750 Walnut Avenue Proposal for 905 Apartment Units

UPDATE:  August 10, 2019

The Township Committee will Not be voting on the Planning Board’s recommendation not to approve rezoning of 750 Walnut as residential at the August 13 meeting.  They have not received the Planning Board’s report yet. 

Also Posted on CranfordNJ.org August 1, 2019:
Workshop and Closed Session on Monday, August 12, 2019
“In addition to its previously scheduled Tuesday, August 13th Workshop and Official Meetings, the Township Committee of Cranford will hold additional Workshop and Closed Session meetings on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The meetings will include Agenda topics of “Affordable Housing Litigation.” Formal action may be taken at these meetings.”

In June, Cranford’s immunity from Builder’s Remedy lawsuits has been extended through September 30, 2019 –  the deadline for having a negotiated settlement with FSHC on a new Fair Share affordable housing plan.

Here is the township’s draft Fair Share Plan


Project Summary and Status:

Hartz Mountain Industries wants to build 905 mostly luxury rental apartments at 750 Walnut Avenue This will increase Cranford’s population up to 8 – 10%, severely straining our school system, emergency services, infrastructure, and traffic patterns in and around Cranford.

In March 2017 Hartz sent an application to the Cranford Planning Board requesting a zoning change from “commercial” to “residential” so they can build these 905 apartments. After Hartz postponed several times, their application began to be heard at the last Planning Board meeting on May 16, 2018.

Hartz experts completed their initial testimony on January 30, 2019. Cranford Township’s experts begin their presentations on February 20, 2019 and continued on March 6 and March 20, 2019. On March 20 School Superintendent, Scott Rubin, and consultant Dr. Ross Haber testified.
Here is the full Haber Demographic & Facility Study from December 2018 referenced during the March 20 Planning Board meeting.

The Cranford Public School District Business Administrator testified on April 3, 2019.
Cranford BOE Resolution on Proposed 750 Walnut Concerns July 2017
Cranford BOE 750 Walnut Development Impact on Cranford Schools by Ross Haber Assoc. May 2018

The Planning Board’s Planner testified at the May 1 & May 8 meetings.
Public comment on the application is on May 15, 2019. The Board’s decision on the re-zoning application is expected by the June 5, 2019 meeting.

Planning Board votes unanimously to recommend to the Township Committee that they reject Hartz Mountain’s application to rezone 750 Walnut Ave for residential development.

The Review Standards used by the Planning Board to evaluate the application are in the Township Code: § 255-64 Review standards.

Planning Board will prepare a report to the Township Committee. Report will be accepted at one of the next Planning Board Meetings.  The next meetings are June 19 and July 17.

In June, Cranford’s immunity from Builder’s Remedy lawsuits has been extended through September 30, 2019 –  the deadline for having a negotiated settlement with FSHC on a new Fair Share affordable housing plan.

The Township Committee will Not be voting on the Planning Board’s recommendation not to approve rezoning of 750 Walnut as residential at the August 13 meeting.  They have not received the Planning Board’s report yet.

Also Posted on CranfordNJ.org August 1, 2019:
Workshop and Closed Session on Monday, August 12, 2019
“In addition to its previously scheduled Tuesday, August 13th Workshop and Official Meetings, the Township Committee of Cranford will hold additional Workshop and Closed Session meetings on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The meetings will include Agenda topics of “Affordable Housing Litigation.” Formal action may be taken at these meetings.”

 


 

Cranford Planning Board Procedure:

The basic procedure is a Hartz Mountain expert witness is questioned by the Hartz representative. Then the Planning Board can ask questions of that expert, then the residents. Like a court proceeding, only questions are allowed, not comments. Questions can only relate to that particular person’s area of expertise. Then Hartz questions the next expert and so on until all experts have been questioned.


Documents Related to this Application and Requested Project:

Cranford’s immunity from builder’s remedy lawsuits has been extended through June 30, 2019 for negotiations on its new Fair Share Plan. The link to the court order is here.

Hartz Documents Updated October 2018 – January 2019:

Hartz Mountain Revised Site Plans Dec 2018

Hartz Environmental Impact Study Nov 2018

Hartz Revised Storm Water Management Report Dec 2018

Hartz Traffic Impact Analysis Updated Jan 2019

Hartz Fiscal Impact Report Updated Oct 2018

Hartz Original Documents and Previous Updates:

Hartz Application to Rezone 750 Walnut Ave, March 2017

Hartz Planning Report Supporting Rezoning Request March 2017

Hartz Site Survey November 2016

Hartz Proposed Zoning Plans March 2017

Hartz Architectual Plans March 2017

Hartz Langan Traffic Study:

Original March 2017
Updated September 2018

Hartz Fiscal Impact Planning Report:

Original March 2017
Updated September 2018

Township Request to Hartz for Additional Info, August 2017

Cranford Development Review Committee Request for Dept Reviews, May 2017

Engineering Professional Review

Environmental Committee Professional Review

Fire Department Professional Review

Health Department Professional Review

Historical Preservation Advisory Board Professional Review

Township Executive Stormwater Management Statement

Township Traffic Professional Review Update, May 2018


Ways you can help:

  • Buy a “Say NO to 750 Walnut Ave” lawn sign to display in your front yard. Signs are $10. Email CRAOCranford@gmail.com for how you can get a sign.
  • Pass information about this project and Planning Board meeting dates to your neighbors and Cranford friends.
  • Come to Planning Board and Town Council meetings when the 750 Walnut Avenue project, Affordable Housing plans, or overdevelopment are on the agenda. Agendas must be posted a minimum of 48 hours before the meeting. Agendas can be found here:  https://www.cranfordnj.org/minutes-and-agendas.