March 18, 2015

Former Member of Planning Board Faults Frequent Lawsuits Initiated by Self Interest

To the Editor:

As a former member of the Planning Board, for 12 years and Princeton resident for 35 years, it saddens me that some members of our community have lost their ability to compromise, a foundation of democracy where we agree to live together in accordance with the wishes of the majority.

The Planning Board volunteers and elected officials put considerable thought and time into each application, with particular consideration to the affected parties. Applicants often modify their proposals to minimize the impact of the proposed improvements. In spite of this, there are frequent lawsuits against the Planning Board and applicants initiated by self-righteous individuals who mistakenly believe that they are acting on behalf of all Princeton residents. It is alleged that a recent lawsuit concerning the Dinky relocation cost Princeton taxpayers about $200,000 in unnecessary legal fees.

Our representatives and residents have an obligation to do what is best for the entire community. Nearby Smoyer Park creates unwelcome noise for me on weekends but I appreciate the benefit of the park to the entire Princeton community. When individuals act purely in their own self-interest or that of a cause not supported by the majority of Princeton residents, then we can no longer claim to be an educated and considerate community.

Peter Madison

Snowden Lane