Millburn Residents Continue to Express Anger Over Tutor Time Site Plan
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 • 6:56am
MILLBURN, NJ - After close to three years of Millburn residents voicing their displeasure with the TMB Partners plan to construct 62 multi-family homes on the former Tutor Time site at 650 South Orange Avenue, near White Oak Ridge Road, frustrations continued to boil over as citizens expressed their anger with this project Tuesday night at the Millburn Township Committee meeting.
However, the committee could not comment on the issue because they met in executive session after the meeting to discuss it.
It proposes to set aside 12 of the units for rental to low-and-moderate-income families with the remainder going for market rates. In addition to the housing units, the proposed complex would include a swimming pool, two levels of underground parking and common areas that are solely for the use of the residents of the market rate units.
The Township of Livingston fought the development, contending it was not appropriate for the site, but TMB brought suit against Livingston in Superior Court under the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing guidelines. In August 2010, the township council agreed to a settlement of that suit. That settlement eventually landed TMB before the planning board for approval and that approval was granted this June. TMB has filed suit against Millburn to compel that township to provide the sewage service.
Resident Michael Steinberg was not pleased with how the situation has continued to unravel in TMB’s favor. Steinberg said Livingston has four projects that have been approved and they should begin these projects in the order in which they were approved and then see if they need to use Millburn’s sewers. He added, the addition of 66 houses could cause more flooding in the community and put the town in jeopardy during severe weather.
“Millburn has one last chance to appeal this ruling,” Steinberg said. “It’s not Millburn’s responsibility to provide sewer service to a project in another town that has its own capacity. Let Livingston take care of its own need. Millburn has nothing to gain and everything to lose.”
Rosalie Rubin echoed Steinberg’s sentiments about the project. Rubin said over the past few years there has been a great deal of talk about putting affordable housing in Millburn, but this development isn’t about that.
“We believe beyond any doubt that a proposed construction of a multifamily development on this site has nothing to do with the desire of the owners to provide affordable housing,” Rubin said. “The proposed development by TMB Partners and the approvals by the town of Livingston are a frontal assault on the town of Millburn.”
In other news, Committee member Thomas McDermott announced after serving 18 years as an elected official, he will not be seeking reelection. Mayor Sandy Haimoff said this is not a surprise, but she didn’t expect him to tell the public this early.
The committee also introduced an ordinance establishing environmental regulations with a goal to encourage and increase the use of environmentally friendly methods, products and services in Millburn. It is scheduled for a public hearing on April 16.
In other business, the committee presented a proclamation to the Autism Awareness Club from Millburn High School and recognized April as Autism Awareness month in Millburn.
“People have become more aware of the autistic spectrum,” Haimoff said. “I really like honoring the kids. I think it’s just wonderful that the students have formed this club and are making people more aware of it.”
Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin and the committee also gave fourth grader Alexander Ma a proclamation for finishing in second place in the “My Essex County” poster contest and having his artwork put on the cover of the 2013 Essex County Municipal Guide.
The next committee meeting is April 2 at 8 p.m.