HILLSBOROUGH – The proposal to build an apartment complex at the north end of Campus Drive off of Route 206 is coming back to Superior Court for the second time.
The community of Green Hills and resident Maryanne Sawade have filed a lawsuit against Township Planning Council approval of a 96-unit apartment complex behind Temple Beth-El and Your Doctor’s Care.
In October, the planning council approved a project proposed by Campus Associates, part of Weiss Properties in New Brunswick, to construct five buildings on the 13.7-acre site. Of the 96 apartments, 23 would be affordable units.
Campus Associates is also named as the defendant in the lawsuit.
The planning council’s approval of the project came after Superior Court Judge Kevin Shanahan ruled in June that council’s previous rejection of the project in February violated the township’s rules of its litigation. affordable housing. Weiss Properties had filed a complaint contesting the rejection of the board of directors.
In the latest lawsuit filed on Dec. 31, Green Hills and Sawade argue that the Planning Council’s approval was “arbitrary, unreasonable and capricious” because it was not supported by law or fact.
The lawsuit argues that the proposal does not comply with the state Department of Environmental Protection’s stormwater management rules.
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The lawsuit argues that the project “will clearly exacerbate the flooding problems faced by the already crowded neighboring residential area, which includes the residential properties and homes of members of Green Hills, including Sawade.”
The lawsuit also argues that the Planning Council received “insufficient information and expert consultation” on stormwater and flooding issues.
The lawsuit alleges that there are “significant and fundamental technical deficiencies” in the developer’s stormwater management plan.
Further, according to the prosecution, no member of the public has been allowed to present their own testimony or expert testimony to the council.
The Town Planning Council and Campus Associates have not filed a response to the lawsuit.
Neighbors in the community of Green Hills on Johanson Avenue have opposed the development since it was first proposed due to flooding and drainage issues.
During Ida’s flash floods on September 1, their neighborhood on Johanson Avenue and adjacent streets was inundated by several feet of water.
For two days after Ida, the neighborhood was an “island,” Sawade told the Planning Council, with some homes at the height of the flash flood having water down to the gutters.
Neighbors have launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for the trial. So far, $ 2,925 has been raised.
Shanahan ordered the board to hold a new hearing on the plan and vote again, and members “reluctantly” approved the plan.
The Planning Council cited flooding concerns as the reason for the initial denial, rejecting the position of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and the testimony of the developers’ engineers and the Council.
The council argued that a 150-foot buffer zone was necessary, but Campus argued that only a 50-foot buffer zone was required by the Department of Environmental Protection.
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Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his Somerset and Hunterdon Counties articles, please register or activate your digital account today.