COAH denies petition for Boxwood Hall

By ROBERT LINNEHAN | The Haddonfield Sun

Estaugh Commons and Health Resources of New Jersey LLC saw its petition denied by the Council on Affordable Housing to include the Boxwood Hall property for the third-round of Haddonfield’s Housing Element and Fair Share plan last week.

Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough said the group was denied its application and COAH agreed with Haddonfield’s earlier assessment that the particular piece of property had too many other ramifications. The borough felt it was best to go through the zoning board process, she said, to make the determination for the proper use of the site.

“Our opinion was the same as it was the first time they petitioned COAH,” McCullough said.

Estaugh Commons filed a petition to include the property on the fair share housing plan because it failed to present a realistic opportunity for the development of affordable housing the borough, according to the counselor representing Haddonfield in this matter.

Haddonfield’s legal representation countered and said the borough’s fair share plan has been approved by COAH and given certification.

Estaugh Commons laid out a plan to construct 35 units of family housing, with 20 percent set aside — seven units in total — for low- and moderate-income households. The apartment building would sit on top of an underground parking lot.

The property — located at 65 N. Haddon Ave. and Lake Street — houses Boxwood Hall, one of the most historic structures in the borough. The property is currently not included in the borough’s fair share housing plan as an area that could accommodate possible development of affordable housing.

The borough’s zoning board unanimously denied Estaugh Commons’ request for variances at the Boxwood Property. Estaugh Commons LLC has since filed a suit at the state court level to appeal the borough’s decision.