HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP: Committee OKs Pennytown plan changes

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By Frank Mustac, Contributor
Committee members debated and approved some of the changes to the Pennytown redevelopment plan that were recently offered by the Planning Board.
Earlier this year, the Township Committee hired the Clarke Caton Hintz firm of Trenton to prepare a redevelopment plan for Pennytown with the intention to sell the 25-acre property purchased by Hopewell Township in 2008 for $6.65 million.
Restoring the Pennytown property to a more productive state, while preserving and reusing the historic single-family residence known as the Marshall House on the land that is part of the hamlet of Marshall’s Corner, are just two of several objectives outlined in the plan. The proposal also calls for preserving the pond and stream corridor along the Stony Brook Branch.
Under New Jersey’s redevelopment rules, the Planning Board was required to review the plan initiated by the Township Committee and report back to the committee.
The full plan with changes will be posted on the Hopewell Township website, according to officials.
A public hearing on the amended plan has been scheduled for Monday, Nov. 14, at the township municipal building.
Some of the recommendations from the Planning Board include a request that “green building” design features be incorporated in new construction at the Pennytown site, located at the junction of routes 31 and 654. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines a green building as “a sustainable or high performance building.”
The Township Committee discussed limits on maximum impervious coverage for the site and “preserving and protecting” wetland areas on the property.
Committee members also spent time considering lifting restrictions that would allow construction of a refueling station for large commercial diesel trucks, but ultimately scrubbed the idea.
The redevelopment plan also sets maximum building heights, and recommends water recycling be incorporated as a conservation measure.
The consensus of the Township Committee is that municipal water be provided to the Pennytown property, but not to extend public sewers to the site.
“I think the public has spoken that they don’t want sewers up Route 31,” Mayor Kevin Kuchinski said.
Hopewell Township Administrator Paul Pogorzelski said that typically, a developer pays to bring water to a site. 