HOUSING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2004
The meeting was called to order at 8:00 PM by Chairman Dr. Bernard Ross, who read the Open Public Meetings Act Statement as prescribed by law. Notice was advertised in the Ridgewood News on June 6, 2003 stating this meeting would be held in Room 311 in the Municipal Offices at 475 Corporate Drive, Mahwah, New Jersey on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 8:00 P.M.
Notice of this meeting is posted on the Municipal Bulletin Board. The minutes of this meeting shall be available from the Township Clerk, Secretary of the Housing Commission and the Municipal Web site upon adoption by the Commission.
Salute to the Flag.
Present: Commission members Brotherton, Martel, Raiz, Ross and Snyder at 8:45 PM.
Absent: Commission members Calandrillo and Plicinski.
Also present Nilufer DeScherer, Associate Township Atty.
Brotherton made a motion, seconded by Martel, to accept the minutes of February 17, 2004 Housing Commission meeting. All in favor. Motion carried.
Brotherton made the motion, seconded by Martel, to accept the minutes of the Closed Session of February 17, 2004. All in favor. Motion carried.
On a motion by Martel, seconded by Brotherton, the meeting was opened to the public at 8:10 PM. All in favor. Motion carried.
Carter Morris, Pres. Darlington Ridge Homeowners Association, expressed concern regarding Township Ordinance No. 1481 (Housing Commission Resolution 04-01) which allows the Township to acquire Affordable Housing units which are subject to a Foreclosure proceeding or Sheriff’s Sale.
The first concern is the scope of the Ordinance.
Secondly, the Associations feel that the few are subsidizing the many for the entire Township and feel their Associations are bearing a tremendous burden. Also, feel the flow of information should be better between the Township and Associations’ to possibly head off a Foreclosure.
Thirdly, the Associations hope to work with the Township to enable better legislation for changes to COAH legislation to undue some of the existing inequities, by making the appropriate local changes and also for the State to change the things they feel are inequitable.
DeScherer explained the Scope of the Ordinance. The Ordinance was adopted to protect units from being lost from the Township’s inventory of Affordable Housing stock prior to a Foreclosure proceeding or Sheriff’s Sale. This would allow the Township to go in and negotiate to buy the property.
Michael Koteen, Pres. Society Hill Village I Association, asked if the bidding is competitive at a Sheriff’s Sale between the Township and any other interested parties. DeScherer stated it is, however, the Township has precedence to any Surplus Funds derived from a sale.
Scott Pierkarsky, Legal Counsel to Darlington Ridge, expressed the Association’s concerns regarding the Ordinance. Is there anyway the Township is able to assist the Association in recovering some of their expenses, which may go into the thousand’s of dollars on pleadings and collection suits to recover unpaid Association Maintenance fees on Affordable units? How will the Township look upon the Association in light of the new Ordinance?
Martel stated the Association has an obligation to collect from the homeowners the monthly Association Maintenance fee. What provisions does the Association take to protect themselves against non payment of the fees? Pierkarsky sends a letter to the Judge in a basic Foreclosure regarding the Association Lien and/or Judgment against a unit. They also bring lawsuits against the homeowner’s assets prior to Foreclosure.
Pierkarsky explained prior to the Foreclosure proceeding, letters are sent to the homeowners for non payment when the first fifteen days have passed, with a late fee, if another fifteen days pass a follow up notice is sent with an additional late fee attached and then a collection letter from Counsel, if there is no response, a Summons and Complaint is filed. Pierkarsky feels due to the new Ordinance the Association’s have no recourse to collect their fees.
Ross suggested the Association contact the lobbying arm of their State Condominium Organization and petition them to approach the Legislator to make the changes they are requesting.
Pierkarsky stated at the present time in Darlington Ridge, Affordable unit owners are responsible for $7,700.00 in legal collection for non payment of Association fees, which is approximately 7% of the Mt. Laurel units.
Pierkarsky and DeScherer will review the Resolution in question.
Noel Lamster, Treas. Darlington Ridge Assn. requested a workshop between the Affordable Housing Dept. personnel and on-site Mgrs. to establish a line for information exchange.
At 9:05 PM Brotherton made the Motion to close the Public Portion. Martel Seconded. All in favor. Motion carried.
HOUSING MANAGER’S REPORTS
Reports were reviewed.
a. Ridge Gardens:
1-1411 Faulkner Ct.-Remaining Surplus Funds
2-2101 Hawthorne Ln.-Remaining Surplus Funds
DeScherer will proceed to follow up.
b. 1417 Faulkner Ct.- New Court date scheduled for 6/22/04 (See Report B)
a. 2004 -2005 Meeting Schedule – The Housing Commission meeting schedule for 2004-2005 was approved with the necessary changes.
Being no further business, Snyder made the motion for adjournment at 9:35PM. Seconded by Brotherton. All in favor. Motion carried.
The next scheduled Housing Commission meeting is Tuesday, June 15, 20004 at 8:00 PM.
Mary Ann Reed
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