Bordentown planning board deems developer’s application ‘conditionally complete’

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The Bordentown Township Planning Board held a special meeting on Nov. 29 to review Rising Sun Meadows, LLC’s application seeking preliminary and final site plan approval for the construction of an inclusive housing development on Route 130.

The inclusive development, which would provide affordable housing units in a development of market rate housing, was proposed by Rising Sun Meadows to offer 227 units, consisting of 36 affordable housing units and 191 market rate housing units.

Although several components of the company’s application as it relates to township regulations were not reported on at the meeting, board members deemed the application “conditionally complete.”

With assurance from the applicant that prior to a meeting on Jan. 10, the applicant’s professionals said they would meet all requirements that were not met in the original application.

After dealing with that issue, board members said a community impact statement is needed for review.

In lieu of a community impact statement, the applicant’s professionals provided an alternative item which they called a fiscal impact statement. According to the board, that did not meet multiple regulations for the township’s approval, such as the proposed development’s impact on the police and fire departments.

“Our code calls for a description of what impacts any project may have on the community, which includes, but is not limited to any effects on our infrastructure, public works, police, fire, etc.,” Township Administrator Michael Theokas said in a statement. “It also includes, in residential applications such as this one, the impact of new residences on the school system and overall population of the township.”

Board members said they believed it was important that all aspects of the community impact statement be included, yet they came to a unanimous decision and deemed the application conditionally complete.

Following that determination, professionals representing the applicant presented engineering and architectural designs, and detailed testimony regarding the proposed housing development.

Given the township’s ongoing efforts to comply with affordable housing mandates in accordance with a settlement agreement, the evening’s discussion about the proposed inclusionary development raised questions from the board.

“These are new projects for the township, so naturally there will be questions and the need for increased detail in the site plans for the projects themselves,” Theokas said. “The board and our professionals are being very thorough, as is their responsibility, to oversee and approve land development in the township.”

Additional testimony about Rising Sun Meadows is expected to be presented at the board’s Jan. 10 meeting. Information is expected to include a traffic impact study and a community impact statement, among other potential issues, questions and discussions.