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Warren Township Moves Forward on Affordable Housing Plans, Judge Grants Motion

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Lindbergh Avenue Credits: B. Nemcek
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WARREN, NJ - Judge Miller granted Warren Township’s motion for approval on Friday, June 8 of the proposed 100% affordable family rental housing development on Lindbergh Avenue that is to be built by PIRHL Acquisitions, LLC. 

On Monday, June 11, the Warren Township Planning Board heard testimony and plans for the Lindbergh Avenue site. Discussions will be continued at  the next meeting on June 25. The Township raised questions on increasing landscaping, limiting the hours of a resident community room and the possibility of adding sidewalks on Lindbergh Avenue after hearing from a room full of residents.

The project is for 80 units, all affordable.

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The Warren Township Committee said that they will continue to aggressively negotiate with the Fair Share Housing Center to establish Warren’s Affordable Housing obligation that meets with Court approval but does not significantly impact the character of our town.

“Warren Township is to be praised for moving forward proactively,” wrote counsel for the Fair Share Housing Center, Adam Gordon, in a letter of support to Judge Miller.  “While other significant issues remain…, FSHC supports the Township’s work to move forward,” he said. 

The Township Committee continues to seek its ultimate Affordable Housing number through on-going and active discussions with Fair Share Housing Center’s counsel.

“This is a big step forward in our effort to ensure that all development is done in the most thoughtful and strategic way.  I am proud of our Township officials as we have continuously fulfilled our obligations in a way that allows for these new residents to seamlessly become a part of our community,” said Mayor Victor Sordillo. 

Warren Township officials said they seek an Affordable Housing obligation that is responsible, fits with the town’s character, and has minimal impact on our schools, infrastructure, and town services.

The Lindbergh Avenue Redevelopment Area (Block 114, Lot 22.03) is an 8.17-acre parcel of land located on the south side of Lindbergh Avenue and near Stirling Road. The property is owned by the Township.

 

The land is currently vacant and wooded and is bordered on the north by a 57-unit townhome neighborhood and three single-family homes operated by Cooperative Housing, which provides affordable housing to seniors and those with disabilities. The easterly border abuts three ARC-supported and special needs homes and the NJCP (North Jersey Cerebral Palsy) group home. The south and western boundary of the area abuts large wooded lots. Access to the site would be from Stirling Road to Lindbergh Avenue.  All of this housing assists in meeting the Township’s affordable housing obligations.  

 

A 2016 study of the Lindbergh Avenue area was conducted by the Planning Board at the request of Township Committee to determine whether it met the statutory requirements to be considered an “area in need of redevelopment.” The completed study deemed the area as unproductive and vacant but noted that it was a “highly developable resource.” In January 2017, the Township Committee approved the designation of the Lindbergh Avenue area as “an area in need of redevelopment” pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law. 

 

“For quite some time, the Township Committee and Planning Board have recognized that developing the Township-owned Lindbergh Avenue property would enable the Township to provide a significant number of the affordable housing units mandated by the State without unduly impacting the health, safety, and welfare of our residents,” said Mayor Victor Sordillo. “For decades, thoughtful, proactive planning by the Township Committee has successfully integrated new development — and affordable housing — into the fabric of our community. This project is just the most recent example.”

 

Recently, the Township Committee reached an agreement with PIRHL Acquisitions, LLC, a Cleveland-based developer with offices in New Jersey. PIRHL Acquisitions, LLC, will redevelop the Lindbergh Avenue area into a residential community, consisting of 80 affordable apartment units.

No market rate units are included in the development. Most new developments built on privately owned land can contain as many as four or five market rate units for every affordable unit. This project helps limit the total amount of new construction in the Township.

Moreover, because the property is owned by the municipality, it currently does not contribute to the tax rolls. Between taxes and fees the Township will receive going forward, Warren’s residential taxpayers benefit from the transaction, the Mayor said. “PIRHL will make the necessary investment into the property at no additional upfront cost to the Township,” he said.

“PIRHL Acquisitions is a good partner for this endeavor,” said Township Committeeman George Lazo. “It has a history of creating high quality affordable housing that contributes to the sustainability of communities just like ours.”

 

“We are excited for this project to get under way as it is brings us a big step closer to meeting Warren Township’s affordable housing obligations,” said Deputy Mayor Gary DiNardo.

PIRHL both develops and manages properties. For more on PIRHL see http://www.pirhl.com/

A list of  completed or proposed projects for Somerset County is:

https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/home/showdocument?id=2776

For how we got here and where we’re going see:

 Https://www.tapinto.net/towns/warren/articles/affordable-housing-in-warren-how-we-got-here-a

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick Urges State Legislature to Solve Affordable Housing Issues

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/warren/articles/assemblyman-jon-bramnick-urges-state-legislature-5

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