February 26, 2020

Encouraging Community to Attend Meeting on Proposed Development

To the Editor:

Princeton still has a couple of “wild” swatches of forest, including patches of old-growth trees. These are mostly on the environmentally sensitive Princeton Ridge, and have been saved from development until now by mainly being on slopes that face north, and by being on the impervious basalt that underlies Princeton Ridge. The areas covered with forest are still interconnected and provide habitat for a wide range of endangered and threatened wildlife, including the wood turtle, red-shouldered hawk, and barred owl.

A proposal is now before the planning board to build 30 McMansions on the 90 wooded acres that lie north of Herrontown Road, west of Herrontown Lane, and east of Mt Lucas Road. The 90 acres are laced with vernal pools. The fragile vernal pool habitat is threatened by the construction plans.

There have been seven meetings on this issue since early 2019 as the applicant (Lanwin Development Corp.) lays out its plan, and the objectors question the proposed luxury housing and make a case for preserving this significant property.

We all have a stake in the outcome of this drama. Come hear the lawyers and experts wrestle with the conflicts of development vs. habitability, and of profit vs. connectivity.

The next Planning Board meeting is March 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Princeton Municipal building. Please come hear the expert witnesses and decide if you want 30 more McMansions in our town — or a green legacy for the Princeton to come.

John F. Kenfield
Ridgeview Road