Stop K.Hovnanian from building homes on Route 1 in S.B.

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South Brunswick Residents:

A special public hearing is scheduled for Friday, December 13, 2019 at 10:00 am at the Middlesex County Courthouse, New Brunswick (Room # TBD) on a proposal to build a townhouse development with an affordable housing component on Ridge Road. Since many taxpayers work during the day, it is difficult to attend, therefore we are petitioning signatures to stop this construction.  However, if you can make the meeting please do as more community members are present, the more impactful!  

K. Hovnanian Shore Acquisitions LLC (K.Hov) has proposed building 99 market-rate, two-story townhouses and 30 affordable townhouses on 19.35 acres of property, located near the intersection of Route 1 and Ridge Road. The property which would be called “Carnegie Crossing” is located in the OR (Office Research) Zone and Hovnanian wants the zoning changed to a Residential Zone, which will change the South Brunswick Master Plan.  Currently, all OR Zones are not near Residential Zones, and if the courts agree with Hovnanian, it will set a precedent for other builders to request South Brunswick change its Master Plan impacting our community. 

K. Hov filed suit against the township on Feb. 27, 2018, arguing that the township has "over-zoned" for OR purposes.  K. Hov has built other residential developments in SB and has worked well with our town, and while affordable housing is being built in SB, this particular plan is not suitable for this location for the following reasons:

- The Pointe at Turnberry, a 55 and over community on Schalks Road raised multiple concerns, one being that the noise from the new homes will impact their 55 and over the community. This is a valid point since their purchases were based on the fact that the neighboring plot of land is considered an OR vs Residential. 

- The entrance/exit leads directly onto Route 1, from Independence Way (no traffic light).  School buses carrying K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 graders will need to access Route 1 during morning rush hour as well as late buses from both the High Schol and Middle School.  The shoulder of Route 1 is open for cars to use from 6:00 am – 9:00 am and 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm.  This is necessary to alleviate the volume of vehicles on the road during those hours, creating a hazard for students on school buses along with drivers from this proposed development attempting to enter onto Route 1.  Independence Way is less than 1/10th of a mile (appx 500 feet) to the entrance of Ridge Road Jughandle.  This development could house potentially 250 new students which will have an effect on elementary and middle schools.  Students will be traveling along Route 1 in each direction, a 20-minute ride WITHOUT traffic.  Elementary schools are built within a neighborhood so that young children can walk or travel by bus for a short period of time. Imagine the amount of time they will be on the bus when there is an accident on Route 1, or the NJ Turnpike, as Route 1 always absorbs the traffic from the turnpike!

- Taxpayers will absorb the costs associated with these buses as new bus routes will need to be created, vs, adding stops along existing bus routes if the development was built within proximity to schools.

- Route 1 corridor should only be developed to support Office/Research buildings, so as to minimize traffic during evening and weekend hours.  SB side roads are not equipped to support business traffic inside the villages, which is why, OR zones should remain on the perimeter of the town.

- Hovnanian has identified an area to build a tot lot right next to an emergency access area that has a simple chain (not a fence) blocking access to Ridge Rd. The access leads right to the area that is frequently mis-used for illegal u-turns for vehicles coming off Route 1 onto Ridge Road, which those of us that travel that area know is dangerous, usually flooded when there are heavy rains and cars are backed up from the Route 1 traffic light to the High School during morning hours.

- Route 1 which is one of the most congested highways in NJ is unsafe to have over 250 cars from this development exit and enter as well as school buses. There are no developments built along Route 1 for a reason and if this moves forward it will set a precedent for other builders to push for conversion of OR to Residential along Route 1.

- The NEC Laboratories, which will border K.Hov townhomes also brought up multiple facts including: there is no barrier between their company and the townhomes and there is a large pond which could cause a problem for young children. Other corporations, including Miele and Mercury Systems, are also adjacent to the proposed site.

- The Holiday Inn Princeton, which is adjacent to the development and within a walking distance of fewer than 50 feet from the proposed development to the Holiday Inn parking lot, which houses storage trailers, and transient cars and trucks.  The hotel also has a large restaurant/bar which is open till midnight on the ground floor near the back parking lot and a large in-ground swimming pool allowing easy access to both.   

Two key goals of South Brunswick are to protect and enhance the residential character of the individual villages and to avoid conflicting land uses between residential and non-residential use.  This is important to our taxpayers, thus we want to control residential densities in appropriate areas and preserve not only open space and critical environmental features but to encourage businesses to grow in order to reduce the tax burden on our citizens.

South Brunswick is required by the state to build 5000 affordable housing /low-income homes. Considering the potential impact of over 20,000 new residents, and approximately 8,000 new students, our officials should at the very least, have a say as to where these developments should be built in order to minimize impact to our schools, roads, traffic, water facilities, etc. Every builder must take into consideration the needs of the taxpayers.

The hearing will be conducted before attorney Steven Goodell, the court-appointed special hearing officer. The hearing is being conducted pursuant to court orders dated Oct. 21, 2016, and July 3 this year, in the township's affordable housing litigation. 

Because the township's immunity from builder's remedy lawsuits was revoked, K. Hov through the litigation is entitled to present its plan before the special hearing officer because the South Brunswick Planning Board, under court order, is no longer hearing the cases.

Finally, my family is a resident of Monmouth Junction, and we live off Ridge Road/Welcome Farm Road.  I am petitioning as a resident of South Brunswick, and not as a member of the South Brunswick School Board

Please consider signing the petition Thank You!