Hopewell Township Planning Board Takes Next Steps for Affordable Housing

    On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, the Hopewell Township Planning Board held a special meeting to decide whether they would recommend adoption of four ordinances by the Township Committee concerning parcels of land slated for affordable housing development. 

    Though Township Planner Frank Banisch determined that the parcels, commonly referred to as “Zaitz,” “BMS,” “CF Hopewell,” and “Enourato,” were “technically inconsistent” with the Master Plan, due to how each parcel is currently zoned. However, Banisch remarked that they were consistent with the “overarching objectives of the Master Plan for meeting a wide-range of public policy needs that clearly advance many of the goals and objectives of the Master Plan.”

    During the November 27, 2017 Township Committee meeting, the Committee will hold a public hearing for the four ordinances. Since the ordinances were found technically inconsistent with the Master Plan, a supermajority of the Committee must vote for their adoption and statements must be made to address why the Committee is adopting ordinances not consistent with the Master Plan.

    Also at the meeting, by way of resolution, the Planning Board asked Banisch to investigate whether a 5-acre parcel located on the west side of Scotch Road meets criteria as an “area in need of redevelopment.” After researching the matter, Banisch will present his findings at the December 7, 2017 Planning Board meeting where the Board will decide whether it meets criteria. If it is found that it does, the resolution will be referred to the Township Committee. If the Committee agrees with the finding and recommendation, a resolution will be adopted and an ordinance amending the redevelopment plan would follow. The small Township-owned piece of land will then be given to CF Hopewell, a developer, for inclusion in the development of affordable housing.

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    Angela Jacobs
    Angela Jacobs is a freelance writer who lives in Hopewell Township with her teenaged children and partner of 20 years. Despite her best efforts to simplify her life, last year she added four chickens and a second rescue dog to her pet menagerie. Unfortunately, an interim of peaceful coexistence ended with the untimely demise of two of the chickens at the paws of Jax, the new dog. An egregious lack of impulse control has since been diagnosed resulting in an indefinite separation of Jax from all present and future chickens, her two cockatiels, open garbage cans, snacks open on tables, abandoned stuffed animals, etc. She does however gently encourage him toward a certain industrious squirrel that has spelunked its way through her backyard in search of the most perfect hiding spot for its nuts.

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