Summary of Planning Board - December 1, 2022

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00:00:00 - 01:00:00

The video discusses the Princeton Planning Board's December 1, 2022 meeting, during which the board will review a subdivision application for a proposed cottage court. testimony from the homeowners and the architect is included, as well as discussion of the concept of a cottage court.

  • 00:00:00 The Princeton Planning Board held an open house on December 1, 2022, and discussed the upcoming process of adopting a master plan. After the open house, representatives from the planning board, the consultant team, and the public will meet to discuss materials for the steering committee.
  • 00:05:00 The ad hoc committee on design review recommended that the planning board lead an effort to develop comprehensive design standards for parts of the built environment that are not covered in the neighborhood character and zoning ordinances adopted in 2018. The committee also recommended that meetings of the development review committee should not include public comment, because public comment is better suited for foreign testimony at hearings before the full board.
  • 00:10:00 The video discusses the subcommittee's work on a report reviewing applications for a planning board. The report specifies that the review committee should consist of design professionals, and the subcommittee recommends that this be the case.
  • 00:15:00 The video discusses the idea of requiring applicants to have their plans deemed "complete" before they are allowed to file for a permit, and discusses the pros and cons of the idea. The committee ultimately decided that the best way to go was to not include such a requirement in the permit rules, but to instead encourage applicants to have concept reviews early on in the permitting process.
  • 00:20:00 The committee discussed the need for design professionals to be involved in the planning board process, the language to be used in the ordinance, and the need for expertise to be included.
  • 00:25:00 The video discusses the pros and cons of having a site plan review committee within a development review committee. It states that, while the committee does not give legal decision-making authority, it provides comprehensive early stage recommendations to the board. The video also points out that all committee meetings are open to the board, and that the municipal land use law specifies who can do the review.
  • 00:30:00 The AD HOC committee on Design Review has submitted recommendations on how to proceed with the design review for an upcoming development. The board votes to accept the recommendations, and then refers the matter to Jerry for ordinance writing.
  • 00:35:00 The planning board is considering a proposed minor subdivision at 469 Ewing Street, which would create two slightly undersized Lots. The subdivision would facilitate the construction of a cottage court, which would include four homes organized around a common court and shared drive with private yards on the perimeter.
  • 00:40:00 The Planning Board is reviewing a proposed development that includes two accessory dwelling units and would be located closer to the street to better match the scale of nearby homes. The application includes a letter providing a more detailed description of the existing property and the neighborhood, and it also includes a table enumerating most of the required and planned bulk measurement details for the proposal. The applicant indicates that the only non-conformity to be created under this proposal would be for the small lot size.
  • 00:45:00 In this video, Mr. Bridger asks Mr. Bean about the use of proportional far for a full-size lot prior to subdivision. Mr. Bean states that proportional far is only available for undersized lots, and Mr. Bridger asks Mr. Bean if the Fuller property meets that criteria. Mr. Bean says that the 5,000 square foot number is correct, but that the reference to proportional far is not okay. Mr. Bean also says that if the impacts are too great to be mitigated, the board should be thinking about mitigation. Mr. Bridger asks if the impacts of the Fuller proposal are sufficient to require mitigation, and Mr. Bean says that it's up to the board to decide. Mr. Bridger then asks if subdivision can occur before the house is removed, and Mr. Bean says that the dwelling could be perfected with a condition that it only happens if the subdivision and removal of the house occur.
  • 00:50:00 The video discusses the planning board's December 1, 2022 meeting. The board will be reviewing a subdivision application for "cottage court," which is a minor subdivision with shared driveways. The board is appreciative of the opportunity to provide feedback to the applicants, and notes that this is not binding on anyone.
  • 00:55:00 The video discusses the possible redevelopment of a large lot in Princeton, NJ into a subdivision with two homes and two accessory dwellings. The homeowner's testimony is that they were not excited about the prospect of their home being redeveloped, but they are more excited about the possibility of staying in Princeton. The architect is sworn in, and the homeowner notes that if the subdivision is proved, the driveway will be less impactful than a traditional single-family home driveway scenario. Finally, the concept of a cottage court is introduced as a planning concept, but it is not a new zoning rule or a new use.

01:00:00 - 02:00:00

The video discusses the potential for a new subdivision in Princeton that would allow homeowners to stay in the community while increasing home values. The video also provides context for the Rising property values in the area.

