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Big Changes Coming With COAH - What Effect Will it Have on You?

Woodbridge is putting forward a plan to meet its old Council on Affordable Housing requirements.

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.

  1. 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."
  2. 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.
  3. 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."

Sandy23 April 23, 2012 at 12:51 PM
The term affordability no longer refers to poor people but to middle class families as well. More and more families find themselves unable to afford housing costs in N J. We also need more rental housing.
Tom Maras April 23, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Part 1 of 2 It is a pleasure to know the Patch has picked up on this story, a story with many chapters to come. Recently my articles on this topic were published in the Opinion section of the Home News Tribune, and on March 26 edition of the Patch. Those articles also included concerns about how “Pilot Programs” that seem to benefit politicians, while depriving School Board and County coffers of needed revenue, need to be brought to the attention of the public. In fact, that entire topic was again broached at the April 19, Woodbridge Board of Education meeting. While the BOE acknowledged “Pilot Programs” offer a mixed bag of Pros and Cons to a community, the BOE seemed to have little insight into the township’s April 2012 ‘proposed’ Master Plan Amendment Housing Plan Element and Fair Share Plan. That “Plan” was prepared for the Township Planning Board by T&M Associates. Given the Board’s close ties to 1 Main Street and the potential impact the “Plan” can have on the township’s schools and future taxing needs, it is hoped the BOE will ensure they are kept apprised of all developments related to this issue.
Tom Maras April 23, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Part 2 0f 2 Township residents might be concerned about the $3,944,882.00 Woodbridge Township has remaining to spend by July 17, 2012 from its Affordable Housing Trust Fund (see: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/04/some_officials_protest_gov_chr.html and related stories). Perhaps, some of the township’s “Approved Bidders” will realize a nice return on their ‘PAC’ (Political Action Committee) contributions, should the township go into a spending frenzy to avoid possibly losing the unused funds to the State.
Bill Roberts April 23, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Hopefully the next round of COAH will be built in Colonia. Talk about class warfare.
Jeff April 24, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Build them across from the prison. This way the Baby moma's and Baby Dady's dont have to drive too far on visiting days. Its likegoing green and saving gas and carbon. Pluss the kids will see where they might end up when they grow up. build a new police out post next to it and we are all good. Or just tell the state NO!! We wont do it at all, Never. What will happen?? No extra funds from the state? I thought Christie was killing off all this crap. Americans for prosperity was pushing to stop all of this. The democrats in the state gov. want to take your tax money to buy forclosed and underwater homes and move in the trash into your street.We all need to SAY NO!!!!!!! Not in this town.
slyfox1961 April 24, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Tom, as someone who does not even own a home or pay property taxes, you have zero credibility on this, or any other township matters. Maybe you can actually qualify for a COAH home, and then contribute to the tax base along with the rest of us.
BobDee April 30, 2012 at 12:45 AM
@slyfox1961 Who are you to say who has credibility and who doesn't on any township matters? That's kinda harsh?
Wolfman Jack May 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM
This is exactly why Woodbridge has gone down hill. We are rolling out the red carpet for the gang members and other riff-raff.

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