JACKSON-The Jackson Township Council has approved a spot zoning ordinance that would allow 502 high-density apartment units with a percentage being affordable housing that could, according to Millstone resident and Jackson landowner Nick Vinciguerra turn the tide against the “Lakewood Influx” on the eastern side of town.
According to Vincuguerra’s testimony, this could be the start of an Orthodox vs. Non-Orthodox community arms race to see who can bring in more people to keep balance within the community.
On Tuesday, the township council voted to approve a spot zoning change that would allow Vinciguerra’s commercially zoned property to build hundreds of high-density multi-family apartment units after a lawsuit by neighboring residents against the developer, Cardinale Enterprises put that project in jeopardy.
“My name is Nick Vinciguerra, we actually own the property that Vito Cardinale is developing, so obviously, we’re for the project,” he said. “The housing and what’s going on in the project, I know what’s going on in Jackson Township especially on the Liberty (east/Lakewood) side because of Lakewood moving in, the numbers in the school district are lower, so it would be good to keep those jobs on the liberty side to have more people influx into the town.”
If Vinciguera’s assessment is accurate, is Jackson Township is now countering the overdevelopment of the east side of town with overdevelopment on the west side of town to balance the numbers between Jews and non-Jews? The growing Orthodox Jewish bloc vote could essentially be countered by bringing in more non-Jews on the west side of town.
“People are moving out of town because of the Lakewood influx on the Liberty side,” Vinciguerra said. “I’m for the project, it’s going to bring in revenue and sports and things like that. We can really turn the influx and bring back the town to where it was.”
If Vinciguerra is correct, the 502 units could be the township’s answer to countering the influx of Orthodox Jews moving into the community on the east side of town by changing zoning on the west side of town to allow for more high-density residential projects that would attract non-Jews.
“I’m definitely for the project,” he concluded.
The township council did not counter Vinciguerra’s comments that the project will restore the population demographics between the east and west sides of the township.
Shloimie Klein, who goes by the internet moniker of “First Amendment Activist” criticized Vinceguerra’s comments about the Lakewood influx.
“I think I just heard from the guy who is the owner of the property who is benefiting from this said, the reason why the council has to approve this is because of the influx from Lakewood,” Klein said. “This property is all the way west not east, not next to Lakewood. The argument is Lakewood, the Orthodox Jews are coming from Lakewood and Brooklyn…”
“I’m sorry, I don’t recall any of that being said,” said township attorney Gregory P. McGuckin whose firm also represents the Lakewood zoning board. “It could have been, maybe I missed it, but I didn’t hear that being said, I think it’s important we put that into the record right now.”
McGuckin missed Vinciguerra’s entire testimony, according to a video published to Youtube by Klein, McGuckin had his head down, reading papers and was oblivious to what Vinciguerra said earlier.
“What it means is there is a takeover in the mind of the owner of the property,” Klein added. “That’s what I heard. If you guys do not approve it, Agudath Israel of America is on to you. He said something Jewish and they will come after you…if he didn’t say it, I apologize.”