MIDDLETOWN — By unanimous vote on Nov. 1, the Township Committee approved an ordinance to rezone Bamm Hollow golf course and country club to allow for residential development.
This rezoning would permit the property owners to construct 190 single family homes on one-acre lots. While the proposal has raised concerns among residents of the area, township officials have said that the development plan represents the best deal they could broker given the legal challenge the township faced from the property owners.
“All of us would rather see that property remain a golf course,” Mayor Anthony Fiore said.
Bamm Hollow, LLC, which has owned the property since 2005, initially proposed building 1,024 multi-family homes on the 280-acre site, with a portion of the homes designated for low- and moderate-income buyers.
The developers required a waiver of density restrictions to allow for the construction.
Township officials opposed the project and the property owners then filed a builder’s remedy lawsuit charging that the township had failed to meet its state-mandated afforable housing requirements.
Township Attorney Brian Nelson said the township spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” over the last few years defending their position.
The rezoning was part of the settlement agreement reached between the township and the developer, officials said.
The terms of the settlement require the developer to designate 120 acres of the site as open space and parkland that will belong to the township.
“The municipality would own that property outright,” Nelson said. The development presently proposed would also contain no low or moderate income housing.
The township planning board has endorsed the ordinance change and amended the township master plan, finding the ordinance “to be entirely consistent with the terms of this agreement,” said Jason Greenspan, the township planner.
“This still has to go to the planning board,” for approval Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante said. “There’s still a lot that has to be decided.”