Attorneys for Pennwell, LLC and the Gadbey Organization filed an application that will be heard by the Hopewell Township Zoning Board of Adjustment on March 2. The application seeks to begin the “transfer of development rights” process set forth in the 2006 Settlement Agreement concerning the 100.7 acre property commonly known as the Kooltronics tract, in the Marshall’s Corner area of Hopewell Township (near the former Pennytown).
The application seeks the Township’s blessing of the form restrictive language that will eventually be used in deed restrictions placed on preserved property in parts of Hopewell Valley – but is actually the first step in the development of the Kooltronics property.
According the the 2006 court approved Settlement Agreement, the owner of the more than 100 acre Kooltronic tract can develop fourteen units, plus one unit for every 7-acres preserved in the MRC (Mountain Resource Conservation) District and one unit for each 3-acres preserved in the VRC (Valley Resource Conservation) District, for a total of approximately 255 units. The property in question is designated as Lots 17.011 (50.53 acres plus 29 acres currently farmland assessed) and 17.03 (21.17 acres that is currently farmland assessed) in Block 37. (Please note that the notice received by neighbors has a typo and incorrectly identifies the property as being in “Block 3”). It’s not clear from the application which properties the developer has or will acquire to use the proposed deed restriction language.
The terms of the settlement between the Township and the developer is an example of a “transfer of development rights” (TDR) program where more dense development is permitted through the preservation of land elsewhere. The request for Township approval for the form of preservation deed notice would seem to be the first step toward documenting the preservation of off-site properties in order to perfect the denser development rights for the Kooltronic property itself.
For plenty of dense reading about the Pennytown and Kooltronic properties, please see the portion of the Hopewell Township website designated to these properties.