment because most of the 31.8-acre property is zoned for industrial uses.
“AvalonBay was also seeking relief from the 50-foot height limit — the four-floor building would be 58 feet tall — and for permission to create a smaller buffer zone from other residences than the required 50 feet. A vacant 345,000-square-foot building once occupied by a defense equipment manufacturer sits on the property.
“In his closing argument, Robert Kasuba, the attorney for AvalonBay, said household sizes were shrinking, increasing the need for residences like AvalonBay’s. He said the apartment complex would be compatible with surrounding properties and meet the township’s need for affordable housing.
“But township residents raised a host of concerns during public comments, as they have since the application was first presented in June. They focused on the proposed development’s impact on municipal services, like firefighting and schools, and traffic.
“’This is too big, it’s too dense, it’s too tall and it’s in the wrong place,’ said Stuart Lieberman, the attorney for the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, which opposed the project.
“The township received AvalonBay’s application two days before a large blaze on Jan. 21 tore through the company’s Edgewater complex, displacing hundreds of residents and triggering calls from fire officials statewide to toughen the state Uniform Construction Code.
“AvalonBay’s senior vice president, Ronald Ladell, had said the Wayne apartment’s standards would surpass those set by the state code. Like projects in Princeton and Maplewood, AvalonBay would install sprinklers in attics and spaces between ceilings and floors, and use masonry firewalls, made of concrete block, instead of gypsum core board firewalls, Ladell said.
“AvalonBay could sue to overturn the board’s decision in Superior Court if it thinks the decision was arbitrary and capricious. AvalonBay’s representatives on Monday referred questions to Ladell, who wasn’t at the meeting.
AvalonBay in Bloomingdale is an eyesore, built on an unofficial dump which the state was able to declare an “urban blight zone.” Bloomingdale? An “urban” center, with its one – count them -one (1) – traffic light and no high school?
The monstrosity rises above the wooded Union Avenue almost to the height of the elementary school on the hill. Just as in Wayne, AvalonBay couldn’t get a variance to build higher than four stories, so they cleverly trucked into mountains of dirt and built an artificial hill to raise the “height” of the development.
Wayne, already grossly over-developed decided enough was enough. In Bloomingdale, the sustainable developers have the green-light to go full urban-blight zone. In the next 20 to 30 years, the Federal Hill ridge (AvalonBay is built on the historic site where Revolutionary soldiers mutinied against not being paid or clothed; they were summarily executed on that spot) will be completely demolished, to make way for even more urban development.
The quiet, woodland town where my brothers and I hiked with our mom and our family dog, Brownie, will be gone. In its place will rise an infernal nightmare of congested traffic, welfare mothers cashing WIC checks, and a virtual babbling, Babylon of unassimilated illegal aliens and Muslim jihadists who will have burnt down Bloomingdale’s only remaining church.
Bloomingdale was once a rural community. With the addition of a second level on the George Washington Bridge and the prospect of low property taxes, Bloomingdale became a suburb, a “bedroom community.” My mother, a former architectural reporter, advised perspective. Eventually, Bloomingdale – and Pompton Lakes, Butler, Wanaque, Riverdale – would succumb to urbanization.
The Millennial Generation is more receptive to that style of living. They’ve been conditioned to consider large families and private homes unnatural, almost criminal. That’s the way it is in the Soviet Union and China. The communist operatives have done their job of manipulating and brainwashing well over the last 50 years.
Hope is still alive in Wayne, N.J., however. Well done, citizens of Wayne! And thank you, Santa Claus (who will have no chimneys to climb down if Sustainable Development is successful).