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Parcel could be used for affordable housing

By Matthew Sockol
Staff Writer

MILLSTONE – Municipal officials have taken action to acquire a piece of property that could eventually be the location of affordable housing.

During their March 16 meeting, members of the Township Committee adopted a bond ordinance that provides an appropriation of $150,000 to purchase a 2.5-acre lot at 471 Stagecoach Road that is near the Millstone Community Center and the new Allen House, which consists of 10 apartments for seniors and was built in accordance with New Jersey’s affordable housing guidelines.

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 at 471 Stagecoach Road could be used as an affordable housing site at some point in the future.

“This ordinance is acquiring a piece of property which is directly adjacent to the Allen House, for which we had our ribbon cutting ceremony on (March 10) and welcomed 10 senior residents into the facility,” Mayor Bob Kinsey said. “We are hoping to mirror that project and really create a nice little enclave there for our seniors.”

Committeewoman Nancy Grbelja suggested creating a walking trail that would encircle the Allen House and the adjacent parcel the committee plans to acquire.

“This way, (with a walking trail), we keep (the seniors) off the street and it will be an opportunity for them to get a little bit of exercise,” Grbelja said.

In other action, the committee adopted 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.

Each ordinance was adopted in a 5-0 vote.

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