A 47-unit age-restricted townhome project is proposed for Ganttown Rd In Washington Township. The adjacent iconic red barn will be saved .
The barn building was most recently operated as “Antiques Only”. It is expected to be operated as a commercial business again, but that exact use has not been disclosed yet.
The townhome project is being proposed by Fieldstone Associates of Bridgewater NJ. 42Freeway first brought news of them acquiring the property back in August of 2022.
Locally, one of Fieldstone’s most well known and successful projects is the Haddon Towne Center on Haddon Ave, in Haddon Township. The $53 million project converted an abandoned diaper factory property into all new 252 high-end apartments with retail.
This Washington Township project WAS scheduled to be reviewed by the Washington Township Zoning Board on
Monday June 12th at 6:00 PM. I am being told the meeting was postponed this morning to give the developer time to speak to residents.
Age-Restricted Senior Housing
The larger undeveloped portion of the property to the left/east of the red barn is proposed for 47 Age-Restricted senior housing townhomes.
Age-restricted is typically defined as being 55 years of age or older.
I believe some of the units will be designated as “affordable”, but I am not clear on the percentages.
Most towns in New Jersey are required to have a certain amount of affordable units in their overall housing inventory, and one way to meet some of that criteria is through senior targeted housing.
The expectation is that persons who are retired are typically living on a smaller pension or social security income, and with their now retirement income being lower, the qualify for affordable housing.
Site Plan and Approvals
According to the site plan, there will be one entrance off of Ganttown Road which then splits into two roads… sort of like a lower case “h”. Each of those two roads will end in a cul-de-sac.
The site plan shows 7 segments of townhomes varying from 4 to 8 units per building.
The public notice indicates several variances are requested as part of the approval.
Since this is a townhome development the density per acre is higher at 4.11 units per acre. The current zoning of the property is PR-1, which is targeted at single-family home developments.
Overall this reduces several “setback” requirements such as distance between buildings and Ganttown Road.
The project does not include a recreation or open space portion for the townhome development, as required.
The building segments contain more units in some of the buildings than the zoning allows.
They are also looking to continue use of the barn as commercial retail, which is a continuance of a prior nonconforming use variation.
Zoning Board – Lot Line Adjustment
This project is being reviewed by the Zoning Board because of requested changes to the lot lines, and associated zoning uses.
To better explain the lot lines, while today the Ganttown property visually appears as a large almost 15 acre home, barn and farm…. It is actually two distinct properties, currently separated in a unique way.
Today the developed portion (home and barn) of the extended property is a small .9 acre notch out of the larger 15 acre parcel. What that means is the larger farmland portion to the property actually wraps around behind the barn and extends to both sides of the house.
This “notch” split was likely done decades ago to separate farmlands from developed land. It’s a fairly common practice in New Jersey, as farmland is taxed at a lower rate than commercial/residential uses.
As mentioned, today there is the proposal to build townhomes on the larger leftmost/west undeveloped portion of the property.
So the first part of the approval request is to adjust the lot lines so that the properties are split more cleanly east/west. The home and barn property will pick up that smaller right portion of undeveloped lands to the right/west making it a total of 3.5 acres, and the land targeted for townhomes will be 11.5 acres on the larger portion of the property on the left/east.
Links and Location
Fieldstone Age Restricted Townhomes
220 Ganttown Road
Washington Township NJ
Zoning Meeting – TO BE RESCHEDULED!
Monday June 12th, at 6:00 P.MWashington Township Municipal Building
523 Egg Harbor Road
Sewell, New Jersey