MILLSTONE – Six ordinances have been adopted by the Township Committee to help Millstone Township meet its affordable housing obligation and to prepare for a proposed residential development that would include affordable housing units and market rate units.
New Jersey municipalities are under a court mandate to provide opportunities for the development of affordable housing within their borders.
Affordable housing is defined as housing that is sold or rented at below market rates to individuals and families whose income meets certain guidelines. According to township officials, Millstone’s obligation is 231 affordable housing units.
The six ordinances were adopted by committee members on March 18.
One ordinance will add a new zoning district designation – rural multi-family zone. The rural multi-family zone will consist of 710-711 Perrineville Road (Route 1), near Etra-Perrineville Road (Route 571) and the border of Roosevelt and East Windsor. According to the ordinance, the parcels in question are currently in a rural preservation zone.
The ordinance states that the rural multi-family zone is intended to permit a proposed development from Baldachino Properties that will be a mix of market rate and affordable housing. The plan from Baldachino Properties may include a maximum of 240 units, with a mandatory 48 units designated as affordable housing.
According to the ordinance, the rural multi-family zone is designed to provide an opportunity for the construction of affordable housing through inclusionary development and permits residential uses in townhomes and multi-family buildings.
The creation of the new zone follows a settlement agreement among Millstone Township, the Fair Share Housing Center and Showplace Farms, LLC, that was approved in New Jersey Superior Court in 2019.
The Fair Share Housing Center, Cherry Hill, advocates for the construction of affordable housing throughout New Jersey. Showplace Farms, Route 33, Millstone Township, is an intervenor in the municipality’s affordable housing litigation.
Three ordinances that were adopted on March 18 will establish building requirements for affordable housing developments in the business park zone, requirements to help prevent potential nuisances such as sound, and building requirements for affordable housing developments in the rural residential zone, respectively, as part of implementing the settlement agreement.
Another ordinance will add a new section to the zoning district regulations – accessory apartments – and will permit accessory apartments in all single-family residential zones in Millstone Township.
The ordinance defines an accessory apartment as a self-contained residential dwelling unit with a kitchen, sanitary facilities, sleeping quarters and a private entrance that is created in an existing home through the conversion of an existing detached accessory structure on the same site or by an addition to an existing home or accessory building.
As stated in the ordinance, accessory apartments are permitted as part of the township’s affordable housing plan, which contemplates the creation of 10 affordable accessory apartments over the next five years. If the number of affordable accessory apartments exceeds 10 units, the additional units will apply to Millstone Township’s next round of affordable housing obligations.
Finally, as part of the settlement agreement, an ordinance will amend the township code to repeal and replace the existing affordable housing article to include provisions addressing Millstone Township’s constitutional obligation to provide for its fair share of very low, low and moderate income housing.
The ordinance seeks to provide assurances that affordable housing units are created with controls on affordability over time and that very low, low and moderate income households will occupy those units.