BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Although no decisions have been made as of yet, representatives from K. Hovnanian recently came before the Bridgewater Township Council to discuss the possibility of rezoning land off Route 202/206 for the building of townhouses.
The property under examination is the site of Linda’s Farm Stand on Route 202/206.
According to Thomas Carroll, an attorney with Hill Wallack speaking on behalf of K. Hovnanian, they are looking to rezone the property with an inclusionary development that would include aiding the township in its COAH housing requirement.
The township, however, was quick to point out that the COAH obligations are changing.
According to township attorney William Savo, the Supreme Court recently released a decision that removed jurisdiction over low and moderate income housing from the executive branch of government, and sent it back to the courts. The state is reverting back to the former guidelines for affordable housing that allow lower courts to decide how many homes should be made available for low and moderate income residents in individual towns, and could require municipalities to reevaluate their needs.
If the need for affordable housing in Bridgewater changes based on this decision, the K. Hovnanian project could change.
Still, K. Hovnanian presented their preliminary project and the desire to rezone the property.
The plan currently is for 160 stacked townhomes in 19 buildings on 15 acres of land.
According to Bill Salmon, with Gladstone Design, they would have to meet with the township planner to determine heights for the townhouses and other individual definitions. But, he said, they have performed wetlands and floodplains surveys, and determined that the land is viable for this kind of building.
The property is currently in the R-40 zone (which is predominantly residential), and they are looking to have it rezoned to RMDU (which is multi-family residential).
According to K. Hovnanian’s professional planner, the site has public water and public sewer, has some slopes and is located on Route 206, with easy access to routes 287 and 202, as well as access to employment and shopping opportunities.
With the property itself, it has the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center to the west, as well as single family homes to the north and across Route 206.
Steve Dahl, legal counsel with K. Hovnanian, said every townhome would have a garage, and half would be two-bedroom with the remainder being three-bedroom homes.
All would be for sale, not rentals, with the prices ranging from $350,000 to $400,000.
The plans include affordable housing opportunities.
With the plan presented, the township did not make any decisions yet as to whether to allow for the zone change, instead saying that it will have to evaluate its new affordable housing needs before plans can potentially move forward.