COUNCIL: AFFORDABLE UNITS MUST NOT WAIT

Property owner GS Realty wants to separate approved projects at Monmouth, West and Oakland streets into separate lots, prompting the council’s action, officials said. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With the developer poised to seek a zoning board OK to shift property lines at the proposed Courtyards at Monmouth project, the Red Bank borough council Wednesday night approved contract language aimed at ensuring that 12 approved affordable housing units get built at the site.

After a closed-door executive session, the council voted unanimously to approve a builder’s agreement that sets a timetable for the units to be constructed, holding out certificates of occupancy as a carrot.

“We want to be sure that the affordable units get built,” said Council President Art Murphy, who presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Pasquale Menna.

GS Realty, a unit of Amboy Bank, won approval last April to build 45 market-rate townhouses and 12 so-called “affordable” units at Monmouth, West and Oakland streets, a block from the Red Bank train station.

The company has applied to the borough planning office for approval to separate the two components into separate lots. A hearing date on the request, which requires approval by the zoning board, is scheduled for February 16.

According to borough Attorney Daniel O’Hern Jr., GS Realty argues the change “makes it easier for them in terms of their financing” on the construction.

The resolution approved by the council requires GS Realty to start construction on the affordable units before the 34th certificate of occupancy is issued by the town for the planned 45 market-rate units, said O’Hern.

And all the affordable units must be completed before the 45th market-rate CO is issued, or the developer must post additional performance bonds, O’Hern said.

O’Hern said GS Realty is the developer of both portions of the project.

O’Hern said the matter was eligible for discussion in closed session because it involved contractual terms.