Why you may want to go to the council meeting this week in Highlands

Two important things are going to be on this week’s council agenda this Wednesday which is being held at the Elementary School 360 Navesink Ave (Rt 36) at 8pm:

I.  Public Hearing for Ordinance O-13-16  which is to allow Shadow Lawn Trailer Park to change the land use from Mobile Home to High Rise/Multi-family.

Proposed Pro’s:  Increased Ratables  – However, the math doesn’t add up on this, it sounds like a more ratables is in theory only.

Proposed Highrise  120 ft high, so lets say 12 units per floor (mirrors Eastpoint) & 10 floors up = 120 units.  Average cost per unit, approx $300k so $36 mln MV would be approximately $25 mln Assessed Value.  If we also figure out of the 120 units, .33 will have school age children then approx 40 kids will be attending school. So the going rate per Highlands student is $20k ish per student, 40 x $20,809 = $832k per year.  So the taxes generated minus the tax abatement, minus the per year school cost =  -$383,422  (Well good thing we charged for those permits, we’re going to be almost $400k in the hole.)

Think about it this way, Highlands has many multi-family units on the South side (Look at all the condos under the Twin Lights)  None of them have been the Silver Bullet for increased ratables.

If you are against having another Eastpoint,  or just don’t want it because of:

Athetics – Its going to look ugly
Increased strain on current infrastructure, i.e. sewers, PD, Schools,
Ecological Reasons – The Hill can’t hold it up
Potential Litigation costs – A few years back Highlands lost a legal battle to do something similar
You’re just cantankerous and you don’t like new things

Click below for a sample email to send to the council and object (Needs to be done by Wednesday 8/21)

Shadow Lawn objection email 8.2013

II. Reading of the proposed Ordinance to go to a Non-Partisan Government

(That petition thing a lot of you signed during Clamfest).


  1. Email sent. I’ll be there.

    To say this was an underhanded way of slipping this through under the radar is an understatement.


  2. The last time this came up and there was a big turnout, one council person cried, one couldn’t stop doodling on his paper, two listened intently and the mayor was somewhere in between. Being asked to “listen to the people who elected you to represent them” they made it clear (how ironic one of them will have to sit through this again) that they thought they knew better.

    This is not field of dreams, if it’s built the people will not come. Who on earth would want to move to a town that is far more concerned with building NEW than taking care of the very people who have been paying property taxes for decades and trying to do their part to make the town a great place to live.


  3. Also, the current zoning allows for 14 units per acre (the site is about 12 acres including the steep slope). There is a bonus of 2 units per acre – specifically 16 units per acre – if the developer includes a public access easement to a scenic over look. If this new ordinance passes we lose all opportunity to showcase our view to visitors.

    This town needs every opportunity to showcase our assets. Right now many people just see our town as a pass through to/from Sandy Hook. We should be doing everything possible to get them to stop, take a look, spend some time, and eventually some dollars. Perhaps as part of that scenic overlook we can promote our marinas, restaurants, shops, craftsmen, etc.

    Who would stop? People stuck in traffic. People stopping at Quick Check who see a sign for the overlook. Curiosity seekers. Photographers, especially wedding photos.

    But no. According to the council we need ratables. And their best suggestion is ratables that we won’t see for AT LEAST 7 years at best.


    • All those years of traffic backing up because of the bridge NEVER made a bit of difference, people went down the hill and turned around. Even the people who take the ferry from NYC to go to Sandy Hook don’t even think about stopping in Highlands and there are hundreds of people on those boats.


    • Personally, I believe we can benefit more from a multi-use hotel, long term lodging and conference center not more high densisty housing


    • I agree a hotel with a convention center to draw business people into town and who perhaps will invest. Perhaps Kevin Smith a native may have some influence in drawing comic con to town amongst other interesting Art & Pop culture conventions along with weddings.There should be public space in the deal. A park, a peaceful place to bring your family. Anyone who gets tax abatement there should be give back to community. But does not need to be of enormous height maybe 8 stories if hill is studied and strenghened to handle weight and additional infrastructure.


  4. This impacts everyone in the area and everyone who visits the area, not just Highlands residents. The Eastpointe is a scar on the landscape. The townhouses under the Twin Lights are for the most part hideous. It is a sin to do this to an area with such natural beauty.


  5. It was voted down 4:1, I find it reprehensible that the only person how voted yes was the Mayor. He came right out and said he puts money over safety.

    We need to keep the pressure on to not allow this. I don’t think they are done trying to get something built there n


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