Good Reasons to Dread AvalonBay Development at Hospital Site
To the editor:
I think it is important for the citizens of Princeton, as well as the hospital administration, to know that there is growing, community-wide disapproval of the proposed sale of the hospital site to AvalonBay. And all of us have good reason to feel dismay, if not downright dread, of this proposed development. As cited by other writers, at length, in these pages and elsewhere, AvalonBay through its representative has consistently shown itself unwilling to comply with the Princeton Master Plan or Borough Code. “Revisions” to the developer’s plan have offered little or nothing in the way of concessions, and the plan as it currently stands continues to violate the letter and the spirit of both.
The unwillingness of the developer to even consider trying to fit into the neighborhood and the community, e.g., the insistence on retaining a standard AvalonBay model (complete with utterly extraneous swimming pool, mere blocks from the brand-new Community Park Pool), is not only ludicrous but offers an insight into Avalon’s lack of sensitivity to community…. As does the unwillingness to offer true permeability of the site, incorporation of environmentally sensitive LEED standards, or, most fundamentally, a development in scale with the surrounding neighborhood and town.
It is also important to note, once again, that AvalonBay construction sites have been cited for numerous safety (including 38 fall safety and related violations over a 10-year period) and wage and hour violations. Reviews by residents of AvalonBay communities on Yelp frequently cite problems with shoddy construction, inadequate insulation, and unhelpful if not belligerent responses from members of the rental staff.
It is my understanding that to date no true traffic impact studies have been done, and an offhand comment from Avalon’s representative, Ron Ladell, at the June 6 Borough Council meeting that to eliminate the entrance to the development from Witherspoon Street and require all vehicles to use Henry Street would be a traffic “nightmare,” only hints at the overall nightmare a development of this size and density would be for the Princeton community.
Protect the Character of the Princeton Community
Princeton Borough and Township – soon to be the Town of Princeton – has reasonable zoning laws to protect the character and quality of this community. Those laws must be honored. Do not let Avalon Bay build a monstrosity in our midst.
Rev. Carol S. Haag