Board chairman clarifies permitted density

This is in response to the May 11 article “Planners Complete Work on Guide to Development.”

The reporter depicted the events of the Howell Planning Board meeting of April 27 very accurately until he stated, “The plan would also allow a maximum of 20 units per acre.” This is an erroneous statement. The Plan-ning Board’s recommendation for market rate age-restricted projects is four units per acre.

I believe the reporter misinterpreted two items discussed by the board that evening. The first was establishing the tract size and maximum number of units which he correctly depicted and a second issue raised by the public was about a separate provision within the recommended ordinances to implement the policies of the Land Use Element.

This provision states that property at a minimum of 5 acres in the Highway Development 3 District can develop 100 percent affordable age-restricted units (which work out to be 20 units per acre). These projects would all be moderate-income and low-income units. There would be no market rate units.

Many of the members of the board including myself are very concerned about the township’s [affordable housing] obligation and believe the providing of this type of development is one of the best ways to meet its obligation.

As you know, under the state Council on Affordable Housing’s new rules the township is responsible to provide one affordable unit of low- and moderate-income housing for every eight units of market rate housing constructed and one unit for every 25 jobs created by non-residential development.

With the issuance of every certificate of occupancy since Jan. 1, 2004 the township has been incurring this need. The recalculated prior round obligation for the period 1987-99 for the township was 955 affordable units.

It is very likely the township from 2004-14 will see a similar need. Therefore my belief the township through its plans must act now to address this issue, and I believe the provision of age-restricted affordable housing is one method to do it.

Please reflect the actual action taken by the Planning Board on age-restricted housing. Market rate housing maximum limit of 200 units, tract size 40 acres and four units per acre. Affordable (low and moderate income) units minimum tract size 5 acres, 100 percent affordable and a maximum density of 20 units per acre.

Paul Schneider

Planning Board chairman