  • 01:00:00 The video discusses the proposed Cottage Court subdivision in Princeton, NJ, which would consist of five to ten single-family homes on small lots. The video explains that this subdivision would be an inspiration for missing middle housing, and that it would not be a zoning designation.
  • 01:05:00 The video discusses the potential for a new subdivision in Princeton that would allow homeowners to stay in the community while increasing home values. The video also provides context for the Rising property values in the area.
  • 01:10:00 The video introduces the Planning Board, which is responsible for developing the site development plan for a property on Princeton's 469 fuel Street. The Board hopes to have a discussion with the community about the plan and get their input before submitting it to the town. The Board also introduces Jimmy and Marlon, who discuss the importance of staying in Princeton and the need for smaller, more affordable homes.
  • 01:15:00 The video discusses the family's experience moving to Princeton 13 years ago during the recession, their love for the town, and their desire to stay in the community. The family has decided to explore the possibility of remaining in their home, but they need help to do so in a financially sensible way. The video discusses their lot and how it might be unique enough to make it worth selling.
  • 01:20:00 The speaker discusses the planning board's upcoming decision on a conceptual proposal for a new lot in Princeton. The board is interested in the community's continued success, and they hope to hear feedback on the proposal. They note that the lot is significantly larger than other lots in the vicinity, and they are reviewing the proposal to make sure that standards are met. The board is also considering the implications of non-conforming lots in the area.
  • 01:25:00 The Planning Board discusses how to advance the purposes of Municipal Land Use Law in order to allow for more housing opportunities for the "missing middle." They also discuss the issue of who owns the properties currently and in the future, and how this would affect the decisionmaking process.
  • 01:30:00 The Planning Board discussed the proposed subdivision and whether it would require an association agreement. They also discussed the proposed parking requirements for a single-family home and an accessory dwelling unit, should the subdivision go forward.
  • 01:35:00 In this video, the planning board discusses a potential configuration for an accessory dwelling unit on a property in which the main house and an Adu are located. They mention that the Adu would not be allowed to face the street, and that the two large Adu units would be higher than the small Adu units. They also mention that the homes in the back would be two stories tall.
  • 01:40:00 The speaker discusses the case of a property owner who is trying to build four units of housing on their property, which would be sold the day after their bill is passed. The speaker notes that the property owner's intent is noble, but that their application would need to pass several criteria in order to be approved.
  • 01:45:00 The planning board discussed the proposed accessory structures for a new development and how they would affect the existing ordinance. They also discussed the front door issue and how it would affect the proposed layout. Derek Cohen, John Taylor, and Mia Sax gave their opinions on the issue.
  • 01:50:00 The planner discusses the benefits and drawbacks of various plans, and suggests that the board focus on the project's specific benefits and drawbacks. They also discuss the need for the project to address social issues in Princeton. Finally, they ask the planner to comment on a section of the Princeton master plan dealing with housing opportunities.
  • 01:55:00 The presenter discusses how the proposed high density area will impact residents' lives, and how the planning board must not weigh in on the form of ownership.

02:00:00 - 03:00:00

The Planning Board is considering a proposal for a large subdivision, and residents are expressing concerns about the density and parking. Board members are interested in the concept but are unsure of what direction to take next. They are also considering a variance request for a small accessory dwelling unit.

  • 02:00:00 The video discusses how the planning board will be holding a concept review in December 2022 to discuss a proposed development that would require owner occupancy and common ownership of the primary dwelling in the educational district. Several members of the public testify and swear in, and Claire Baxter is mentioned as possibly stepping away. Michael Bell is sworn in and Paul Wahlberg is mentioned as the next speaker. Mary Ellen McQuade is mentioned as the final speaker.
  • 02:05:00 The planning board discusses the potential of a large subdivision being built on a lot that is currently occupied by smaller homes. They note that this would increase the density of the neighborhood and cause traffic congestion. They also argue that the subdivision should not be allowed because it would be precedent-setting.
  • 02:10:00 The neighbor expresses concerns about the potential impact of a proposed development on the community, and suggests that the board explore ways to create a more welcoming environment for the project.
  • 02:15:00 The Planning Board discusses the impact of recent adus on the neighborhoods they were initially brought in to help, and Jerry Tenenbaum asks the question of what the price of the houses likely to be. The Board then discusses the lot at 469 Ewing Street, which has been advertised as having a 1.7 million dollar main unit and a back unit for five thousand seven hundred dollars per month.
  • 02:20:00 Jerry Tanovan, a resident of Princeton, has concerns about the proposed development, particularly the density and parking. He also points out that the current development in the neighborhood - the Avalon Bay - is already a large increase in population and asks why more affordable housing isn't being developed. He finishes by saying that he hopes the planning board will come to see the proposal in a positive light and move forward with it.
  • 02:25:00 Paul Wahlberg speaks against the proposed development, saying that it is misleading and not fair to only include one block in the plan. He also notes that small buildings being shown in the proposal are not concerning, and everything is changing to larger homes in the area. He asks the board to change the zoning so that the allowable loss size is smaller, in order to allow for these subdivisions to happen legally. He also says that he will speak for the applicant when he says that they do not want this development.
  • 02:30:00 The Planning Board discussed the subject of a c variance and how it would work. They noted that proving the positives and negatives of the project would be important, and that it is a costly process. Board members expressed interest in the concept, but were unsure of what direction to take next.
  • 02:35:00 The Planning Board discusses a variance request for a small accessory dwelling unit in front of a larger dwelling unit. Board members agree that the proposed variance is beneficial, and discuss setting a trend of approving variances for smaller units in a neighborhood that is seeing a trend of larger units being built.
  • 02:40:00 The planning board heard about a proposed sign for a senior living housing complex that will flank the engines drive. The application requests minor site plan and variance relief approval for the signs, which will include metal scrolling and monogram lettering with the letter B. The municipal engineering and zoning report offers a height restriction of 54 inches, but the sign is proposed to be set back 85 feet from the road and not illuminated.
  • 02:45:00 The Planning Board is considering whether to grant variance relief for signs on a property. The applicant has indicated that the signs will assist residents and guests and visitors and emergency services to identify and find the property. The argument does not indicate how this property is exceptional nor that the signs are reasonable minimum needed to identify the property since the existing sign is president at present at a similar setback from the road. The applicant has further suggested that there will be no slight spillage onto the street however having the internally illuminated signs will still make them visible. They'll be kind of a potential for a glow although there may not be aluminum lumens that could be measured they will be seen possibly from areas across the street. The Planning Board needs to address if a potential nuisance concern or not.
  • 02:50:00 BL Development Manager LLC, the owner of Brandywine Princeton Living Center, proposes to replace the existing sign and install new signage to accommodate the recent improvements made to the center. The four Witnesses present this evening will provide brief testimony regarding the application. The application has a hard stop at 11pm, and the board will focus on testimony and questions from the public.
  • 02:55:00 The presenter discusses the history of Brandywine Living, its goals, and its efforts to improve its safety and security standards in the wake of the pandemic. They illustrate these points with examples of recent renovations and investments. The presenter concludes by highlighting the importance of safety and security to residents, and the efforts Brandywine Living is making to ensure its residents are safe and comfortable.

