Rather Than Say No to Rider, Town Should Look for Creative Solutions
To the Editor:
Like Princeton University, Westminster Choir College is a valued Princeton cultural institution. But Rider University is experiencing financial difficulties that must be addressed to sustain the University and the Choir College. Add to that the desire of millennials and seniors who want to live in walkable communities with a vibrant downtown.
Rather than say no, as Princeton and other towns so often do, we should look for creative solutions. For example, permit the Choir College, with developer participation, to build multi-story housing above their parking lots and open land. This would bring revenue to the Choir College, reduce dependence on cars, increase our tax base, and bring commerce to the downtown, where retail is weak with nearly ten vacant stores. The College of New Jersey successfully completed a venture like this recently.
We are living in a fast changing society, where changes in zoning and attitudes are essential to accommodate growth in a beneficial and tasteful way. Without creative thinking and compromise, we will be left behind, without the Choir College and a diversified community.