Affordable Housing Units Tweaked in Barnegat

May 02, 2018

An ordinance introduced recently by the Barnegat Township Committee will move affordable housing units from an age-restricted development to another area zoned for families.

Christopher S. Vernon, owner of Mercer Management and Development, has proposed to build a yet un-named “active lifestyle adult community” at the former Shoreline Sand and Gravel site off West Bay Avenue.

Vernon purchased the Shoreline site through a bankruptcy sale in 2013. The Shoreline company had declared bankruptcy in 2010. The township committee agreed with a planning board recommendation that the 110-acre site be designated for redevelopment.

Vernon has proposed amenities such as a community clubhouse, indoor swimming pool, community garden, fire pits, fitness facility, bocce courts, putting green, arts studio, pickleball and sports courts and walking trails. Additionally, a large pond would be available for kayaking, canoeing and stocked fishing. Plans call for a bike and hiking path to be tied into nearby Cloverdale Farm County Park.

Township Engineer John Hess said the development was also going to have 92 units set aside for affordable housing as mandated by the Mount Laurel Decision.

“However, the state said that we could not have these units set aside in an age-restricted development, and instead said we had to put them in an area where families with children could live,” said Hess.

The engineer said that as a result with discussions with Vernon, the units would be included in another residential development the developer has proposed building at the original Route 9 site of Sweet Jenny's restaurant and ice cream parlor. The establishment burned down in late December 2010 and later relocated to East Bay Avenue. 

Hess said that in addition to the 92 affordable apartment units, that development would also have 24 units sold at market rate.

“We have not yet received any site plan for these developments,” he said.

Vernon could not be reached for comment.

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the next meeting Tuesday, June 12, 6:30 p.m.  —E.E.    

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