By Matthew Sockol
MILLSTONE — Municipal officials are taking action to acquire a piece of property that could eventually be the location of affordable housing.
The Township Committee has introduced a bond ordinance that provides an appropriation of $150,000 to be used to purchase a 2.56-acre lot at 471 Stagecoach Road in the Clarksburg section of the municipality.
The parcel is near the Millstone Community Center and the new Allen House affordable housing project. The Allen House consists of 10 apartments for senior citizens.
Millstone Township, like other New Jersey municipalities, is mandated by state law to provide opportunities for the development of affordable housing.
Municipal officials said the lot to be purchased could be an affordable housing site at some point in the future.
At a recent meeting when the matter was on the agenda, Joann Kelty, who chairs the township’s Historic Preservation Commission and serves as the township historian, said the lot has historic significance.
The parcel “is on the inventory of historic sites and behind there are the remains of the old tannery,” Kelty said. “I just wanted to make you aware of that from the Historic Preservation Commission’s perspective.”
Township Clerk Maria Dellasala said she did not believe the parcel’s apparent historic significance would have an impact on its purchase by the township.
The bond ordinance is expected to be considered for adoption on March 16.
In other action, committee members authorized a shared services agreement with Manalapan for motor vehicle maintenance and repairs. These services are shared because Millstone does not employ a mechanic. Manalapan employees will work on Millstone vehicles on an as needed basis, according to the agreement. Manalapan is also the lead agency for animal control services in Millstone.
And, the committee has introduced an ordinance that will amend the township’s endangered species ordinance, specifically concerning the requirements for submitting a survey under Millstone’s land use and development regulations.
The amendment allows accepted threatened and endangered species surveys to remain valid for three years from the date of the field survey. Additionally, an applicant must submit a new survey for any new species identified on a construction site if the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Landscape Projects Cross Acceptance Data or Natural Heritage Database is updated more than a year before a construction project’s compliance is resolved.
In the latter scenario, an extension request of up to an additional six months can be formally submitted to the Environmental Commission. A written request for an extension must include a detailed explanation of the species’ habitat requirements relating to the site and a valid reason for the request.
The ordinance will be considered for adoption on March 16.