Why do we have to have more housing? We have enough!

It is not something the Township had a say in.  The Mt. Laurel NJ Supreme Court decision (also known as the COAH law) requires that each municipality in NJ must provide a “fair share” of these units of housing.  In 2015, the NJ Supreme Court ruled that all NJ municipalities were responsible to meet a present and prospective affordable housing need for the 26 years from 1999 to 2025. In the lawsuit, the Township fought to reduce the number and was successful in reducing it from the proposed 1756 units by Fair Share Housing Center to the final number of 653. 

It’s important to note that Hopewell Township’s obligation is only to provide a “realistic opportunity” for these units to be built.  If there is not sufficient market demand for this many units to be built or if there is another real estate crash, these units will not be built.  Similarly, if the financial cost of building all of the new water, sewer and other infrastructure to support the development is too high, the Township is not obligated to assist the developers.  Again, the units will not be built if a project proves to be economically infeasible.

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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?