03:00:00 - 03:55:00

The Princeton Planning Board is recommending that the local design flood elevation be changed to FEMA flood elevation plus two feet in Princeton. This change will impact the land use ordinance.

  • 03:00:00 The video discusses the proposed signage for a community that is looking to improve its branding. The main points are that the community is looking for signage that is easy to identify and helps drivers know where the community is. Two signs with Brandywine's corporate brand standards are proposed, one on each side of the entrance.
  • 03:05:00 The video discusses the proposed installation of a directional sign on a property. The directional sign would be located in front of the building currently used as the entrance to the property. The directional sign would be illuminated with double rows of LEDs, each row equivalent to 16.8 watts or 33.6 watts. The directional sign would be flanked by two masonry columns, and could be mounted on one of the pillars. The existing sign, which is perpendicular to the road, would be replaced with the proposed sign. The brightness of the proposed sign is a concern, as it is difficult to see at night.
  • 03:10:00 Brian Conway, a landscape architect and lighting expert, testified about the existing North and South signs and their light output reductions due to a translucent panel.
  • 03:15:00 This video discusses a proposed lighting plan for a local community. The plan includes adding light poles near a community entrance and measuring the existing light levels. The existing light levels are shown to be around 1.4 foot candles, which is reduced when looking up or to the right or left of the sign. The proposed plan includes adding a sign with a light level of 5.2 foot candles.
  • 03:20:00 This video discusses the vertical illuminance at a property line, and how it differs depending on the distance from the sign. At a distance of two feet, the light levels are reduced by 77%. If you take into account the translucent panels, the light output is reduced to 1300 lumens. The testimony on the record is that this change will not have a profound impact on light levels in the area, and will provide a soft, backlit glow for the sign.
  • 03:25:00 The Planning Board discussed the advisability of using a warmer spectrum light for signage. They concluded that a 3000K light would be suitable.
  • 03:30:00 The video discusses four variances that the planning board considered for a property in Jersey. The first variance is the height of a directional sign. The second variance is internal illumination. The third variance is front yard setbacks, and the fourth variance is the height of a directional sign. The board accepted the qualifications of the planner who made the master plan. The board also accepted the testimony of Mr. Conway, an attorney and planner who testified about the standard for glare on the road. The board found that the property meets the standards for glare on the road and therefore the directional sign is permissible.
  • 03:35:00 The applicant's testimony was convincing and they had only one concern - the glare created by internally illuminated signs in dark settings.
  • 03:40:00 The Planning Board discusses whether or not to approve a proposed illuminated sign for a business on NASA Street. Two board members want to make a motion to approve the sign, but the other board member is not inclined to be in favor of it. David suggests a different solution, which is a sign with high contrast between the lettering and the background and an indirectly illuminated light fixture.
  • 03:45:00 The Planning Board approves three variances for signs per block, says the sign must be externally illuminated, and approves the fire protection plan.
  • 03:50:00 The Princeton Planning Board is considering changes to its land use code in order to reflect new, stricter floodplain management regulations. The board plans to meet with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to discuss the changes next week.
  • 03:55:00 The Planning Board is recommending that the local design flood elevation be changed to FEMA flood elevation plus two feet in Princeton. This change will impact the land use ordinance.

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