A settlement agreement between West Windsor and InterCap Holdings has reportedly been approved by Mercer County Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg after both parties came to an agreement that satisfied the Fair Share Housing Center’s concerns about affordable housing within the plan.
According to multiple sources, the three parties agreed to the terms of the settlement agreement, which was approved by Feinberg at a hearing on July 7. The details of the settlement are a little different than the terms that had been brought to West Windsor leading up to the hearing.
The settlement approved by Feinberg reportedly contains 800 housing units with 12.2 percent of them set aside as affordable, according to sources.
The settlement is expected to head to the West Windsor Township Council during its next meeting on Monday, July 11. In order for the settlement to take effect, the council will have to approve the settlement, which, if approved, is expected to head to the Planning Board shortly after. From there, the settlement would head back to the council. Stay tuned to www.wwpinfo.com as the story develops.
Leading up to the hearing, the Township Council had been reviewing a revised settlement agreement with InterCap Holdings that added 20 more housing units to the Princeton Junction transit village, bringing the total number to 820. The revision also changed the ratio of affordable housing on site.
That proposal — meant to satisfy the Fair Share Housing Center’s concerns that there was not enough affordable housing on the site — also set aside 100 of the total 820 units for affordable housing, up from only 40, as originally proposed. Of the 820 total units, 720 would have been market rate units with an average of two bedrooms. The remaining 100 units would have been affordable units — 50 percent of which would have been moderate, 37 percent low, and 12 percent very low priced.
Under the previous agreement, approved in November, the township agreed to allow InterCap to build 800 housing units, 760 of which would be market-rate units with an average of two bedrooms per dwelling. The remaining 40 units would have been moderately priced affordable housing units.
The revised settlement offer came a few weeks after Feinberg ordered West Windsor, InterCap, and the Fair Share Housing Center to continue negotiations after an agreement could not be reached at the last court hearing on the matter on June 3.
Since the InterCap litigation was filed in May, 2009, as a Mount Laurel affordable housing lawsuit, Feinberg must conduct a fairness hearing to determine it satisfied Mount Laurel principles and the Fair Housing Act.
At the June 3 hearing, the Fair Share Housing Center — which has taken the position that having only 5 percent affordable housing on site is insufficient, and that the number should be 20 percent — said a new settlement offer had been on the table. Feinberg rescheduled the hearing for July 7 to allow time for details of a settlement to be worked out.
The original settlement — reached last November — called for 800 housing units, retail, and infrastructure and amenity improvements on InterCap’s property, where the two-story office buildings at 14 Washington Road are now located on the southbound side of the tracks. The integrated development would not include any office space. Under the agreement, InterCap will be required to construct 70,000 square feet of retail space correlated with the phasing of residential units.