Hopewell Township Planning Consultants will be presenting conceptual visualizations of the redevelopment zoning for the Marshalls Corner Pennytown Redevelopment project to the Hopewell Township Planning Board on Thursday April 19. The meeting will be held at 7:00pm in the auditorium of the Hopewell Valley Central High School on Pennington Titusville Road.
The purpose of this meeting is to present how the redevelopment zoning in the Marshalls Corner Pennytown area will work and to elicit comment and feedback from the various township advisory board, committee and commission members in attendance as well as the public. The Marshalls Corner Pennytown redevelopment area will be served by public sewer and water, however, this redevelopment area is not part of the ELSA sewer service area which is the subject of a public referendum on May 8, 2012.
This presentation culminates 4 years of planning which began with the purchase of the Pennytown site by Hopewell Township to help it meet its affordable housing obligation as set forth by the Council On Affordable Housing (COAH) by providing 70 affordable units on-site. Following its purchase. In 2009 the Township Committee designated Pennytown and nearby Kooltronic site as an area of need of redevelopment. This designation under the New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing law provided an opportunity for a public/private partnership between Hopewell Township and Kooltronic. Following this designation a Task Force comprised of members of various advisory boards and committees of the Township, property owners in the area of Pennytown was organized to help develop a comprehensive development plan for the Pennytown site.
In developing the plan, the Task Force considered how this development would interact with the nearby Else farm tract which is designated for active recreation as well as how this development could help preserve the integrity of historic Marshalls Corner. Additional consideration was given to including a Community Center which would provide for both teens and seniors. Finally, residential and non-residential uses were considered for inclusion in the plan.
The Task Force ultimately recommended the creation of an identifiable village with a central area, organized around a mixed use assemblage of uses, structures and spaces. This “village concept” could best be achieved by including both the Pennytown and Kooltronic sites. Kooltronic is entitled to develop its site with 255 single family homes as part of a 2006 settlement with Hopewell Township. The Task Force found that bringing both the Kooltronic and Pennytown sites together in a collaborative effort resulted in a more unique plan which offers an enhanced quality of life for its occupants.
The Task Force presented its findings and recommendations in a report to the Township Committee entitled “Hopewell Township Committee Information and Collaboration Meeting, Marshall’s Corner-Pennytown Task Force” dated 05/23/11. http://www.hopewelltwp.org/Marshalls-Corner-Pennytown-Task-Force/MCP_Task_Force_Presentation_05-23-11.pdf
In the fall of 2011, Hopewell Township engaged teams of professional land planners, engineers and fiscal consultants to work toward developing a concept consistent with the goals set forth by the Task Force. This effort was undertaken with Kooltronic as a public/private partnership. It is this effort that has resulted in the first draft of a conceptual redevelopment plan that will be presented on April 19.
In October, members of the Task Force, Township Committee, Township staff, Kooltronic and the planning team presented the Task Force goals and objectives to the New Jersey Office of Planning Advocacy and the State’s Development Opportunities Interagency Team. It was universally agreed that this project, the Task Force efforts and the way the public was embraced throughout, should be touted as a model for all communities. In November, the Township was presented with the Distinguished Civic Leadership award by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association.
The conceptual visualization that will be presented on April 19 has honored the Task Force goals and objectives. It includes placeholders for a Community Center such as a YMCA, a Senior Center and limited supportive commercial areas together with connectivity to the Else recreation site. The Township Committee continues to encourage the public to participate in the review of the redevelopment zoning and urges residents to attend this presentation.