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Shrewsbury Borough address affordable housing obligation in ordinance

 Municipal officials in Shrewsbury Borough have introduced an ordinance that would, if adopted, amend the municipality’s land use and development code to include mandatory set-aside language which would pertain to future affordable housing obligations.

During a meeting of the Shrewsbury Borough Council on Nov. 19, members of the governing body introduced an ordinance which states that “any application for a development which includes multi-family or single family attached residential development that is ‘approvable’ and ‘developable’ as defined by state law at a gross residential density of six units to the acre or more shall include an appropriate percentage of the residential units be set aside for low and moderate income households.”

The ordinance goes on to state that “the requirement shall apply to any multi-family or single-family attached residential development, including the residential portion of a mixed use development, which consists of five or more new residential units, whether permitted by a zoning amendment, a variance granted by a land use board, or adoption of a redevelopment plan, or amended redevelopment plan in areas in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation.”

“Approximately six to 10 months ago, we resolved (affordable housing) issues with the Fair Share Housing Center. This (ordinance) is pursuant to the agreement and makes changes to our zoning ordinance,” Councilman Erik Anderson said.

The Fair Share Housing Center, Cherry Hill, advocates for the construction of affordable housing throughout the state.

No additional details about the borough’s current affordable housing obligation or any potential affordable housing developments was immediately available from municipal.

According to the ordinance, if affordable units are marketed as rental units, 15 percent of the units outlined in a development plan must be designated as affordable housing.

For affordable units that are offered for sale, 20 percent of the units proposed in a development plan must be designated as affordable housing, the ordinance states.

The ordinance will have a public hearing on Dec. 3.

In other council business, municipal officials approved a resolution authorizing a continued shared service agreement between Shrewsbury Borough and Shrewsbury Township.

The shared service involves emergency fire protection services. Shrewsbury Borough will pay Shrewsbury Township $10,000 for emergency fire protection services. 

Finally, members of the governing body introduced an ordinance that would, if adopted, amend the section of the borough code that deals with vehicles and traffic.

“Essentially what this ordinance is doing is this is allowing us to change the speed limit on certain streets where we have the most amount of pedestrian traffic going to and from school,” Councilwoman Deidre DerAsadourian said.

The ordinance states that borough officials cannot change the speed limit on certain streets and in certain areas unless approval is granted by the state Department of Transportation. Specifically, those areas are along streets that intersect Route 35.

DerAsadourian said officials hope to lower the speed limit in certain areas to 20 mph.

The roads, including White Street between Beechwood Drive and Broad Street, Samara Drive between Sycamore Avenue and Spruce Drive, Birch Drive between Spruce Drive and Patterson Avenue, and Silverbrook Road between Broad Street and Sycamore Avenue are among those that could have their speed limit lowered. 

DerAsadourian said the borough engineer has identified streets that get heavy pedestrian traffic as children walk to and from school and those are the streets that officials are targeting for a potential reduction in the speed limit.

The public hearing for the ordinance will be Dec. 3.

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