Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 16
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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Hillier’s Greenview Under the Microscope With Concerns About Traffic, Parking

Matthew Hersh

A proposed condominium project along Greenview Avenue in Princeton Borough received heavy scrutiny last Wednesday, with concerned residents packing Borough Hall as the Borough’s Zoning Board of Adjustment began its examination of the proposal.

Proposed by architect J. Robert Hillier, the project looks to replace three existing rental properties and a vacant warehouse with a three-story, age-restricted complex comprising 11 market-rate units and three affordable units.

And while the board heard testimony from Mr. Hillier, cross examination from an attorney representing a nearby property owner, and public comment, the four-and-a-half-hour hearing produced few results, with the board expected to revisit the application at an as-yet-determined date.

Without factoring in the price reduction of the affordable units, the market-rate units could reach the $450,000 to $700,000 range, Mr. Hillier said, expressing a desire to build within the context of the surrounding area and saying that the building’s look and scale would “seamlessly blend into the neighborhood.”

Mr. Hillier, a shareholder of Town Topics, Inc., is seeking permission to increase floor-area ratio requirements from 45 percent to 89 percent; increase the coverage area to 38 percent, up from the current 30 percent allowance.

Because the plan calls for far higher density than what is currently there, Mr. Hillier is also asking for an increase in units per acre from the currently allowed 14-unit maximum to 27 units per acre. Mr. Hiller is also required to increase the allowance for dwellings per unit from the existing three to 14 units.

The building would include a 21-car underground parking garage, and would feature a sod roof.

Attorney Chris DeGrezia, who represents Greenview neighbors Stephen Gates and Julie Fox, cross-examined Mr. Hillier, questioning the planned building’s scale in comparison to the rest of the neighborhood, and expressing concern over visitor parking. George Jacquemart, Mr. Hillier’s traffic consultant, said that because of the proposal’s in-town location, and because of the age of the residents there, less traffic would be generated. “From a traffic impact point of view, this application will be positive,” he said. But Tara De La Garza, a resident of nearby Humbert Street, worried that cars turning right off Greenview into the proposed complex would create a bottleneck on Wiggins Street, which runs perpendicular to Greenview. “Is that going to create a jam?” she said. The Zoning Board took no action and no new hearing has been set.

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