Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 51
 
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
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Inconvenience of Public Library Site Exacerbated by Its Expensive Parking

GLORIA ERLICH
Littlebrook Road

Princeton Ridge Housing Ordinance May Constitute Illegal “Spot Zoning”

DANIEL A. HARRIS
Dodds Lane

Community Thanked for Toy Donations by Policeman’s Benevolent Association

SEAN McNEFF
PBA President
MICHAEL BENDER
Toy Drive Chairman

Reducing Age Limit for Senior Housing May Limit Options for Those Over 62

LINCOLN S. HOLLISTER
Ridgeview Road


Inconvenience of Public Library Site Exacerbated by Its Expensive Parking

To the Editor:

Regarding the library parking problem as reported in Town Topics on November 28, I share Howard Silbersher’s frustration with the current access situation, but prefer to address the issue from a different, more radical direction. Rather than discuss how much the Township ought to pay to provide limited free parking, I think we should question why the Township should pay anything for its citizens to use what is supposed to be a free library. The Township pays the lion’s share to build and maintain a library in a location that serves Borough residents and downtown interests better than it serves the needs of people who live in the Township.

Although it is too late to undo that costly error, many of us are still angry at the decision to locate the library in the most congested part of what has become a tourist destination rather than a town center. A site such as that of the Valley Road School, which was ripe for demolition, would have provided ample space not only for free and easy parking, but also for pleasant outdoor space.

Yes, our library plaza is very nice, but how can we stop to enjoy it or the library now that downtown Princeton has become inaccessible through massive congestion, and will become even more so when the Arts Council opens? Why did the Township government participate in building a library where most of us have to use an expensive and badly designed parking garage?

Although we have outstanding librarians and a great collection, many of us feel that we have lost our beloved library because of faulty political decisions.

GLORIA ERLICH
Littlebrook Road

Princeton Ridge Housing Ordinance May Constitute Illegal “Spot Zoning”

To the Editor:

The tragedy of the recent and continuing debates about the misguided Hillier proposal to develop 20 acres on the endangered Princeton Ridge is that Princeton citizens now face a crisis of confidence in Township leadership. The crisis, wholly unnecessary, is the consequence of inadequate or obsolete information.

Mayor Marchand is on record as saying that many seniors have spoken to her and asked for senior housing. Does the Mayor, or anyone on Township Committee, take such conversations as adequate evidence that a genuine need for senior housing now exists? Has anyone consulted surveys, analyses, and projections of trends in senior housing in the past two years? If not, why not?

Why should Princeton Township residents be left in ignorance of hard information, or worse, left to think that its elected representatives have deliberately blinded themselves to useful information that affects town planning?

Township Committee has been presented with a Memorandum of Law that states that the proposed ordinance change in age-restriction from 62+ to 55+ constitutes “spot-zoning” and is thus illegal — the revision of an ordinance for the benefit of a single developer. As an unwarranted age-restriction, the ordinance may also constitute age-discrimination and on that ground be unconstitutional. Township Committee has apparently not instructed its counsel, Edwin Schmierer, to respond as requested to the Memorandum of Law.

Why should Princeton Township residents be left to wonder why its elected officials have not replied to a Memorandum that claims the draft ordinance under consideration to be illegal?

DANIEL A. HARRIS
Dodds Lane

Community Thanked for Toy Donations by Policeman’s Benevolent Association

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Princeton Borough Policeman’s Benevolent Association Local 130, we would like to thank the Princeton community for their strong show of support of the P.B.A. holiday toy drive. This toy drive benefited the New Jersey Foster and Adoptive Family Services.

Your generosity resulted in over 300 new, unwrapped toys being donated to many needy children. You have set the bar high for the next holiday season, and you should be proud of yourselves.

I would like to especially thank 13-year-old Emma Crain for her outstanding and generous contribution to the toy drive. Emma and her friends donated over one-third of all of the gifts collected, and helped more people than they know.

Again, thank you for your continued support.

SEAN McNEFF
PBA President
MICHAEL BENDER
Toy Drive Chairman

Reducing Age Limit for Senior Housing May Limit Options for Those Over 62

To the Editor:

An ordinance under consideration by Princeton Township Committee would lower the age of eligibility from over 62 to over 55 for a site on Bunn Drive that is zoned for senior housing. By lowering the age, Princeton Township Committee is abandoning the needs of seniors for market rate housing in Princeton. If the new ordinance were passed it would encourage other builders at other sites to also request a variance to lower the age restrictions for their properties. This “zoning creep” will lead to more housing for affluent over-55-year-olds, and perhaps none for over-62 seniors.

LINCOLN S. HOLLISTER
Ridgeview Road

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