Letter to the Editor: Chris Maynes

Chris Maynes talks about the Bancroft Redevelopment Plan.

Since the effort to appeal the Commissioners’ amendments to the Bancroft Redevelopment Plan has been publicized, a stunning amount of misinformation has been disseminated. While a point-by-point rebuttal could be therapeutic, a targeted discussion on the key issues and whether the proposed development is truly age-targeted might be more constructive.

The Commissioners contend that O’Neill’s proposed development is age-targeted and won’t appeal to families with children. Below are the facts, and I encourage the readers to judge for themselves.

The original Redevelopment Plan (which was supported and approved by our Planning Board) contained the following objective:

“To ensure that the market rate, age-targeted housing is attractive to “empty-nesters” and, to that goal, incorporates certain design and pricing principles into the development. These principles include modest unit size, limited number of bedrooms, single level living or limited living areas on multiple floors, accessibility for residents, covered, garaged and/or structured parking, common area improvements conducive to senior living, price points at or below the median price of a home in Haddonfield, and other community and site features that support independent living of older adults.”

The amended Plan reduced this from an “established objective” to “general guidance” and further, it then allowed for a “lack of adherence” to the “general guidance.”

O’Neill’s proposal contains 80 townhomes which: (1) at 2,250 sq. ft., are larger than the average Haddonfield home; (2) at $600,000 are more expensive than the median home; and (3) are multi-story rather than single level. The only single-level units are 12 affordable-housing units, which are income-restricted, not age restricted.

You decide; would an empty nester “downsize” from a $450k home to a larger $500k+ multi-story townhome, with a higher tax bill than the one from which they “downsized?” Or will those homes be occupied by families seeking large, low-maintenance homes in one of the state’s best school districts, further burdening our already over-capacity schools?