September 15, 2021

Warehouse Project Could Have Undesirable Consequences on Environment, Quality of Life

To the Editor:

The impact of some types of commercial development in a single New Jersey town can have enormous consequences for neighboring towns. That’s why the New Jersey Legislature is considering a bill (S3688) that would require a town that wants to build a large warehouse to provide timely notice to all adjoining towns, allow those towns to adopt a resolution of concern about the proposed warehouse, and mandate submission of a “regional economic and land use impact report” to the State Planning Commission.

Because new warehouses have regional repercussions, it’s important for residents of Princeton to know that the West Windsor Planning Board and Township Council have approved an ordinance that rezones approximately 650 acres of undeveloped land across from the Quaker Bridge Mall to allow for the construction of multiple large warehouses. West Windsor Township also entered into a litigation settlement agreement with the owner of that land, which anticipates the development of 5.5 million square feet of the property for warehouse use. This project could have undesirable consequences on the environment and quality of life in Mercer County.

The retired director of the NJ Sierra Club, Jeff Tittel, characterized this as “the wrong project in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He believes “[i]Industrial development like this will bring in large trucks that generate air pollution, noise pollution, and traffic” and that the warehouse plan “will also increase impervious cover, causing more runoff and flooding.”

This proposed warehouse development is one of the reasons we’ll be voting for Tirza Wahrman to be the next mayor of West Windsor. She has years of hands-on government and law firm experience, will call for a moratorium on warehouse construction until the community has had the opportunity to weigh in and be heard, and engage with the landowner and other stakeholders on alternative revenue-generating options that will preserve, to the maximum extent possible, the open space characteristics of this land.

If the residents of our towns engage with local governments, we can work together to help ensure smart and sustainable growth and development that will also protect the beauty and livability of our communities.

Kristin Epstein
Madison Drive, West Windsor

Doreen Garelick
Indian Run Road, West Windsor

John Hinsdale
Quaker Road, West Windsor

Usha Srinivasan
Cardinal Drive, West Windsor