Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Anthony M. Bucco voted against legislation today that they warned would lead to higher-density housing developments in many New Jersey towns.
Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Anthony M. Bucco voted against legislation today that they warned would lead to higher-density housing developments in many New Jersey towns. (Pixabay)
“We’ve heard from mayors that they’re getting crushed by new affordable housing mandates that are changing the nature of their towns for the worse,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “A bill just passed by the New Jersey Senate would add to the problem by allowing even higher densities of new housing to be built in places that are close to public transportation. That will only increase the strain on schools and other public services and the long-term costs to property taxpayers.”
The Senate approved Democrat-sponsored legislation, S-3605, that reduces the amount of on- and off-street parking spaces that are required for new residential developments by 20, 30, and 50% depending on the proximity to rail and bus lines run by New Jersey Transit.
“This misguided bill paves the way for suburban towns to be forced to build at higher and higher densities than they’ve ever done before,” said Bucco (R-25). “Towns are running out of space to build, so cutting the parking requirements for new residential developments is the Democrats’ workaround to force towns to keep building. You can be certain this will be used to raise towns’ quotas even higher when the next round of affordable housing begins in a few years.”
Pennacchio and Bucco have offered legislative solutions to help towns that are struggling to comply with burdensome affordable housing mandates.
Pennacchio sponsors legislation, S-3803, that would allow towns to use regional contribution agreements (RCAs) to transfer up to 50% of their fair share housing obligation to another municipality within its housing region. Towns have not been able to use RCAs since 2008.
Similarly, Bucco sponsors a bill, S-3739, that would delay the fourth round of fair share affordable housing obligations for municipalities from 2025 to 2028. His legislation recognizes the severe hardship towns have faced in trying to comply with their affordable housing obligations as a result of the pandemic, along with the recognition of the New Jersey Supreme Court that affordable housing policies are best left to the Legislature.