SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - The South Brunswick Township will provide bussing for residents who wish to attend the hearing for the new plan to build 129 townhouses off of Route 1 North and Ridge Road. The court ordered hearing is scheduled for December 13th at 10 AM at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick.
The township responded after hearing from residents who wanted to attend the meeting but are either concerned about parking in New Brunswick or do not have any means of transportation. Residents who wish to attend can get on a bus at the municipal parking lot in front of the Water and Sewer building at 9 AM. Those who are interested can call Donna Busacco at the Township at (732) 329-4000 Ext. 7301.
Ronald Schmalz, public relations coordinator for the Township, says that this was an idea by the council and Mayor Charles Carley after consistently hearing from the public about this open court battle and not being able to attend because of its location. Schmalz calls this an ‘ongoing battle’ against a housing company that wants to instill more housing and construction in a mostly rural area.
“We live here, we work here, we govern here, and we like to think that we know our town pretty well. We have always been friendly when it comes to affordable housing, we actually have won awards for our affordable housing. This feels like we are being forced to do this building and that's why the public is upset.”
Schmalz says that he has heard a lot of concerns about how this would affect the roads and the infrastructure, the development would adversely affect the traffic, rural routes for buses and those who commute to and from work. Schmalz also says that this would create a safety concern as well.
The new townhouses being planned in South Brunswick were proposed by K.Hovnanian, a national construction company located in Matawan, NJ which operates in nine communities in the state, according to their website. The company has been planning to construct 129 affordable homes in the area and change the master plan of the community by allowing houses to be built in the office park area. A full set of the plans can be reviewed by any member of the public at the South Brunswick Planning Department during their regular business hours.
The court ordered public hearing is a means for the community to raise any concerns they have about the new townhouses. Attorney Steven Goodell, the court-appointed special hearing officer, will be able to hear what the residents have to say about the impact this will have on the South Brunswick Township.
“The people should know that the Township hears them loud and clear, and if they would like to attend we want to make it as easy as possible for them to go because at the end of the day, this is a public meeting."