Why did Hopewell Township agree to a negotiated settlement on Affordable Housing?

As a result of our negotiations, Hopewell Township secured a lower Affordable Housing obligation (653 affordable units) than we would have gotten had we carried through to the end of the litigation. In the multi-town Mercer County trial that continued on after Hopewell Township reached a settlement, the Court ultimately ruled that Hopewell Township’s obligation for Affordable units would have been almost 100 units more, resulting in roughly 500 more housing units.  The Court also ruled that West Windsor, one of two towns that did not settle in Mercer County, must produce approximately 1500 new affordable housing units, as well as at the associated market rate units. These municipalities also took on the costs of many months of additional litigation – in the tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, and will bear the cost of any appeals.

Importantly, Hopewell Township will receive credit If there is new legislation, Supreme Court rulings or a Constitutional amendment that reduces municipalities’ third round affordable housing obligations.  If this happens, Hopewell Township will be entitled to reduce its Third Round obligation further. It is, however, protected if any of those legal changes results in a higher obligation for Hopewell Township.

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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?