Halt Council Approval of Low Income Housing Plan on Hartford Rd. in Moorestown
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Re: Affordable Housing Plan for Hartford Road
The Moorestown Township Council is considering a plan to move forward with affordable/low income housing units to be located on Hartford Road, at its intersection with Centerton Road. Though we do not yet know the details of this plan, the Township held a conference on September 20 (closed to the public) for developers submitting proposals for a development of at least 101 units, possibly as many as 200 units, with some reports that a Fair Share Housing Group is demanding that 1,521 affordable/low income housing units be built in Moorestown in the next 7-8 years.
This plan has raised questions among some residents in Moorestown, including but not limited to:
1) will a new school be required when the large number of students (200-600, possibly many more?) all enter the school system within a short time once the housing development is completed, or is it the plan for the existing Moorestown elementary, upper and high schools to absorb that large number of new students;
2) what will be the impact on property and school taxes;
3) why was this location chosen, in the middle of open farmland and nowhere near any walkable section of town/shops, and what other locations (if any) were seriously considered;
4) what will be the impact on local traffic on Hartford and Centerton Roads;
5) what exactly is the income/affordability component of low income/affordable housing and how many of the proposed units are designated to be rental properties;
6) has the Township explored every possible other avenue and exhausted all efforts to meet its “fair share housing obligation”, before taking what appears to be a drastic step of building an entirely new and very large housing development;
7) were the residents in the area that will most directly be affected given proper notice of the meetings where decisions were made on this important topic?
8) are there alternatives (such as senior affordable housing or building 10-20 units at a time and spreading them throughout the Township) that were seriously considered;
9), would this new contemplated development consist of high-density 2-3 bedroom rental apartments similar to the developments in Mount Laurel and Marlton (much larger towns than Moorestown) where the Township will collect $0 in taxes from the community, thereby significantly increasing the tax burden of all other taxpayers in the Township?
I am sure other questions exist among the Township residents.
The Township held an "informational" conference on Sept. 20 for developers/groups who intend to make proposals for the affordable housing development. The qualified submissions will be announced by the Council on October 4. There is a Council meeting on Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m., at which time this plan may be discussed.
Please sign this petition to present to the Council demanding that any action on the affordable housing plan be halted pending answers to these questions and additional information. We want to make sure that due diligence has been performed and that every possible option (including continued litigation, if there is a chance of success) has been and will be considered.
We are aware of some of the components of the fair housing obligations in the State of New Jersey and we realize that some additional amount of affordable housing will need to be provided in Moorestown. Nevertheless, the members of this group have legitimate questions about this plan and want to make sure our interests/concerns are conveyed to the Council and that due diligence has been performed before final decisions/approvals are granted.
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