Months-Long Talks Bring Building Caps Back to Boro Council
After months of deliberation and a back-and-forth dialogue between municipal officials and residents, a proposed ordinance, intended to curb so-called "McMansions," is again before Borough Council, potentially spawning a backlash from private homeowners in the Borough who are against limitations on building potential.
The ordinance was scheduled to be introduced by Council last night after Town Topics went to press.
For months now, the Regional Planning Board's Zoning Amendment Review Committee (ZARC) has examined an ordinance, first proposed by Borough Council in May, that would attempt to control homes being torn down to make way for larger structures that many residents feel are out of character with the surrounding neighborhoods.
Several residents largely those in the Borough's western section have worried that building caps would impose restrictions that could translate into lowered property values. Those residents have advocated for a focus on the proportionality with the floor-area ratio (FAR) and the height-to-setback ratios.
But residents in the denser portions of the Borough have voiced concern that larger homes that build within the current zoning allowances are diminishing neighborhood character.
Since ZARC reviewed the ordinance, the agreed upon overall range of home size falls between 3,000 and 8,000 square-feet. Members of ZARC also explored maximum allowances in floor area ratio (FAR) the relationship of the house to lot size, as well as a "cap plus" that would allow for more proportionate square-footage allowance for homes already impacted by caps.
If introduced, the housing code will undergo a public hearing November 22, whereupon it will be reviewed by the Regional Planning Board of Princeton.