How was the public involved in this process? Is this all a done deal?

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.

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1. What is an intervenor?
2. What if The Township didn’t enter the litigation?
3. Why did Hopewell Township agree to a negotiated settlement on Affordable Housing?
4. Why do we have to have more housing? We have enough!
5. Who exactly qualifies for Affordable Housing?
6. I heard that there are going to be a lot of market rate houses too. Why?
7. I don’t object to the 653 Affordable Housing units we need to build, but why didn’t Hopewell Township move forward with 100% Affordable Housing across the Township?
8. Why do we need affordable housing? There are plenty of houses in town that haven’t sold.
9. I heard that it’s just going to be house after house after house. Not that there is anything wrong with housing developments, but shouldn’t it be walkable and maybe some ratables?
10. How soon is this going to happen?
11. Do our taxes have to pay for this?
12. Our schools are already filled up! Are we going to have to build a new school, too?
13. Where will the developments be?
14. Why do you have to build in the southern tier? It’s not fair! We have all the development!
15. I am concerned about how all this new development will impact traffic in Hopewell Township. Why wasn’t this considered upfront?
16. Why do we have to build on the field on the west side of Scotch Road?
17. Why did land have to be classified as a Redevelopment Zone?
18. What if Pennytown had been built? Would we still be getting all of this?
19. If we hadn’t spent the Affordable Trust Fund money on Pennytown, couldn’t we could have paid for all of the affordable housing now required without market rates?
20. What about sewers? I live on Pennington-Washington Crossing Road and my septic system is failing. I thought we were promised no high-density housing near us. What is going to be done to help us?
21. I am concerned that bringing more Affordable Housing to Hopewell Township is going to negatively impact our community and bring down property values.
22. How was the public involved in this process? Is this all a done deal?
23. Questions have been raised recently regarding the PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement for the Zaitz Tract behind the Shop Rite. First, is the Zaitz PILOT a good deal for Hopewell Twp taxpayers?
24. Will Hopewell Township taxes go up because of this PILOT?
25. What’s the impact on our schools?