To the Editor:
The latest revelation regarding Hopewell Township’s ill-conceived Affordable Housing Settlement Agreement directly affects your property values and the quiet enjoyment of your neighborhood.
Mayor Kuchinski’s Township Committee and his Planning Board, which now includes newly-appointed board member Vanessa Sandom, are poised to allow a number of residences on Diverty Road to be bull-dozed to make way for a new intersection, where those residences currently stand. Specifically, in the cross-hairs are Block 86, Lots 32, 33, 34.
For MercerMe’s coverage of this resolution, visit this link: https://mercerme.com/diverty-road-being-considered-for-as-redevelopment-area-in-pennington/
Call it “creeping redevelopment.” First, they designate a cornfield, ShopRite and Wells Fargo Bank as “an area in need of redevelopment.” Now, they have begun the process to designate some residences on Diverty Road as “an area in need of redevelopment,” with the ultimate goal to create a cut-through, eventually to Denow Road, to dump and re-route traffic to “alleviate congestion along Route 31 and CR 546 in the vicinity of the Route 31 circle,” according to the Draft Preliminary Investigation Report.
For the first time, this plan was revealed last week, when the Township Committee, at its regular Monday meeting on January 8, directed the Planning Board to conduct an investigation of the concept, which complied at a hastily-convened Planning Board Special meeting on Thursday, January 11.
Since the Settlement Agreement gave 43 of the 50 acre commercially-zoned Zaitz tract cornfield behind ShopRite to the developer in exchange for 78 affordable housing units and a community center, expect shoppers from I-95 to one day make their way through your neighborhood to a newly-developed shopping center.
Feeling left-out? That’s what happens when the Township Committee, last summer, conducted settlement discussions with builders without a single public hearing or work session.
What can you do now? Hold the Township Committee accountable at its regular meeting on Monday January 29 at the Municipal Auditorium at 7pm. Hold the Planning Board accountable at the hearing on the future of your neighborhood, scheduled for its regular meeting on Thursday February 22 at the municipal auditorium at 7pm.
As for the rest of us, is anyone’s property safe when the Township Committee and the Planning Board freely over-reach with redevelopment designations?