CHATHAM, NJ - John Ruschke, Chatham Township engineer, brought up the possibility of adding a third building during the site plan hearing for the Arbor Green at Chatham affordable housing development on Monday night.

Southern Boulevard Urban Renewal, LLC, presented witnesses at the regular meeting of the Chatham Township Planning Board for its plan to construct two buildings that will contain a total of 24 affordable housing units on the 3.6-acre property known as the "Skate Park" on Southern Boulevard. Arbor Green at Chatham will be the new official name.

During testimony for the developers in presenting the site plan for approval, Ruschke suggested that the pad on which the skate park sits should be kept - at least temporarily - for the possibility of constructing a third building to meet affordable housing obligations.

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"One of the things I was going to bring up tonight, we are still struggling with meeting the Affordable Housing obligations," Ruschke said. "We still have some challenges to meet those requirements. One of the things I was going to ask the developer was regarding the skate park. One thing we want them to consider is to remove the equipment, remove the fencing, but temporarily leave the pad because we do want to see if there is an opportunity, perhaps with this developer, to even look at a third building.

"That's a possibility when we are able to approach the DEP for a third building because you can apply for a redevelopment permit."

John Ruschke, the township engineer, makes a point about density and possibly adding a third building to the "Skate Park" site

Southern Boulevard Urban Renewal attorney Robert Kasuba presented witnesses to answer questions about the site plans, including a civil engineer and an architect. The witness set to present the traffic study was pushed to the June 3 meeting of the planning board.

Also discussed was a new driveway entrance from Southern Boulevard for the Arbor Green at Chatham development, which would be separate from the entrance and exit used by the Chatham Township Police Department and the Department of Public Works - all located on the subdivided 14.6 acres.

It was reported during the hearing that there will be 36 parking spaces for the low-to-moderate housing units. The buildings proposed will be 37.98 feet in height, which is considered a "deviation" from the 35-foot height allowed in the township.

The development will require 18 trees to be removed, but 55 trees will be installed to create shade along Southern Boulevard.

Because the property is "significantly restrained by wetlands," the two buildings are set in an area within close proximity to the police station and the Southern Boulevard. Planning board member Nicole Hagner asks about the tight layout in the video below.

Although the Dixiedale Farm site plan and variance application were on the agenda for the May 20 meeting, it was announced at the start by planning board attorney Steven K. Warner that Dixie Dale would be tabled until the June 3 meeting at the earliest.

Sterling/Sun at Chatham, LLC, is seeking approval for its 53-unit, multi-family residential development of townhomes on the property known as Dixiedale Farm.