WALL TOWNSHIP — The Wall Township Committee introduced a $2,875,000 bond ordinance for the purchase of 8.5 acres of land on Highway 34 South for future use for its affordable housing obligations.
The piece of land, located at 1615 Highway 34 South, will be paid for by proceeds from the township’s affordable housing trust fund and will not cost taxpayers, township administrator Jeff Bertrand said at Wednesday night’s virtual committee meeting.
“It is completely financed using the proceeds of our affordable housing trust fund which is not tax money,” he said.
Mr. Bertrand said that the property was being purchased by the township for two reasons.
First, it is being purchased to provide space for the residential healthcare facility that was originally sited for Marshall Road. Second, it will provide the township with about four acres to use in the future.
“We have been working on this for quite sometime … and we’ve identified this location as a good location in a commercially zoned area to locate a facility of that magnitude,” he said of the residential healthcare facility.
“It will leave enough space for growth either of that facility or of a different type of affordable housing structure. It’s eight and a half acres, and we believe the initial facility will only need four [acres], plus or minus.”
Mr. Bertrand said the township conducted an appraisal before purchase, and the township has completed the phase of its environmental inspections on the property.
The former plan for the 190 unit, single occupancy residential healthcare facility had sparked outage from residents on Marshall Road who had frequently spoken in opposition of the project at township committee meetings, citing concerns over property values, and the overall size of the project, which was to be on two small parcels at the end of the road.
At the January committee workshop meeting, Mr. Bertrand responded to Marshall Road residents saying the township was exploring other options.
Separate Highway 34 property rezoned
The township committee also introduced an ordinance creating an affordable housing zone AH7 at 1452 Highway 34.
Mr. Bertrand said that this piece of property has been in the borough affordable housing plan for a long time.
The proposal calls for no more 340 units, 68 of which will be affordable housing. The units will be split half for purchase and half for rent. However, Mr. Bertrand said the township has received a secondary proposal from the developer.
“We also have a secondary proposal from the same group that they would reduce the number of housing units to 297 units, all for sale, and again with 68 [affordable housing units] for sale,” Mr. Bertrand said.
The next Wall Township committee meeting will be a virtual workshop on Wednesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. Virtual access instructions can be found on the township’s website at wallnj.com.
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