Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 3
 
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors



Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors


Advertise in Town Topics

Weather Forecast


Mailbox

Its “Green” Design Elements Commend Hillier Proposal for Bunn Drive Housing

RUTH BRONZAN
Murray Place
SHIRLEY DWORK
Philip Drive
LILY HARISH-CHANDRA
Battle Road
PEI HSIANG
Tyson Lane
SUSAN and HAROLD LOEW
Overbrook Drive

Harmful Tax, Environmental Consequences Would Accompany High-Density Housing

SHEILA SIDERMAN
JERRY PALIN
Bouvant Drive

Further Invasion of Ridge Should Be Rejected by Regional Planning Board

DANIEL A. HARRIS
Dodds Lane


Its “Green” Design Elements Commend Hillier Proposal for Bunn Drive Housing

To the Editor:

As long-term Princeton residents we strongly support the amendment of the Township Ordinance which would enable the development of senior housing on Bunn Drive. Senior housing in Princeton can no longer be postponed. For years seniors have been obliged to move out of town when they are ready to sell their homes and downsize. Market rate senior housing does not exist in Princeton. Many seniors are eager to remain in Princeton where they have lived for years, raised their families, worked, paid taxes, and volunteered.

Much public concern has been expressed about the proposed location. Mr. Hillier’s exciting and creative design directly addresses environmental issues. Compared with the approved Hovnanian proposal and the existing office zone and senior overlay requirements, Mr. Hillier’s plan increases natural open space and common open space while reducing impervious coverage and disturbance area. This innovative design has many “green” elements including green roofs, storm water cisterns for the sprinkler system, grey water recycling, renewable materials, natural ventilation and enclosed parking.

The time has come to move on senior housing. We are most fortunate to have a proposal which can make senior housing a reality and which also addresses the community’s environmental concerns. This is an opportunity Princeton should take.

RUTH BRONZAN
Murray Place
SHIRLEY DWORK
Philip Drive
LILY HARISH-CHANDRA
Battle Road
PEI HSIANG
Tyson Lane
SUSAN and HAROLD LOEW
Overbrook Drive

Harmful Tax, Environmental Consequences Would Accompany High-Density Housing

To the Editor:

The arguments over the proposed Hillier “senior” housing development have overlooked an important consideration: Princeton’s new Council on Affordable Housing (COAH ) number. Developers are always eager for the opportunity to break Princeton’s zoning laws in order to build high-density housing wherever possible. In the early 1980s a developer attempted to build 800 units of high-density housing on the Ridge. What stopped that development (and others) on the Ridge was a Township-sponsored environmental study and state guidelines showing major environmental consequences such as flooding.

If spot zoning is enacted on the Ridge, vacant lots and the increasing number of tear-down lots could generate zoning change lawsuits. Imagine high-density condos built on small lots in established neighborhoods. These high-density homes will have a major impact on our taxes, especially school taxes. We urge Township Committee to take this into consideration as they decide the fate of the Ridge properties.

SHEILA SIDERMAN
JERRY PALIN
Bouvant Drive

Further Invasion of Ridge Should Be Rejected by Regional Planning Board

To the Editor:

The Princeton Regional Planning Board has a unique and significant opportunity to reverse the follies of Princeton Township Committee by rejecting the amended ordinance that reduces the age-restriction from 62+ to 55+ on Princeton Ridge (Bunn Drive).

This area is environmentally sensitive terrain. In the 1980s intelligent zoning limited building to one dwelling per four acres. The later overlay, allowing almost unlimited impervious cover, should never have been permitted; the 2001 overlay encouraging residences for seniors should also have been barred. The amended ordinance would violate all Princeton Master Plans since 1968. The Planning Board is charged with rejecting all such violations.

Township Committee has never demonstrated a need for senior housing, and certainly not on environmentally fragile territory; it has produced no current demographic analysis to amending an ordinance crafted to suit architect Robert Hillier’s desire to profit from Princeton. The ordinance has been called a “classic example of spot-zoning” and thus illegal; equally illegal is its exaction of a fee (hundreds of thousands of dollars) from the prospective builder.

The collusion between Township Committee and the developer to attack the Ridge on the Lowe tracts of Bunn Drive (21 acres) is part of a broader assault on all the undeveloped properties remaining on this part of the Ridge  not less than 56 acres, plus undeveloped habitat at Church and Dwight, All Saints’ Church (51 acres), and Herrontown Woods (126 acres). This is a continuous area of at least 233 acres whose trees and root systems, undisturbed topsoil, and bedrock protect us from stormwater runoff, water pollution, and the poisoning of our air.

Regional planners must understand that the Princeton Ridge is much more extensive than Bunn Drive; it requires a regional approach. Otherwise, piecemeal invasions will dictate the shape of Princeton’s ruined future. Developers assaulted other parts of the Ridge in 1984, 1988, and 2000; they must be stopped now. If there were ever a time for our Regional Planning Board to live up to its name, this is it. It is time to say “No.” We must stop destroying crucial environmental features whose viability sustains the greater Princeton and regional area.

I urge citizens to go to the Princeton Township website, find the Regional Planning Board, and call or write them demanding that the Ridge be downzoned.

DANIEL A. HARRIS
Dodds Lane

For information on how to submit Letters to the Editor, click here.

Return to Top | Go to Obituaries


Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton — McCaffrey’s, Cox’s, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszer’s (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell — Village Express; Rocky Hill — Wawa (Route 518); Pennington — Pennington Market.
Copyright© Town Topics®, Inc. 2011.