Franklin Lakes September 23, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 5 Council appoints COAH mediation representatives by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes Council has appointed five people to represent the borough in mediation sessions concerning the objections and concerns raised by a resident and three businesses about the borough’s Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) plan, known officially as the Franklin Lakes Housing Element and Fair Share Plan. The group will include Mayor Maura DeNicola; Edward Boccher, the borough’s COAH attorney; Paul Grygiel, the borough’s professional planner; and Jay Lazerowitz, a member of the planning board. Councilman Brian Trava will also join the group if COAH’s regulations will permit five people to serve on the mediation team. The group will participate in mediation sessions coordinated by COAH and its members will be authorized to negotiate on behalf of the borough. Borough Administrator Gregory Hart advised the council that there could be quite a few mediation sessions to attend which Borough Attorney Douglas Doyle said could involve all-day sessions. “It will be a lot of work and a lot of meetings,” Mayor DeNicola said. Doyle confirmed that the borough’s COAH Trust Fund would be charged for the professional services provided by the COAH attorney at the meetings. The interested resident and three objectors to the COAH plan submitted by the borough at the end of last year include a DeKorte Drive resident who opposes the rezoning of a less than half-acre site across the street from her home. That property would be used for a five bedroom special needs housing development. The three business entities include the Galenkamp Brothers Partnership and High Mountain Club, Inc., which owns the 131-acre High Mountain Golf Course property, and wants to be included in the Franklin Lakes affordable housing plan; the Countrywide Developers Inc., the potential developer of the 15.6-acre Temple Emanuel property at the intersection of Colonial and McCoy roads and opposes the plan primarily because it does not include their property as a potential affordable housing site; and the Fair Share Housing Center in Cherry Hill, which opposes the plan because it does not comply with COAH requirements. The borough’s COAH plan calls for rezoning the retail business (RB) zone in the downtown business area on Franklin Avenue to permit affordable housing units above the stores in that area, a 40-unit assisted living facility in the I-1 industrial zone in the Commerce Street area, and multifamily residential affordable housing units in the I-2 industrial zone on Susquehanna Avenue, along with two properties on DeKorte Drive, which are owned by the borough. One of those DeKorte Drive properties would include a special needs single family house on a lot near Franklin Avenue, which would have five bedrooms and count as five affordable housing units. The other would include 12 affordable housing units that would be built on boroughowned property across the street from the municipal building. In December 2008, the council endorsed the borough’s COAH plan which had previously been adopted by the borough planning board, although one member of the council, Michael Friscia, voiced some concerns about the plan and voted against its endorsement. Friscia explained his vote at the time citing the “magnitude of the plan” and saying there was not enough discussion by the council about the rezoning of certain areas. He referred specifically to the rezoning of the downtown business area where three story buildings that could be 40 feet high with small setbacks will be allowed. He questioned how the downtown business district would look in the future with this rezoning. Borough Planner Paul Grygiel explained to Friscia at that time that the three story height in the downtown business district is specified for mixed development only and all the uses permitted there today would continue to be allowed, including all the current zoning limits. 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