Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 47
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
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Township Discusses Valley Road Building, Route 1 Left Turns, Purchase of Ridge Tract

Dilshanie Perera

At its Monday evening meeting, Township Committee approved a License Agreement Extension with the School District to ensure that Corner House, TV 30, and the Township’s Housing office can remain in the Valley Road Building through June 30, 2011.

“We use the building at the pleasure of the Princeton Regional Schools,” said Mayor Bernie Miller. “The license expired a while ago, and has been renegotiated to continue through the end of the current academic year.” Mr. Miller noted that both the Township and the Borough are working to find a suitable, longer-term facility for the three agencies that currently occupy the older part of the Valley Road Building.

The Committee also approved a resolution that will be sent to the N.J. Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding their proposal to eliminate left-hand turns at the Route 1 intersections of both Washington Road and Harrison Street. This would leave Alexander Road as the only remaining option in the area for traveling north on Route 1.

The resolution describes the “significant traffic congestion” that could ensue as a result of prohibiting these left-hand turns, as well as the unintended consequence of displacing traffic onto Faculty Road. Asking that traffic studies be completed first to assess impact of potential changes before they are implemented, the resolution also asks the DOT to initially consider making the left-hand turn restriction at only one of the two proposed sites. Spokesperson Kristin Applegate said that Princeton University applauded the resolution, and both she and Mr. Goerner spoke of the importance of not allowing revisiting these plans to impede current DOT work on widening Washington Road, particularly as work on the new hospital in Plainsboro proceeds. 

A scheduled announcement of Tax Revaluation Committee appointments was tabled for a subsequent meeting. “Both the Township and Borough have received resumés from those who are interested in serving,” Mr. Miller reported. “The Township is working on its appointments and will make them at a later meeting.” 

Revaluation issues surfaced again during a discussion of a bond ordinance that will enable local environmental groups to participate in the purchase of the Ricciardi tract, off Bunn Drive on Princeton Ridge. In his comments opposing the ordinance, Dale Meade of the Princeton Fair Tax committee suggested that undeveloped properties like the Ricciardi tract have been routinely undervalued. The ordinance was ultimately approved amid repeated requests by both Mr. Miller and Mr. Goerner for more detailed information from the committee.

Two ordinances approved on Monday evening that address good health practices included one that requires residents to label trash that has been exposed to infestations like bed bugs. The second enables the Township’s Health Officer to make a public posting at any building that has been found in violation of local health codes. 

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