Livingston Planning Board to Consider Housing Complex

Continuation of February meeting on Tutor Time site Tuesday night.

The Livingston Planning Board will meet Tuesday night to continue discussions of plans for a multi-family housing complex on South Orange Avenue at the Millburn Township border.

TMB Partners, the company seeking to build 62 housing units on the lot at 650 South Orange Avenue, outlined plans for the layout, drainage and landscaping of the project at a three-hour meeting in February.

The proposal for the Tutor Time site, includes 50 market-rate units and 12 affordable-housing units has been wending its way through the township for about five years and has been scaled back from its original proposal of 100 units.

TMB Partners, which is the project’s owner, needs a variance to build a taller retention wall and a waiver to lower the amount of evergreen plantings and replace them with other trees. BNE Real Estate Group is the project’s developer.

Jonathan Schwartz, vice president for BNE Real Estate Group, said market-rate building will have two-bedroom condos and the affordable-rate building will have one to three-bedroom rentals. 

However, the proposal has drawn protests in the past from the Livingston Short Hills Coalition and the Short Hills Association.

There is also a lawsuit pending by TMB Properties against the Township of Millburn to get the township to work with Livingston officials to provide sewer and drainage for the property. 

At the Feb. 21 meeting, the builders said they would build a rain garden, add a buffer zone with plantings and use vegetation that is deer-resistant and helps absorb water to ensure proper drainage at the complex.

In February’s meeting, Brett Carney, the attorney representing Millburn, questioned whether the project is following the best management practices for drainage.

Carney said the project's wastewater plan does not conform with the county's management plan. He said part of the property’s drainage goes to Livingston and another part goes to Millburn and then on to a joint Essex and Union counties treatment plant in Elizabeth.

Carney said the plan needs to be amended to send wastewater to one location, and he questioned whether the project will use the best combination of drainage materials

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