HILLSBOROUGH – The Planning Council will hold a hearing on October 7 on a controversial 96-unit apartment complex construction project on Campus Drive, off Route 206, behind Temple Beth-El and Your Doctor’s Care.
The board initially rejected a proposal from Campus Associates, part of Weiss Properties, to construct five buildings on the 13.7-acre site over concerns from neighbors on Johanson Avenue that the development would worsen potential flooding. .
The proposal was part of the township’s court-mandated affordable housing agreement. According to the plans, of the 96 apartments, 23 would be affordable units.
A Superior Court judge overturned the council’s decision because it did not comply with the affordable housing agreement. The judge ordered the board to hold a new hearing on the plan and take a new vote.
Related:Hillsborough acts swiftly after court rules against controversial planning council rejection
The hearing was originally scheduled for September 2, but was postponed due to widespread flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida the day before.
Maryanne Sawade, a resident of Johanson Avenue, who sharply criticized the proposal, wrote on Facebook that floodwaters in her neighborhood on September 1 again showed drainage problems in the area.
“My neighborhood was completely flooded on all sides and we couldn’t get out for two days,” she wrote.
Related:Neighbors oppose Hillsborough’s affordable apartment plan
“The existing basin overflowed. Stormwater then submerged the storm sewers on Johanson Avenue and a river flowed on Johanson Avenue,” she wrote. “These buildings must be stopped!”
“Neighbors who had never been affected by the flood waters had water on the first floor,” she wrote.
Sawade has started an online petition opposing the apartments. The petition had collected nearly 3,000 signatures by Friday afternoon.
It was the second time that the township has rejected a proposal to build apartments on the property.
In January 2008, the zoning board rejected a plan by the Richard Group of Greenwich, Connecticut to build an 84-unit complex on the property. At that time, a use exemption was required because the property was zoned for light industrial use.
Harvard Way JMJ4 LLC, of Westfield, offers a 107,366 square foot warehouse at the end of a cul-de-sac on Harvard Way, a one-block road off Campus Drive where the apartment development is offers.
No date has been set for a planning council hearing on the warehouse project.
Email: [email protected]
Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his Somerset and Hunterdon Counties articles, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.