2020 Township Committee & Planning Board Actions

Affordable Housing Update - As of February 24, 2020

The Township of Hanover, in its efforts to obtain third round substantive certification and compliance with its affordable housing obligation, has been in negotiations with Fair Share Housing and landowners to identify suitable sites to address its long-term affordable housing plan. Previously the Township and Fair Share Housing identified two potential overlay zone parcels of land along Parsippany Road which are presently vacant and/or occupied by existing towing/trucking businesses in the vicinity of wetlands and power lines, as an "overlay zone" in the event of future development or redevelopment.

As a result of hearing the concerns expressed as to the identification of these sites, the Township Committee has met with property owners of the Parsippany Road sites and has considered dialogue from the residents with respect to the overlay zones. Recognizing that Fair Share Housing and the Courts generally do not support amendments to settlement agreements and the identification of different overlay zones, the Township Committee has been working diligently to negotiate and identify alternatives to the two overlay zones on Parsippany Road.

The Township Committee has reached a consensus and preliminary understanding with Fair Share Housing, with the support of the Court Special Master, whereby both Parsippany Road overlay zones will no longer be part of the Township’s third round plan, provided a formal revised settlement is adopted by the Township.

The revised agreement with Fair Share Housing, if approved by the Township Committee, will move the overlay zone to the westerly portion of the River Park site, which consists of 27 acres of land near Jefferson Road, which is presently not part of the River Park redevelopment plan. A portion of the land presently contains a pond and may or may not be suitable for future development. If the settlement is amended, it will result in the rezoning of the westerly portion of the River Park site, which will include residential as well as office use as the salient part of the revised settlement agreement. The westerly part of the River Park site would be developed as the final phase of the present River Park redevelopment plan.  The settlement may include an amendment to the zoning of the Airport Road property.

More specific details of the settlement that is proposed are as follows, the office building will be located on the River Park site western portion of the property, the size of 14,000 square feet.  The number of units that will be built on the site is 250 units on the drylands of the 27 acres and the area of where the pond is presently located, if it were to dry out, would be considered for an additional 250 units.  This, if developed will include 15% affordable units set aside, which will be a total of 37 affordable units for 250 units or a maximum of 75 units of 500 units versus the 99 affordable units in the original settlement.  This amendment to the River Park plan will not include any development on the area of land owned by River Park on Legion Place.  The Airport Road potential amendment will include 60 additional market units of which 18 will be affordable units. 

Although official action has not been taken by the Township Committee, the Committee is moving in a direction to effectuate an amended settlement with Fair Share Housing which would eliminate both Parsippany Road overlay zones and provide for primarily rezoning on the River Park site. The settlement agreement and necessary zoning action will all occur at future public meetings of the Township Committee.

Once these steps have been taken, it will provide Hanover Township with a compliant third round affordable housing plan, which would mean that the Township is under no legal obligation to rezone any other property within the Township for residential development or use.  It also means that the Township may retain jurisdiction on all zoning and planning matters and the Township is protected from a builder or developer seeking a builder’s remedy suit against the Township in an effort to obtain further high-density residential development.

Township Committee Actions

Planning Board Actions

The Hanover Township Planning Board conducted a public hearing, via Zoom Webinar on September 15, 2020, to hear public comment on the adoption of the Township's 2020 Housing Element & Fair Share Plan and 2020 Land Use Plan Amendment, which amends the previously adopted 2019 Housing Element & Fair Share Plan and 2019 Land Use Plan Amendment. The documents were adopted and are available below: