While Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg has already approved a settlement agreement between West Windsor and InterCap Holdings to bring an 800-unit transit village to the Princeton Junction train station area, the West Windsor Township Council will have to give the plan its blessing on Monday, July 11.
Feinberg approved a settlement on July 8 between InterCap and West Windsor that calls for 800 housing units, including 98 total affordable housing units (12.2 percent of the units) on InterCap’s Washington Road property. The deal realizes a compromise between InterCap and the Fair Share Housing Center, which challenged the original settlement in November. FSHC had argued the original deal contained insufficient affordable housing at only 5 percent. Of the 98 affordable units, 50 percent will be moderate, 40 percent will be low, and 10 percent will be very low. The affordable units will be rental.
In addition to the increase in the percentage of affordable housing on site, the agreement also reflects a change in the number of parking spaces for residential units, which will decrease from 1.5 parking spaces to 1.4 spaces for each unit.
The new settlement also reflects an agreement to extend the affordable housing controls for affordable units from 30 to 35 years.
Under the terms of the agreement, there will be no separate building for the affordable units. The 98 units will be dispersed throughout the project.
If the settlement agreement is approved by the Township Council on Monday, July 11, the subsequent ordinances enacting the terms of the agreement will be considered for introduction at the following meeting on Monday, July 18.
If approved, all of the other elements of the November, 2010, settlement will go into effect, including InterCap’s payment of $683,000 to the township as a redevelopment fee, and a more than $2.6 million contribution by InterCap for the off-tract roadway improvements.
"These new roadways will allow for Alexander Road and Washington Road to be connected and will facilitate much easier access to the train station," said Township Attorney Michael Herbert in a summary on July 11.
Before the July 8 hearing, the Township Council had been reviewing a revised settlement agreement with InterCap that had the potential to add 20 more housing units to the 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.
Under the previous agreement, approved in November, 2010, 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 original settlement also called for retail uses 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.
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.