Mayor Rudy Fernandez explained the ordinances were builder’s remedy lawsuits filed against the town relating to four pieces of property: the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, Don’s Restaurant, the old Squiretown school complex, and the old DuBrow’s site.
The court ruled the township must zone the property that once housed DuBrow’s Nursery as an R-5H Residence District. The court also ruled the Squiretown property off of Old Road be zoned an R-5I Residence District. Both zone changes could clear the way for affordable housing on those sites.
The council voted unanimously to introduce the new ordinances, but many members let those in attendance know that they were in no way supporting the court’s ruling.
After voting, council member Gary Schneiderman voiced his opposition to the ruling. “We have the right to appeal and fight against this,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Stephen Santola concurred and explained it was necessary for the council to vote in favor of the new ordinances. “We are compelled to introduce the new zoning in order to have our rights to an appeal.”
Township Manager Michele Meade added a statement within each ordinance that stated they were being created out of protest. The council will have a final hearing on the issue on March 28.
Read remainder of the story at the Livingston Patch