Adopted Bill Allows for Change of Age-Restricted Housing Units to Non-Restricted Housing Units Under Certain Circumstances

March 18th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Age Restricted -parkOn March 16, 2009, the New Jersey Assembly and Senate adopted bill A3772/S2577.  If signed by the Governor, the act would allow for the conversion of age-restricted housing units, pending approval by the local planning or zoning board (who seem to have very little discretion to deny the conversion).  The Bill has met with substantial resistance from local governments and it remains to be seen if it will be signed into law by the Governor. 

 

To be eligible for conversion, the developer must agree to set aside a percentage of the units in the development (not to exceed 20 %) for the provision of affordable housing.  These units would count towards fulfilling the municipality’s affordable housing obligation.  To be eligible for conversion, the developer must have received preliminary or final approval prior to the bill’s effective date and the developer can not have any deposits from buyers. 

 

In order to convert, the developer must file an application with the local board that granted the initial approval of the age restricted development.  The developer must provide information establishing certain requirements, such as adequate parking under the Residential Site Improvement Standards, appropriate recreation improvements and other amenities, adequate water and sewer systems and new stormwater calculations if impervious coverage is increased by more than one percent.  The developer is permitted to reduce the number of units if additional water, sewer or parking is needed and the developer is unable to obtain it otherwise.  The converted development must also conform to applicable building codes and the size limitations imposed pursuant to preliminary approval. 

           

The bill attempts to preserve the layout of the original siteplan/subdivision, allowing revisions to accommodate parking, recreational improvements, infrastructure enhancements, a reduction in the number of units, and to accommodate the affordable units as attached housing.  It allows a decrease but not an increase in the size, height, footprint, number of bedrooms and square footage of the building.  Nevertheless, the number of bedrooms in the affordable units must meet Uniform Housing Affordability Controls requirements.

 

Interestingly, the bill allows for appeals to a Smart Growth Ombudsman if local approval for a converted development is denied. 

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