may be on the verge of implementing its long delayed affordable housing plans, required by the state and put off for years by the township.
The will be voting to implement several amendments to change the land use of the township's Master Plan and enable affordable housing to be built on at least three separate plots in the township.
Two of the proposed areas for affordable housing are located in Avenel, and the third is in Woodbridge Proper.
The Planning Board will be taking public comment on the proposed amendments at its meeting on Wednesday, April 25, at 7 pm in the council chambers at Town Hall.
The purpose of the meeting, according to documents the planning board has on file, is to "provide a realistic opportunity for the development of the [township's] fair share" of housing required by the New Jersey Council on Affordable (COAH).
According to the plans, COAH requires Woodbridge to provide 300 units of rehabilitated housing and 53 units of new construction, known as "realistic development potential." The lion's share of Woodbridge's COAH obligation involves 902 units of 'unmet need', new construction housing for the period from 1987 to 1999 that's been in litigation.
The so-called 'third round' of COAH obligations - an unknown amount of housing Woodbridge will be required to come up for subsequent years - is still in the courts and isn't addressed in the current planning board documents.
The township is considering a variety of sites and plans to meet the 902 unmet need quota.
- The Warden Home Site: this is the area on Rahway Avenue across from East Jersey State Prison that was deeded to the township in 2010 for $1. It's where the prison warden, back when the facility was known as Rahway State Prison, and guards would live. The township's plans call for turning the entire 15.5 acre site into "100 percent affordable multifamily housing site...[or alternatively] as an inclusionary site with a 20 percent set aside for affordable housing."
- The Woodbridge Child Diagnostic and Treatment Center: Also located on Rahway Avenue in Avenel, the state is relocating the patients to other facilities in the state to save money. The township anticipates getting the use of the land; according to their plans, they want to adapt it as another multifamily site with a 20 percent set aside to meet their COAH goals.
- Congregate Care: This site, at 821 St. Georges Avenue, is in Woodbridge on Route 35, near an access route for a Route 9 condo development and near where the railroad tracks cross the road. The 8.27 acres of industrial property is currently selling for $6.5 million. The plan here is to redevelop the property into senior housing with set asides for COAH obligations.
Another part of the proposal the township is considering is a foreclosure program that will affect 300 units of housing. In conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the township will engage in a program "to reclaim foreclosed homes and return them to the community as owner occupied affordable housing units."