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Sayreville to review affordable housing ordinance

SAYREVILLE – Two ordinances intended to assist Sayreville in reaching its necessary amount of affordable units are scheduled to be introduced by the Borough Council on Sept. 11.

An ordinance that will amend the borough’s affordable housing ordinance and an ordinance that will permit projects that have affordable units in their zone were considered by council members at an Aug. 21 meeting after they were recommended by the Planning Board on Aug. 2.

As the result of a settlement agreement, Sayreville is required to have 785 affordable units.

The ordinance permitting the affordable housing projects defines the projects as inclusionary multi-family dwellings, which are market-rate housing dwellings that have 15 percent of their units designated as affordable.

If adopted, the inclusionary multi-family dwellings ordinance will permit Camelot at Sayreville I, which will have 173 units (26 affordable), and Camelot at Sayreville II, which will have 300 units (45 affordable). Both projects are being developed by Kaplan Properties, which filed as an intervener in Sayreville’s litigation with New Jersey Superior Court over its affordable housing obligations.

In addition to the Kaplan projects, a previous version of the ordinance included Cross Avenue/National Lead Site, which will have 163 units (24 affordable), and River Road Development Site, which will have 160 units (24 affordable), as projects intended to assist the borough in meeting its obligations. These projects are not in the current version of the ordinance that the council may introduce and adopt.

Although the ordinance only included the Kaplan projects, borough planner John Leoncavallo acknowledged that one section of the ordinance was written with the Cross Avenue/National Lead Site in mind after it was questioned by Council President Daniel Buchanan. Larry Sachs, the borough’s special counsel for Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) matters, said that the section could be removed as it was not necessary to permit the projects currently in the ordinance.

Buchanan also noted that the bulk variances listed in the ordinance were not consistent with the borough’s general standards. As a result, Councilwoman Victoria Kilpatrick requested amending the ordinance to have its bulk standards be consistent with the general standards, at minimum, pending review by Leoncavallo.

After the amendments were proposed, Borough Attorney Michael DuPont recommended against the council introducing the ordinance that evening because he considered the changes being made to be substantial.

Ultimately, the council voted to amend the inclusionary multi-family dwellings ordinance to remove the section created for the Cross Avenue/National Lead Site and to ensure that the borough’s minimum bulk variances are included, with both ordinances to be considered for introduction on Sept. 11.

The proposed affordable housing plan has been a source of concern for residents because if approved, it will create additional market rate units apart from the required affordable units. Residents have spoken about the potential impacts that the additional residential units might create, such as the potential impact on the school district, traffic, taxes, open space, population density and safety.

Excluding The Pointe, an ongoing $2.2 billion retail/mixed-use project, 803 market-rate units with 141 affordable units are planned to be built in the borough.

Members of Sayreville’s governing body have disagreed on what actions to take in meeting the borough’s affordable housing requirements. Kilpatrick and Councilwoman Mary Novak have advocated for amending the current plan to alleviate its potential impact on the borough, while Mayor Kennedy O’Brien and Councilman Steven Grillo have reasoned that the governing body must act as quickly as possible to ensure the borough does not face possible repercussions for not meeting its obligations, noting that the affordable units are mandated by the court and state.

Contact Matthew Sockol at

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