Home » New Hopewell Inn Moves Forward, Planning Board Updates Redevelopment Strategy

New Hopewell Inn Moves Forward, Planning Board Updates Redevelopment Strategy

by Aaron Twitchell

With updates from the builders of the new Hopewell Inn and reviews of the Master Plan and areas in need of redevelopment, the Hopewell Borough Planning Board meeting had plenty to discuss on June 5, 2024.

Hopewell Inn

After several months of delays on account of problems with their steel manufacturer, the builders of the new Hopewell Inn set November, 2025 as their expected completion date for the long-awaited dining spot in the Borough. 

Before restarting construction in August, however, the proprietors needed approval for some changes to their site plans. The owners have eliminated all second-floor dining and added two residential apartments, bringing to six the total number of rentals, including one affordable housing unit. 

The Board approved the changes unanimously, despite concerns regarding parking voiced by a member of the public.

See also: Hopewell Borough Planning Board approves replacement of Hopewell Bistro and Hopewell Borough Planning Board hears plan to breathe new life into Hopewell Bistro.

Master Plan Review

In a collaborative process by the Planning Board, Council, and investors, the Board has identified 57 Hamilton as a favorable site to be named an “area in need of redevelopment,” a land use tool that gives the Council more planning flexibility and control. See this article about Hopewell Borough planning in 2016, Hopewell Borough finds three areas in need of redevelopment,tasks planning board with crafting plan.

Designation of an area as “in need of redevelopment” is a statutorily defined land-use term that is much like rezoning and that aims “to rebuild or restore an area in a measurable state of decline, disinvestment, or abandonment… If used correctly, it can transform an underutilized or distressed area into an economically viable and productive part of the community,” according to the Redevelopment Handbook, A Guide to Rebuilding New Jersey’s Communities.

A member of the Watershed Institute offered support for the Board as they look to revise their Master Plan. “We help a lot of municipalities with their master plans,” said Susan Bristol from the Watershed. For example, incorporating stormwater management into master plans can be tricky, and the Watershed has resources available to help guide that process. Returning underground streams to the surface in a process known as “daylighting” is another way the Watershed can help with revisions. 

The Planning Board received the Watershed’s offer favorably while pointing out that stormwater management is already a priority.

This designation is, the Board found, consistent with the Master Plan which will be sent to Council for approval. Other sites in the Borough that have been designated include the lumber yard on Model Avenue and the large site on E. Broad and Maple Streets. 

The next Borough Planning Board meeting will be on Wednesday, July 3 at 7pm.

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