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Committee members approve tax agreement with developer

By Matthew Sockol
Staff Writer

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Township Committee members have taken action that will begin the process of creating a potential 66-unit affordable age-restricted apartment community on Business Route 33 between Wemrock Road and Cardigan Bay Lane.

The apartments would be constructed on a 7.3-acre lot near the Freehold Hebrew Benefit Society cemetery on the eastbound side of Business Route 33. The construction and operation of the housing has been proposed by PIRHL Acquisitions, LLC, according to township officials.

On Feb. 21, committee members adopted an ordinance that authorizes officials to execute a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with PIRHL Acquisitions regarding the project.

Under the PILOT agreement, PIRHL Acquisitions will pay 5 percent of the project’s total revenues each year for 30 years, according to the ordinance. The developer will pay $27,781 in the first year and $47,588 in year 30.

According to municipal officials, the project is part of a state program that funds affordable housing projects through tax credits. The program requires a PILOT agreement which is intended to reduce the burden on the project, allowing the tax credit funding for the project to be sustainable as affordable housing.

Five percent of annual revenue is the maximum amount the program allows, according to township officials.

Mayor Lester Preston, Deputy Mayor David Salkin and committeemen Anthony Ammiano and Thomas Cook voted to adopt the ordinance. Committeewoman Barbara McMorrow was absent.

The authorization of the PILOT agreement with PIRHL Acquisitions follows the committee’s Jan. 24 adoption of an ordinance that created a senior housing overlay zone on the property.

According to that ordinance, the creation of the overlay zone will provide a realistic opportunity for the construction of rental apartment housing for seniors of low and moderate incomes as required by the New Jersey Supreme Court and the Fair Housing Act.

The ordinance added the senior housing zone to Freehold Township’s list of zones and to the zoning map, and created zoning requirements for that property.

The committee members also passed a resolution finding and determining that the proposed project for the apartments for seniors would meet an existing housing need.

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