It is not something the Township had a say in. The Mt. Laurel NJ Supreme Court decision (also known as the COAH law) requires that each municipality in NJ must provide a “fair share” of these units of housing. In 2015, the NJ Supreme Court ruled that all NJ municipalities were responsible to meet a present and prospective affordable housing need for the 26 years from 1999 to 2025. In the lawsuit, the Township fought to reduce the number and was successful in reducing it from the proposed 1756 units by Fair Share Housing Center to the final number of 653.
It’s important to note that Hopewell Township’s obligation is only to provide a “realistic opportunity” for these units to be built. If there is not sufficient market demand for this many units to be built or if there is another real estate crash, these units will not be built. Similarly, if the financial cost of building all of the new water, sewer and other infrastructure to support the development is too high, the Township is not obligated to assist the developers. Again, the units will not be built if a project proves to be economically infeasible.