Committee finalizes affordable housing settlement

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EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – The Township Committee finalized the settlement agreement and approved the related ordinance for the creation of affordable housing at English Creek Manor along Winnepeg Avenue during its Wednesday, Sept. 12 meeting.

 The settlement agreement ends a long-standing dispute between the township and the owner of English Creek Manor Mobile Home Park, whose owners have been attempting to build a large development on the wooded tract of land between its current mobile home park and Winnepeg Avenue since 2006. 

 Township Solicitor Marc Friedman said the settlement was reached with input from the attorney hired by the residents in the area who opposed the initial plans to build 576 units. Through litigation, the total number of units was reduced to 225, he said.

As part of the negotiations, the density was reduced from six units per acre to four and modifications were added in like the Winnepeg Avenue buffer zone.

The settlement also allows the township to purchase 40 acres of land from the developer, which is adjacent to Tony Canale Park. The land could provide park access off of Winnepeg Avenue as well as create opportunity for additional active recreation spaces there.

Committeeman John Carman was the sole dissenting vote “This deal is much better than we were faced with initially, but it is going to destroy the character of this neighborhood.”

 Mayor James “Sonny” McCullough said he would approve of the ordinance, but that the township has suffered from the litigation. “This has ended up hurting Egg Harbor Township,” he said, noting the costs of the legal battle. “Not one of us is happy with what we’re doing. We have a lot of inventory in the township, so hopefully this project will never come to fruition.”

Committeewoman Laura Pfrommer, who lives in this section of the township, said she viewed the settlement as an improvement from the initial plans.

“This is so much better than what it was, but it’s still terrible,” she said.

The ordinance also calls for the township to revise its zoning map to create a new zone called AH-RG-4, an affordable housing zone that allows for the four-units-per-acre density.

The existing mobile home park, which fronts English Creek Avenue, would be permitted to continue as a nonconforming use and could have up to six units per acre. The mobile home park property and the new phase would have to be subdivided, the ordinance states.

To comply with current affordable housing laws, the project will have to include a mix of full market rate homes with low- to moderate-income housing. The low- to moderate-income housing is required to be integrated within the full-priced homes, rather than sectioned off in a separate portion of the development. 

Only single-family homes would be able to front Winnepeg Avenue. Any attached dwellings, to be town-homes, would need to be contained inside the neighborhood, not facing any public streets, it states.

From there, the settlement would be sent to the judge who heard the case, Friedman said. The developer would then follow the standard process of applications through the Planning Board.

Read more:

Committee reluctantly passes affordable housing measure

Egg Harbor Township hopes land moves lead to more affordable housing projects

Ordinance 32 no more as COAH dispute drags on

Egg Harbor Township Committee agenda  


 

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