Princeton Planning Board To Consider Draft Bike Master Plan – Key Details Are Missing

Detail from draft Princeton bike plan, showing ‘existing bike network’ in green and ‘proposed bikeways’ in purple. (click to expand)

On Thursday, March 16, the Princeton Planning Board will hold a work session to discuss a  ‘bike master plan’. The plan has been under development for several years, and is intended to create a safe network of routes to allow people on bikes to safely get around the town. If the Planning Board likes the approved plan, it will be added to the Circulation Element of the community Master Plan, which guides planning on transportation. Several key details are missing from the plan, however, which makes it hard to understand in its current form. Continue reading

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NJ NAACP President: Town Of Princeton “Walking Away” From Commitment To Fair Housing

Richard T Smith, President of the New Jersey chapter of the NAACP. (click to expand, image msnbc.com via NJ NAACP)

Richard T Smith, President of the New Jersey chapter of the NAACP. (click to expand, image msnbc.com via NJ NAACP)

The President of the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) has criticized the Governing Body of the town of Princeton for their current legal action on affordable housing allocations. In a statement provided to ‘Walkable Princeton’, NJ NAACP President Richard T Smith says the town is “walking away from its historic commitment to fair housing”, and urges Princeton leaders to “sit down and negotiate in good faith with advocates to reach a solution”. Continue reading

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Inside The Town Of Princeton’s Affordable Housing Trial

Judge Mary Jacobson overrules another objection from Edward Buzak, attorney representing Princeton and other Mercer County towns, as attorneys from Fair Share Housing Center cross-examine municipal witness David Angelides. (click to expand)

Judge Mary Jacobson overrules another objection from Edward Buzak, attorney representing Princeton and other Mercer County towns, as attorneys from Fair Share Housing Center cross-examine municipal witness Peter Angelides. (click to expand)

One way to mark African American History Month, which began yesterday, is to attend the Fair Housing trial that is currently taking place at Mercer Superior Court in Trenton. The trial features attorneys representing five suburban Mercer County Towns (including Princeton) versus the Fair Share Housing Center, a group that advocates for adherence to New Jersey’s Constitutionally-mandated affordable housing program. The two parties disagree over how much housing should be built, so Assigment Judge Mary Jacobson has scheduled months of hearings to try to evaluate each sides’ case. Princeton elected officials Continue reading

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Lempert, Council Use Outdated Figures In Response To Princeton Housing Advocates

Letter from Mayor Lempert and Princeton Council members in this week's "Town Topics" (click to expand)

Letter from Mayor Lempert and Princeton Council  next to one from affordable housing advocates in “Town Topics” (click to expand)

The Town of Princeton’s ongoing litigation over affordable housing took an unusual turn this week as Mayor Lempert and the members of Princeton Council issued a letter to local newspaper ‘The Town Topics’ defending their legal fight. In response to a letter from long-time affordable housing advocates that called for a settlement in the town’s court battle, the Mayor and Council members issued their own statement aiming to ‘correct the record’. The town also published a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document on the municipal website, aiming to update local residents about what is happening with the court case. Unfortunately, both the letter in ‘Town Topics’ and the online ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ contain out-dated information, which serves only to confuse the matter. Continue reading

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Princeton Council Criticizes ‘Fair Share Housing Center’ As Affordable Housing Trial Continues

200 people sign petition urging Princeton to settle affordable housing case. (click to expand)

Over 200 people signed a petition urging Princeton to settle its affordable housing litigation. (click to expand)

Princeton Council members expressed anger and frustration at their regular meeting Monday night after being presented with a 200-signature petition urging a compromise in their ongoing affordable housing litigation. In front of a packed town hall, several Council members publicly blamed the Cherry Hill, NJ-based housing advocacy group ‘Fair Share Housing Center‘ for the lack of progress in agreeing a figure for how much affordable housing Princeton should build. But Fair Share hit back on Twitter, accusing the Council members of presenting ‘alternative facts‘, and offering a fully-public negotiation session. Continue reading

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Princeton Community Housing Board President: Town Should End Legal Opposition To Affordable Housing

Letter from Princeton Community Housing Board President to Princeton Elected Officials (click to expand)

Letter from Princeton Community Housing Board President to Princeton Elected Officials (click to expand)

Rich Gittleman, the President of the Board of Trustees at Princeton Community Housing, has addressed a letter to Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert and the members of Princeton Council, urging an end to the town’s current legal fight over affordable housing. The open letter is being published in local media outlets (click here to view the full letter, or click here to read the full text at Planet Princeton), and points out that the town’s legal action is specifically intended to reduce affordable housing numbers. Continue reading

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Princeton Forms Alliance With Mercer County Towns To Fight Affordable Housing Obligations

The Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton, where Princeton is fighting against state affordable housing obligations. (click to expand)

The Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton, where Princeton is fighting against state affordable housing obligations. (click to expand)

Princeton has teamed up with four other municipalities from Mercer County in a bid to reduce the amount of state-mandated affordable housing that must be built in town. The town has entered a syndicate, called the ‘Mercer County Municipal Group’ (MCMG), with Hopewell Twp, Lawrence Twp, West Windsor, and East Windsor. These towns will attempt to justify building less affordable housing than what is being recommended by the Fair Share Housing Center, a Cherry Hill, NJ-based non-profit. The MCMG towns will take the case to trial in Mercer Superior Court, Even as other New Jersey towns have agreed housing settlements out of court, the MCMG towns are insisting on a legal fight in Mercer Superior Court, in a case that is expected to influence the amount of affordable housing that is built throughout New Jersey. Continue reading

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