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Oceanport Council Questions Proposed Fort Housing

OCEANPORT: Borough council members recently voiced some concerns over the housing proposed for the Oceanport section of Fort Monmouth.

The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) has agreed to enter into exclusive negotiations with RPM to develop the Officers Housing located near the main gate of the fort on Oceanport Avenue.

The developer's proposal calls for 68 market-rate, for-sale units north of the Parade Ground (the North Post) and 48 rental units south of the Parade Ground (the South Post).

The South Post units are proposed to be a mix of market-rate rental units and affordable rentals that will meet the project's required 20 percent affordable housing obligation.

Councilman Joe Irace said during the May 1 council meeting that there are not many rental units in the borough and that he wants the council to be "cognizant that it's a change."

The council met with RPM in executive session along with representatives of the Oceanport Board of Education during its April 3 meeting for the purposes of negotiating a potential PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) and redevelopment agreement.

Irace said he was not fully in favor of a PILOT program for a group such as RPM.

"I have a problem helping a for-profit on the backs of our tax payers," Irace said.

He also said he wants to ensure that the council's vision is taken into account with the design and type of housing that will be built.

"Oceanport's vision needs to be at the forefront and we need to let (RPM) know what we want to see," he said.

Councilman Christopher Paglia agreed with Irace's concerns.

"There are a lot of issues we need to discuss before we decide anything," Paglia said.

The project will eventually come before the Oceanport Planning Board for municipal approval.

For more information on the proposed housing, click here.


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