Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Fleecing of Hamilton and NJ- Klockner Woods Deceptions

I know you're shocked, as was I. But it seems Fieldstone knew at least some of the houses on their plans for Klockner Woods could never be built:

A consultant hired by the owner of the 50-acre Klockner Woods tract knew that a portion of the land the developer hoped to build on was wetlands and would not be suitable for home building, state records show.

A 2004 letter to state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) officials from the consultant, John Szczepanski of Nova Consultants, included a swath of wetlands on the map of the area where owner Fieldstone Associates had hoped to build. The additional wetlands would make at least three houses impossible to build.

But despite the addition of the wetlands, Fieldstone never removed the three homes from the concept plan for its development submitted to local officials in March 2004. The number of possible houses ultimately determined the price the township paid for the land.

Hamilton Mayor Glen Gilmore says that "If it turns out the developer was telling us one thing and telling the DEP another, that to me would be a breach of fairness and we would certainly ask the court to reassess the terms of the agreement."

I certainly hope so.

The clock is ticking; as of Sept. 1st, interest is owed by the Township to the developer at a rate of $27,000 a month. The Township is hoping the developer will forgo the interest provided the deal goes through as planned. (Try that line next time you're late on a mortgage payment: "Oh, I'm sorry. I hope you'll forgo the interest since I will pay you someday.") They're still waiting for the survey that Hamilton commisioned, which should be done in the near future.


Brenda said...

Every thing I hear about this deal burns me up more and more. It's not as bad as the Newark arena thing which we should have walked away from this week but do you think we will? Do you have blog on that somewhere?

Sharon GR said...

I find this whole thing horribly repugnant. The developers bought this land for $375K just four years ago and will sell it back for $4.1 million having done not one thing. Amazing to turn a $3,725,000 profit to do absoulutely nothing. Nice work if you can get it.

Hamilton doesn't have to bear the cost of this alone; the county is chipping in $300,000 and most is being financed through loans and grants from the state. So we all have a stake in this, even those who don't live in Hamilton.

I haven't gone into the Devils' arena or the downtown construction in Newark yet. I admit, not living near there has let me leave that to the locals. I haven't read a whole lot o' blogging on it, either, but if you find something let us know.