Borough Lawyer: Litigation on Arts and Transit Zoning Has No Bearing on Planning Board Deliberations

The pending lawsuit on the zoning the Princeton Borough and Princeton Township governing bodies granted for Princeton University’s arts and transit neighborhood is not an issue that would affect the Princeton Regional Planning Board’s hearing tonight on the project or require the hearing to be delayed, a Borough lawyer has advised.

Mayor Yina Moore raised the issue in an email to Borough officials this week. The suit on the zoning is one of a few lawsuits related to the Dinky station move. Residents who filed the lawsuit challenging the zoning changes that were given to the university argue that the town granted the zoning in exchange for higher payments in lieu of taxes.

“It has no bearing,” Borough lawyer Henry Chou wrote in an email response regarding the lawsuit. “Unless and until a court invalidates the zoning ordinance, it has the full effect of law, and the planning board proceedings will proceed normally.”

The planning board hearing begins at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Princeton Township Municipal Building.

Planning Board member and Borough Councilwoman Jenny Crumiller said she will recuse herself from the hearing on the arts and transit project tonight. She received an opinion from a Borough lawyer that she should not participate given her advocacy for saving the Dinky station. Planning Board lawyer Allen Porter agreed that given the Borough lawyer’s previous opinion, she should recuse herself. Crumilller said she will watch from the audience.