West Windsor is due back in court on Friday, June 3, as part of the next step in the lawsuit settlement agreement with InterCap Holdings.
The hearing will be held before Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg, who delayed approval of the settlement in April, saying a more thorough hearing on affordable housing issues — and a better notice of the hearing — was needed.
The judge scheduled the second meeting for further review and required InterCap and West Windsor officials to send out a public notice explaining the reasoning for including only 5 percent affordable housing units on the site.
The settlement, reached last November, calls for 800 housing units, retail, and infrastructure and amenity improvements on InterCap’s property. The most notable feature is a 50,000-square-foot “promenade” that would provide a public area for residents and a “shared space” between cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
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 to the phasing of residential units. The agreement also stated that 5 percent of the units on site would be set aside for affordable housing units.
The issue with the 5 percent set aside for affordable housing raised significant concerns — both at the Planning Board and Township Council levels — before the council adopted ordinances in March to go along with the settlement agreement that it had approved earlier. It also was a concern of the Fair Share Housing Center.
However, the township has taken the position that since it has already received a court order approving the second round for its affordable housing plan, and has submitted a third-round affordable housing plan, it is compliant with any affordable housing need generated by West Windsor. Therefore, township officials argue, it was not necessary to have affordable housing on the site, even though there are 40 on site.
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.