In a special joint meeting of the Alpine Mayor and Council and Planning Board, key discussions revolved around a possible settlement concerning a critical affordable housing litigation against a potential developer. The meeting took place on April 17, 2023 and saw both elected bodies convene to tackle the ongoing housing issue.
Mayor Paul H. Tomasko and the council, along with the Planning Board, convened to consider the proposed settlement with developers Sylco Investments #4, LLC; Sylco Investments #5, LLC and F.E. Alpine, Inc. The case in question pertains to a piece of land identified as Block 55, Lots 25.01 – 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30, a potential site for much-needed affordable housing in the Borough of Alpine.
The specifics of the discussions remained confidential due to the executive session’s nature, leaving the public with limited details. The presence of Borough Attorney Levi Kool, Attorney Russell Huntington of Huntington Bailey, Special Counsel Edward Buzak, and Planning Board Attorney Douglas Bern pointed to the complexity and significance of the issues being discussed.
Councilwoman Gayle Gerstein and Councilwoman Vicki Frankel offered and seconded the resolution to enter the executive session.
Despite the executive session lasting well over an hour, no definitive actions were taken or announced by the end of the meeting. The absence of any public comments was also noted, suggesting the potential need for increased community engagement on this critical issue.
While the results of this meeting do not represent a final resolution to the affordable housing litigation, the attention given to this topic by the council and planning board is a step in the right direction. As the saga unfolds, residents of Alpine and housing advocates alike eagerly await more public discussions on the matter, hoping for a solution that contributes to a more inclusive and affordable Alpine Borough.