CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Township Committee unanimously adopted an ordinance to rezone the 30.8 Dixiedale Farm property from single-family to multi-family zoning, setting the stage for a 54-unit townhouse development on Thursday at the regular meeting of the Chatham Township Committee.

The rezoning is linked to the developer building 24 Affordable Housing units near the Skate Park on Southern Boulevard at no cost to Chatham Township, which is currently negotiating its third round of Fair Share obligations in Superior Court.

The next step for the Dixiedale developers is to make an application to the Chatham Township Planning Board in order to get a site plan approved. 

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Development planner Michael Tobia gave his third presentation on the "conceptual plan" before the vote to adopt and revealed that it would be "virtually impossible" to place any of the three entrances to the development on River Road. That will be unwelcome news for Chatham Borough residents of Hillside Avenue, who are investigating the installation of a cul-de-sac to alleviate traffic concerns. I 

Planner Michael Tobia answers questions about placing access entrances to the development on River Road

The deal with the developer will also include a walking/hiking trail open to the public of 3,200 linear feet on the perimeter of the property. Tobia said that they recalculated the open space that will remain on the Dixiedale Farm, eliminating the space between the townhomes and the front lawns, and came up with 66 percent of open space being retained by the project.

Tobia also reported on the expected traffic flow, comparing it to RoseValle townhomes built 10 year ago in Chatham Township, with similarly priced homes. Tobia said that the Dixiedale development would generate one vehicle on Hillside Avenue every two minutes. Because of the traffic patterns, it would translate to one vehicle going in either direction every four minutes between the peak hours of 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 to 5:45 p.m.

The Dixiedale development will offer townhomes priced between $1.2 and $1.5 million with four bedrooms and a two-car garage. Each townhome would have a square footage of 3,000 feet.

Planner Michael Tobia explains that the development is connected to the 24-unit affordable housing that will be built on Southern Boulevard by the Skate Park

Committee member Kevin Sullivan explained that the more and more you talk about Affordable Housing, the "more your head spins." He explained how legislators in Trenton have abdicated their responsibility to pass bills that would remedy the problems caused by Affordable Housing mandates.

In other business, the committee adopted a watershed protection ordinance, which will protect Chatham Township's water supply from the installation of hazardous material pipelines.

Chatham Township Engineer John Ruschke gives an overview of the Watershed Ordinance.