May 7, 2014

Council Making Progress Harmonizing Ordinances From Borough, Township

Despite a few debates over semantics at a work session on code review Monday night, Princeton Council was able to introduce several ordinances and begin discussion of some others that need to be “harmonized” to reflect the consolidation of the former Borough and Township. A public hearing on several of these ordinances will be held as part of the Council’s meeting on Tuesday, May 27.

During a discussion of the ordinance for the Princeton Environmental Commission (PEC), chairman Matt Wasserman noted that the commission’s work might be compromised by restrictive wording of the document. The governing body opted to go back to the town’s handbook on boards and commissions before taking a vote.

An ordinance concerning landscaping registration was also discussed, with PEC member Heidi Fichtenbaum telling Council the commission would like to add wording that would provide some sort of “lunch and learn” educational sessions for landscapers who registered with the town. The sessions would encourage environmentally friendly practices. Both Mayor Liz Lempert and Council member Jo Butler said they liked the idea but weren’t sure it needed to be ordinanced.

Ms. Fichtenbaum favored making registration of landscapers mandatory in order to encourage preservation of the environment. “I can’t speak strongly enough about this. We are not making progress on these issues fast enough,” she said. “Every little piece is important. Every single citizen of this planet needs to draw a line in the sand and be committed to this because we will not survive if we don’t.”

The Council voted to introduce the ordinance. Assistant Princeton Attorney Lisa M. Maddox said she will look into whether it is legal to make registration mandatory.

Among the ordinances that were introduced were those concerning issuance of a certificate of compliance for rental units; general provisions; administration; parades; pay-to-play regulations and campaign contributions; municipal court; peddling and soliciting; and Corner House. Each of these was discussed at length at the Council’s previous meeting.