Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey Responds to Community Questions about Impact of Planned CCR
Crossing at Murray Hill will bring many benefits to community while having minimal impact on municipal services
BURLINGTON, N.J. – January 18, 2010 – The Zoning Board of Adjustment of New Providence, N.J., will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, January 20 at New Providence Town Hall to consider a request for variances from Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey for the planned Crossing at Murray Hill continuing care retirement community (CCRC) at 535 Mountain Avenue. In advance of that meeting, Jerry Nugent, president and CEO of the organization, sought to answer some of most frequently asked community questions about the CCRC plans.
“Some Borough residents are under the impression that our plans call for dozens of stand-alone buildings,” said Nugent. “Actually, only five buildings are planned on the 20+ acre site. The main building will include 271 senior independent living apartments and a health center comprising no more than 124 beds for assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care and sub-acute care. The building also includes the development’s social areas and administrative offices. Four separate buildings comprising eight single-family, semi-detached cottages will be the only buildings not physically connected to the main building.”
Questions also have been raised about the effect the CCRC would have on community services, such as schools, police and fire. According to Nugent, a detailed fiscal impact study conducted by Clarke Caton Hintz, PC of Trenton, N.J., determined that, in the following ways, the Crossing at Murray Hill will have minimal to no impact on municipal services:
- Schools: The Crossing at Murray Hill will be restricted to persons 62 or older without children as one of the two exceptions from the federal Fair Housing Act that are based on age. The average age of adults moving into the CCRC is expected to be 78-82. Because no school-aged children will be residing in the community, there will be no direct impact on the costs of New Providence’s school system.
- Police Services: The facility will have 24-hour security. And, with an average age in the seventies, residents will have very little impact on the criminal justice system.
- Emergency Medical Services: EMS services will be minimized because skilled nurses, who are on site 24 hours a day, will be responsible for the ongoing monitoring of residents’ health needs. The community will also have its own private ambulance service.
- Fire Services: The main building will be made of all non-combustible materials such as concrete, steel and glass. In addition, the building will be fully sprinklered with state of the art alarm systems.
In fact,” said Nugent, “the Crossing at Murray Hill will bring significant financial benefits to New Providence. While the property currently pays $443,092 in taxes, the CCRC is expected to bring in up to four times that amount in tax revenue – approximately $1.7 million – based upon a maximum build-out of the plans.”
Nugent noted that a July 2009 market demand study analyzed the demographics of the New Providence area and confirmed that there is a strong demand for a CCRC. “Currently, seniors located in a 10 to 15 mile radius of New Providence who are interested in living in a CCRC would need to leave the familiar surroundings of the community, including the shops, physicians, hospitals, services and activities they use and support.
“As the potential purchaser of the Mountain Avenue property and as an applicant for use, height and other variances, we’re sensitive to the concerns of the community. We’ve been proactive during our planning process by reaching out to community members to get their opinions and to keep them informed. We’re happy to discuss these issues and any others that may arise at the meeting on January 20.”
About Lutheran Social Ministries
Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey is the owner of Crane’s Mill CCRC in West Caldwell, N.J., and is a faith-based, statewide not-for-profit provider of compassionate, quality senior care services, dedicated to helping older adults successfully age and live their lives to the fullest potential. For more information, call (609) 699-4108 or visit www.www.lsmnj.org.