Holmdel officials table ordinaces to rezone properties for affordable housing


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Municipal officials in Holmdel have tabled two ordinances that would, if adopted, create zoning overlays on certain properties to accommodate the construction of affordable housing.

During a meeting on Aug. 13, no member of the Township Committee seconded a motion made by Mayor Eric Hinds to introduce the first of two ordinances that would create affordable housing districts at North Beers Street and at Palmer Avenue.

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In December 2018, committee members authorized an amended settlement agreement with the Fair Share Housing Center, Cherry Hill, that is expected to satisfy Holmdel’s third round affordable housing obligation. That 2018 settlement called for 223 affordable housing units in the municipality.

The Fair Share Housing Center advocates for the construction of affordable housing throughout New Jersey.

Affordable housing is defined as housing that is sold or rented at below market rates to individuals and families whose income meets certain guidelines.

At that time, officials agreed to permit the construction of 97 housing units – 66 market rate units and 31 affordable housing units in a project on North Beers Street.

At the Palmer Avenue site, officials agreed to permit the construction of 60 housing units – 48 market rate units and 12 affordable housing units.

On Aug. 13, committee members expressed concern with several changes they said had been made to the rezoning ordinances. The matter was subsequently discussed in an executive (closed) session. Following executive session, the committee members tabled the rezoning ordinances until further notice.

According to the ordinance which rezones the North Beers Street property from a medical zone to an affordable housing greenhouse zone, officials entered into an amended settlement agreement with the Fair Share Housing Center in January.

The agreement establishes Holmdel’s third round affordable housing obligation from 1999 to 2025 and the compliance mechanisms officials will meet, according to the ordinance.

A fairness hearing was held in court on April 4. Officials entered an order on May 1 which approves the settlement agreements by Holmdel and the Fair Share Housing Center. The court order approving the settlement agreements requires officials to adopt zoning for the inclusionary project to create realistic opportunities for the construction of affordable housing.

The following uses would be permitted in the affordable housing greenhouse zone: townhouses; multiple family apartments; retail, first floor only; restaurants, first floor only;
personal service, first floor only; professional service, first floor only; mixed use, non-residential, first floor only; professional offices; medical offices; and uses customary and incidental to hospital use.

Accessory uses such as a clubhouse and community pool would be permitted at the North Beers Street project, the ordinance states.

The second ordinance that is expected to be considered would rezone the Palmer Avenue property as an affordable housing multi-family zone with the following uses permitted: multi-family dwelling unit apartment buildings with a minimum low and moderate income unit set aside of 20% of the total number of units; a maximum of 48 market rate units, consisting of 28 two-bedroom units and 20 one-bedroom units; and a minimum of 12 affordable units, consisting of one one-bedroom unit, nine two-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units.

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