Regarding the proposed plan to complete the failed Absecon Visions project and the decision by the Absecon Zoning Board to deny the application to make it an all-age development:
It has become clear to most informed observers that the project can only move forward if there is relief from the age restriction. That relief should be granted, not just for the sake of the current residents, but for the overall positive economic impact it would have on the city.
Contrary to the Jan. 23 letter, "Most support decision on Visions development," the majority of Visions residents do support lifting the age restriction and, in fact, have voted accordingly.
A fiscal impact analysis submitted to the Absecon Zoning Board concluded that, when completed, the proposed development would yield an aggregate assessed value of more than $53 million, which would add significantly to the tax base of the city. Additionally, it would result in an aggregate disposable personal income on the part of its residents of $15.6 million per year. These new residents would generate $14.2 million in annual personal expenditures. That would represent a substantial benefit to every business owner in Absecon and the surrounding communities.
The analysis also noted that, in terms of impact on the Absecon school system, Absecon has recorded enrollment decreases in recent years. Moreover, the city's schools are below the state averages in class size and could easily accommodate the added students with existing personnel and facilities. This analysis is a matter of public record and is available for anyone to review at City Hall.
AB Visions' plan also includes them paying for the installation of a traffic light at the corner of Pitney Road and Crestview Avenue, which would provide much-needed relief of congestion coming in and out of the Emma C. Attales Middle School.
Opponents of AB Visions' plan also are quick to point to the affordable housing component of the plan and contend those units would somehow bring an undesirable element to the community. Misconceptions about what constitutes affordable housing are rampant. The fact is that many young adults starting out their careers, including teachers and police officers, would qualify for such housing.
The taxpayers and business owners of Absecon deserve to know the facts so they can make informed judgments about the planned redevelopment.