Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 18
 
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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Mt. Lucas Road Senior Housing Plan Scheduled for Review This Thursday

Matthew Hersh

Following a hearing postponement last month, the Regional Planning Board of Princeton is slated to examine a housing proposal that, if approved, would deliver what housing advocates say is much needed market-rate senior housing to Princeton Township.

The housing plan, submitted by developer Princeton Senior Townhomes, LLC, would culminate in 49 residential units along a five lot, 28-acre expanse between Mt. Lucas Road and Route 206, near Redding Circle. The housing units would be available to residents 62 and up.

The proposed development falls within the Township's senior housing overlay zone, which would permit for the use. In the past year, the Township has seen two similar development proposals fail: one to the west Bunn Drive within the overlay where the developer, K. Hovnanian, backed out of the approved project due to, in part, land value disagreements with the property owner, and another to the east of Bunn, just outside of the overlay, which was rejected by the Township's zoning board.

The Princeton Senior Townhomes application, however, seems to have a reasonable chance of being approved by the Planning Board. The site is among the first identified by the Township for senior housing in the mid-1990s, and the Planning Board's advisory wing endorsed the plan in March.

However, issues that have stymied development in the past, such as tree loss and stormwater runoff, are likely to resurface, though the development's principals have reportedly worked with the Township's planning and engineering departments to lessen the original estimated 550-tree deficit. As part of the advisory wing's endorsement, the developer was urged to examine a proposed "no net tree loss" by the Township Engineer Robert Kiser. The plan, also outlined by Township arborist Greg O'Neil, could save nearly 200 trees onsite, with the remainder of the tree loss mitigated by landscaping and plantings throughout the rest of the municipality.

The initial proposal, first submitted in 1997, was to build upwards of 300 units, but litigation and years of redesign have resulted in this latest plan for the site.

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The Regional Planning Board of Princeton will review the Princeton Senior Townhomes proposal May 3, at 7:30 p.m., at Township Hall.

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