A federal judge has denied a request from the Princeton Battlefield Society for a preliminary injunction to stop construction of 15 housing units at the Institute for Advanced Study. The group was seeking a halt to construction until their Clean Water Act suit is decided.
U.S. District Court Judge Freda Wolfson rejected the request for a preliminary injunction, saying the Battlefield Society has not met its burden of establishing that it is likely to succeed on the merits and that it is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of the requested preliminary injunction.
The Institute for Advanced Study issued a statement about the ruling on Tuesday morning.
“We are very pleased with Judge Wolfson’s decision to deny the request for a preliminary injunction filed by the Princeton Battlefield Society as part of their Clean Water Act suit,” reads the statement. “This ruling, like all the others that have preceded it in the New Jersey court system, confirms the fully compliant nature of the Institute’s application, and allows the project to proceed as planned.”
The Princeton Battlefield Society filed a suit earlier this year against the Institute for Advanced Study and two of its subcontractors, alleging a violation of the Federal Clean Water Act. The group claimed that wetlands on the Institute property had been filled in with dirt and sand.
A coalition of a dozen groups, including the New Jersey Sierra Club and two British heritage groups, has urged the Institute to stop the housing project. The groups claim the site of the project, Maxwell’s Field, was an important part of the historic Battle of Princeton, a turning point in the Revolutionary War. The Civil War Trust has offered to buy the property for $4.5 million to preserve it.