Hopewell Township’s final Affordable Housing plan incorporates many elements from the preliminary housing plan that was developed and submitted to the courts in 2015. There was extensive public input to this preliminary plan, with discussion of Affordable Housing at all 25 Hopewell Township Committee meetings in 2015, and extensive public comment during the actual plan development of the plan in 7 regular and special Planning Board meetings in the summer and fall of 2015.
Public input has been incorporated in many elements of the plan, including the reduction of planned density on the Route 31 circle and the creation of alternate means of ingress and egress from this site. Extensive environmental protections and green infrastructure requirements have been built into each site’s redevelopment plan. Additionally, in 2016, the public had additional opportunities at the Planning Board to provide input on potential retail development on Scotch Road.
In our December 2016 compliance hearing, Judge Jacobsen recognized Hopewell Township for having the most public and inclusive process in Mercer County, if not the state.
Looking ahead, we have continued to seek public input as each site’s redevelopment agreement has been developed and vetted by the Township Committee. We have successfully been able to change and improve plans at each step in the process; for instance, on the proposed Zaitz development behind Shop Rite, we held a series of special outreach meetings at the high school and municipal building, in addition to hearings at regular Committee meetings.
As a result of community input and the concerns we heard, as well as a thorough review by our Planning Board, we made more than 30 specific changes that improve the proposed redevelopment plan for that site. We will likely make additional changes and improvements as a formal site plan application is submitted, when we have additional data from traffic, water and other required studies.
If you have additional suggestions on how we can improve communication and this process moving forward, please share your thoughts in-person or via email with our Township Administrator, George Snyder, or with our Community Development Director, James Hutzelmann. Click HERE for Hopewell Township contact information.