WESTFIELD, NJ — The local government is slated to get an update on its court-mandated affordable housing plan on the same evening it creates a redevelopment zone on the municipality’s South Side and hires a redevelopment firm.

Tuesday’s Town Council agenda includes a resolution that, if approved, would then declare 5.5 acres along South Avenue a “non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment.” The area encompasses the now vacant Sevell’s Auto Body shop and surrounding properties.

The measure, town officials have said, would give Westfield greater control over proposed development in the area, which is mandated under the town’s affordable housing plan — the result of a court settlement. That affordable housing plan, which the council is also anticipated to receive an update on Tuesday, calls for 156 apartments at 421-449 South Avenue East, a part of the redevelopment area. Of those apartments, 23 are to be affordable rentals, according to the housing plan.

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In seeking to have the area designated a redevelopment zone, the town’s planner had prepared an investigation report detailing why the properties’ conditions are either detrimental to the public good or not in keeping with the town’s overall guide for development.

The specific properties are as follows:

  • 421-429 South Avenue East
  • 445-449 South Avenue East
  • 418 South Avenue East
  • 338 Windsor Avenue
  • 448 South Avenue East

Last month, the Planning Board approved the proposed designation and referred it to the town council based on a 73-page investigation report and testimony from Town Planner Donald Sammet.

The town council also has on its agenda for Tuesday a proposal to hire the redevelopment planning firm, Topology NJ LLC of Newark. The one-year contract allows payment to the firm of up to $50,000 for its services, according to the resolution.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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