Monday, February 16, 2009


Hillsborough’s proposed Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) plan was presented before the Planning Board on December 4, 2008, by the township’s affordable housing development consultant Jennifer Beahm of Birdsall Engineering.

The Hillsborough Beacon posted a comprehensive article about the plan, which was as clear as can be expected when explaining COAH.

The Planning Board approved Ms. Beahm's proposed COAH plan and referred it to the township committee for favorable action.

The last week of December, Ms. Beahm again presented her plan, this time to the committee which approved the plan, which had to be submitted by the December 31, 2008 NJ Department of Community Affairs Council on Affordable Housing deadline.

I fully expected residents of the areas surrounding the three proposed COAH projects to attend the Township Committee meeting at the end of December to ask/interrogate township officials about the hundreds of COAH units, retail buildings, and hotel being proposed contiguous to their homes.

Residents obviously had multiple chances to educate themselves on the COAH proposals and two chances to comment before their elected officials, but (as far as I could tell from watching the TC meeting on TV) not one person asked a question or commented when they were given the chance.

Sometimes it must be very discouraging to be a township official, to put so much effort into something like this and get no feedback. As much as you would like to believe that that is because the plan is so brilliant and clearly explained, you know that when the proposed COAH projects start going before the various boards and commissions, suddenly outraged citizens will come out of the woodwork to complain that they didn’t know anything about it.


So, one more time:

The Township’s affordable housing consultant Jennifer C. Beahm summarized her recommendations for the township’s required Housing Plan Element and Fair Share Plan, identifying projects and programs that would yield Hillsborough’s 650 required units.

According to her presentation, there are 168 affordable housing units in existing and approved projects. Additional units will be provided in three proposed new projects referred to as Amwell Road East, Amwell Road West, and Route 206.

The Amwell Road East project is located on 10-acres just east of Pineywoods Drive and would contain 108 affordable family rental units.

The Amwell Road West development, located on 29.3-acres west of Eves Drive, would include 85 market rate units, 24 special needs rental units and 20 affordable rental units.

The third project on Route 206 north of Partridge Road would have 352 market rate units, 138 affordable units, 20,000-square-feet of retail space and a 130-room hotel on 50-acres.

Additionally the Market to Affordable Program will provide 6 units, there is a rental bonus of 162 units, and there is a 19-unit Rehabilitation Requirement obligation.

For more details you can view this summary or Ms. Beahm’s power point presentation.

1 comment:

Val said...

Thank you for giving residents another chance to educate themselves. You're correct - residents will swarm out of the woodwork claiming no disclosure once an actual plan hits the boards and they get official notification. Perhaps that's what they need sooner - notification. And yes, it is frustrating for township officials, no matter what party they subscribe to.

I will forward a link to your blog. Thanks again.