July 17, 2019

“Sprawling” Lanwin Development Is Economically Discriminatory

To the Editor:

The Planning Board should vote against the Lanwin development. It is environmentally unsustainable; it pulls Princeton into economic discrimination against those who can only afford “affordable housing,” not the estimated $1.5M for a stand-alone house in what was once woodlands.

The plan’s disregard for environmental sustainability is dangerous and contrary to the goals of Princeton municipality. It destroys trees, which store carbon monoxide, eliminates root systems that filter water and lessen the impact of global warming and the increased frequency of Hundred-Year Floods evident to all. Lanwin’s plan foolishly builds outward, not up, contrary to all best building practices to lessen environmental hazards. It disregards the model set by Bob Hillier [a Town Topics shareholder] when he chose to develop the Copperwood site on 4.5 acres, not the 18.5 acres allowed him by earlier site plan approvals. Both the ruin of diabase and the need for retaining wall infrastructure to keep this sprawling cluster intact will further damage this wooded acreage. No plans for geothermal heating have been announced.

The plan is economically discriminatory. It places those with less or marginal wealth on a geographic set-aside in Princeton’s furthest northwest corner. It segregates the un-rich from the rich in their own mandated enclave. The cost of gas will dig through their pockets. Nor is public transportation is cost-free, either in dollars or pollutants. AvalonBay at least has the virtue of integrating, without visible financial discrimination, the affordable units and the market-rate units.

The proposal runs counter to everything that successive municipal governments have acted to achieve. Neither the Planning Board nor Princeton Township can credibly embrace socio-economic diversity if either one caves in to this misguided plan.

Daniel A. Harris
Dodds Lane