Letter to the Editor: Misrepresentations in the Hopewell Affordable Housing Debate

Letter to the Editor: Misrepresentations in the Hopewell Affordable Housing Debate

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(DATE: 4/11/18)

To the Editor:

Recently, Hopewell Township residents Harvey Lester and Cheryl Edwards made misleading claims about affordable housing in the Township. Mr. Lester claimed that the Zaitz development at the Route 31 Circle would have 540 houses. That is incorrect. As noted by the Committee in a resolution on Monday night, there will be no more than 301 market rate houses on the Zaitz tract, plus affordable housing units. In fact, the current plan reduces the number of overall housing units on this site by 25% vs. the plan Lester championed in 2015.

As for Ms. Edwards’s claim that the Committee could have asked ShopRite to cover the cost of infrastructure, her statement reflects her lack of knowledge of the associated costs. As Mayor Kuchinski noted on Monday evening, the total infrastructure cost, including the extension of sewers, is over $20 million, which is simply too much for ShopRite to absorb.  Rather than having Township taxpayers absorb these costs, the Committee wisely required that the developer bear these infrastructure costs.

It is important that Township residents not be misled by false information about the Township’s actions to meet the constitutional obligation to provide affordable housing.

Felicia Jean Steele
Pennington

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