November 24, 2021

“Alternative Facts” Cited in Response by Task Force To

By Anne Levin

With the cancellation of last Saturday’s community meeting on permit parking, a work session on the subject, originally scheduled for Princeton Council’s Tuesday, November 22 meeting, was removed from the agenda.

Council President Leticia Fraga addressed the situation in remarks at the beginning of the meeting, citing “a campaign of misinformation” recently aired by the group that challenges the goals of the Permit Parking Task Force, on which Fraga serves along with Council members Michelle Pirone Lambros and David Cohen.

The task force was “really blindsided just before the community meeting,” she said. “We felt we truly could not go on until we were able to respond to what’s being put out there, that is truly a lot of misinformation.”

Fraga said the task force is regrouping. “Expect to be hearing from us,” she said. “We have been, for almost three years, soliciting feedback and hearing from the community. Ultimately our goal has been to improve the quality of life for many of our residents whose parking needs are not being met. That’s our ultimate goal. It’s still our goal, and we will continue with those efforts. But we felt at first we needed to respond to basically the alternative facts that are being put out there, that are alarming many of our residents who will benefit from the proposed changes we are presenting to Council.”

The cancellation of the work session made for an unusually short meeting, during which some routine business was conducted. Council introduced six ordinances, one of which had to do with affordable housing, and another with the affordable housing overlay that reduces off-street parking requirements for developments in different areas of the town. The governing body also introduced ordinances having to do with the sanitary sewer system and the sewer storm system, plus the vacating of an unused municipal sanitary sewer easement at 100 and 101 Thanet Road.

Council also introduced ordinances related to a full-stop intersection at Witherspoon and Spring streets, part of the redesign project for Witherspoon Street; the authorization of historic signs as accessory uses; and the updating of left-hand turn prohibitions on Chambers

Street onto Nassau Street. The public hearings for these introductions are at the meeting on Monday, December 13, except for the affordable housing overlay, which is scheduled for Tuesday, December 21.

Resolutions passed had to do with refunds and overpayments. A resolution to approve the renegotiation of the lease between the town and the office supply store Hinksons, at 28 Spring Street, was postponed.