What if The Township didn’t enter the litigation?

If the Court believed the Township was not acting in good faith to ensure its obligation was met, it could have let the Intervenors make their own plan, called a Builder’s Remedy Lawsuit.  In South Brunswick, that is exactly what happened and the Court determined that their obligation was more than 2,900 units of affordable housing (plus thousands of market rate units).  The judge also determined that this plan could be implemented by the builders themselves versus by the Town’s Planning Board in a public setting, working in conjunction with court-appointed professional planners and cutting the Township entirely out of the process, from determining where the units would be built to what they look like, who would live there and how the rentals would be managed.

In a Builders Remedy Lawsuit, any property owner can propose their site for development, including lands that are not currently in sewer service areas.  In the 1990’s, in a prior COAH round, Hopewell Township was subject to a Builders Remedy lawsuit because it failed to make sufficient progress towards meetings its affordable housing obligations.  This resulted in Brandon Farms, a new development with over 1200 homes and a ratio of 8-9 market rate units for each affordable unit.

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1. What is an intervenor?
2. What if The Township didn’t enter the litigation?
3. Why did Hopewell Township agree to a negotiated settlement on Affordable Housing?
4. Why do we have to have more housing? We have enough!
5. Who exactly qualifies for Affordable Housing?
6. I heard that there are going to be a lot of market rate houses too. Why?
7. I don’t object to the 653 Affordable Housing units we need to build, but why didn’t Hopewell Township move forward with 100% Affordable Housing across the Township?
8. Why do we need affordable housing? There are plenty of houses in town that haven’t sold.
9. I heard that it’s just going to be house after house after house. Not that there is anything wrong with housing developments, but shouldn’t it be walkable and maybe some ratables?
10. How soon is this going to happen?
11. Do our taxes have to pay for this?
12. Our schools are already filled up! Are we going to have to build a new school, too?
13. Where will the developments be?
14. Why do you have to build in the southern tier? It’s not fair! We have all the development!
15. I am concerned about how all this new development will impact traffic in Hopewell Township. Why wasn’t this considered upfront?
16. Why do we have to build on the field on the west side of Scotch Road?
17. Why did land have to be classified as a Redevelopment Zone?
18. What if Pennytown had been built? Would we still be getting all of this?
19. If we hadn’t spent the Affordable Trust Fund money on Pennytown, couldn’t we could have paid for all of the affordable housing now required without market rates?
20. What about sewers? I live on Pennington-Washington Crossing Road and my septic system is failing. I thought we were promised no high-density housing near us. What is going to be done to help us?
21. I am concerned that bringing more Affordable Housing to Hopewell Township is going to negatively impact our community and bring down property values.
22. How was the public involved in this process? Is this all a done deal?
23. Questions have been raised recently regarding the PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement for the Zaitz Tract behind the Shop Rite. First, is the Zaitz PILOT a good deal for Hopewell Twp taxpayers?
24. Will Hopewell Township taxes go up because of this PILOT?
25. What’s the impact on our schools?