At a meeting of the Hopewell Township Pennytown Task Force last night, Conifer (the Township’s designated developer) presented its first set of concept designs for the controversial site along Rt. 31 known as Marshall’s Corner/“Pennytown”. The entirety of the residential units are intended for low to moderate income housing in partial satisfaction of the Township’s Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) obligations.

Conifer’s architect discussed the dilemma of how to best divide up the planned 70 units on the property and maintain open space and were aiming for a type of “garden style” appearance. The current plan is to have 7 off-set buildings each containing 10 units with the residential faces viewable from the bordering roads and with similar set backs to the homes in the surrounding area. The proposed square footage would be: 14 one-bedroom units with 750 square feet; 30 two-bedroom units with 1000 square feet; and 23 three-bedroom units with 1200 square feet.

The proposed amenities would include a community center, laundry and playground in a green town center setting. The community center would be approximately 800 square feet and include a warming kitchen (fridge and microwave), storage, fitness facilities, and computer room. Parking for 150 vehicles would be off of Hopewell-Pennington Road with a single entry and exit driveway.

The intention is to have the potable water come from three on-site wells while the waste water situation would have to be reevaluated (some sewer lines are present on the adjacent Kooltronics property but Conifer shared that they will likely need to do something on-site).

Issues raised by the public in attendance were environmental concerns such as water resources, public transportation availability, location of the gas easement in relation to the buildings, walkability, access to Marshall’s Corner Road for emergency vehicles, and incorporating the existing white residential structure as a historical element to the development.

NEXT MEETING: April 16th at 7PM at the Township Municipal Building

Thanks to friends who attended the meeting and took copious notes while the author of this article was home with a sick child! If anyone in attendance wants to weigh-in or confirm the details, we’d love your contribution and continued discussion!

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.