At the October 23, 2017 meeting, the Hopewell Township Committee voted* to approve resolution, changing sewer service on several parcels throughout the Township. The resolution entitled, “A Resolution Consenting to the Proposed Mercer County Water Quality Management (WQM) Plan Amendment,” states that the Township “desires to provide the orderly development of wastewater facilities within block 93, Lot(s) 3.01 (portion) and 5.02, as required by the Township’s Affordable Housing Settlement Agreement.”
Specifically, the resolution states that “the Hopewell Township Committee hereby consents to the Hopewell Affordable Housing amendment, and publicly noticed on October 1 and October 6, 2017 prepared by Van Note Harvey Associates, for the purpose of its incorporation into the applicable WQM plan.”
For more about the Hopewell Township Affordable Housing Settlement Agreement, please see this link.
Mechanically, the agreement exchanges the sewer service from specific tracts of land within the sewer service to one that is not within the sewer service area.
The specific properties that have been removed from being within the Ewing Lawrence Sewerage Authority service area, as a result of the Affordable Housing Settlement Agreement, are: the “Hutchinson tract,” a 53-acre parcel and the “Weidel tract,” (Block 88, Lot 5.02) a 48-acre parcel (both owned by Hopewell Township and adjacent to Route 31); and a 5-acre portion of property owned by CF Hopewell on the west side of Scotch Road for a total of 81 acres.
“This is form over substance re-approving something we’ve already approved,” said Township Administrator Paul Pogorzelski at the Committee meeting.
In exchange, as a result of the Settlement Agreement, a 31-acre parcel on the “Boroughs tract,” (Block 93, Lot 5) adjacent to CF Hopewell properties on Scotch Road, is now within the sewer service area, result ing in 55-fewer acres of sewer service area. The Burroughs tract is one is already identified as a location for affordable housing and part of the sewer service area as recommended in the Housing Plan Fair Share Element of the Master Plan, adopted in 2008. The property is located on the west side of Scotch Road between CF Hopewell’s main parcel of land and the farm house on Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, with frontage on Scotch Road. A structure on the property is currently in use as a group home, according to sources.
There was some discussion at the Committee meeting, particularly Committee member John Hart inquiring more information on the matter. In response, Committee member Julie Blake urged Hart to discuss his reservation. “I saw this as a good thing,” said Blake, “And, I want to hear John’s perspective and why he wanted to table it. We are protecting the view-shed from the road, and we have more to lose if we don’t negotiate this. It is important to the town.”
The Committee approved the resolution, and the matter will be before the Mercer County Planning Board for approval on November 17, 2017, at 9am in the McDade Administration Building, Freeholder Meeting Room 211, 640 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ.
*CORRECTION: Vote was 3-1 approving the resolution.