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130 Unit Senior Rental Community May Be Built in Toms River

Complex would go toward the township's affordable housing quota

Toms River council members on Tuesday approved a resolution that could pave the way for a 130 unit senior citizen rental complex to be constructed in the western end of the township.

The complex, which would be part of the township's state-mandated affordable housing plan, would be built in an 'L' shape at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Cox Cro Road, officials said.

The area is commonly known in town as Cornerstone Commons, and sits on an 11.2 acre plot owned by the township. The plot of land was purchased by the township in 2003 for the purpose of holding the property while awaiting state funding for an age restricted development, but the funding never came through and the lot has sat empty every since, explained Township Planner Jay Lynch.

Building the age-restricted community could settle some of Toms River's potentially large affordable housing obligation under the state's so-called Mount Laurel doctrine, that forces municipalities to set aside a certain number of housing units as affordable.

"It’s clearly an opportunity for the township to achieve another affordable housing project, and this one would be age restricted," said Lynch. "It’s not a slam dunk that it will go through because there are still some obstacles to overcome, but the property would be sold with the understanding of a clear deed restriction, restricting it for age restricted housing."

Funding is currently available under federal Community Development Block Grants for such housing and Toms River would have to be approved to receive it. The community would then be built by a developer who would make a payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, to the township government each year, effectively putting the plot of land back on the tax rolls.

Council members indicated that they threw their support behind the project mainly because it is age-restricted and fills the Mount Laurel quota, though members of the governing body all expressed concerns about the affordable housing obligation and said it must be reduced.

"It’s a difficult thing to deal with," said Councilman Maurice "Mo" Hill.

Hill said the township would likely push back against the state in light of the fact that more than 50 percent of Ocean County residents work outside the county, and affordable housing would be more useful in areas where there are more available jobs.

letsgetreal July 09, 2014 at 08:17 AM
Rumor has it that there is a rare...Cricket in these woods and the environmentalists will challenge this! LOL
Mac July 09, 2014 at 01:04 PM
I agree - crickets prefer a much more upscale environment to showcase their best work - take Gilmore's office for example - whenever one walks into this nest of overnight internet legal sensations, all one can hear is the steady chirping of insects crawling all over each other with their hands out demanding more, more, more for me, me, me
F-TR July 09, 2014 at 01:25 PM
If its for seniors, why worry about jobs Mo?

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