Princeton Master Plan open house set for Wednesday, Sept. 27

Princeton residents and business owners are invited to preview the big themes of the 2023 Princeton Master Plan at an open house scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at the Princeton Municipal Complex, which is located at 400 Witherspoon Street. 

The open house is an opportunity for residents and business owners to learn about the master plan process, existing conditions, and highlights from last year’s public surveys. The Municipality of Princeton Planning Department and members of the town’s master plan steering committee will be on hand to answer questions.

The event follows a series of listening sessions held over the past few weeks that gave the community an opportunity to listen to ideas, ask questions, and contribute their thoughts about what Princeton’s future should look like.

Residents can stop in at any time during the three-hour open house. There is no set presentation.

“It has been exciting to see the level of engagement in our community. The listening sessions allowed us to spend time with residents in areas of town that might not have been represented through previous surveys and events,” said Princeton Planning Director Justin Lesko. 

“We’ve heard from a wide variety of residents, some who own beloved businesses, many who are deeply concerned about the big challenges we face, and some who are truly vulnerable, whose voices are not often heard,” Princeton Planning Board Chair Louise Wilson said. “Climate and housing are huge concerns. Also equity, natural beauty, the arts, quality of life, public health and safety, and transportation. The insight we gain from public engagement is truly helpful as we get close to final recommendations about land use, mobility, conservation, historic preservation, economic development, community facilities — virtually every aspect of the plan.”

Master plan schedule

The open house is the next step in the process of updating Princeton’s master plan, an important legal document that lays out the community’s vision for how and where growth and development should occur in the municipality.

Following the Sept. 27 event, a master plan introduction will be made to the Princeton Planning Board on Oct. 19.

A hearing on the proposed new master plan is scheduled for the Nov. 9 planning board meeting.

For more information, visit the Princeton master plan website.

What is a master plan?

A master plan is a document that is adopted by municipalities in New Jersey that sets forth the policies for land use as envisioned by the municipality. This includes the character and location of new development and redevelopment, as well as mobility hazard mitigation and climate adaptation, conservation, preservation, utilities, public facilities, and other elements of the built and natural environment. Through its various “elements,” which are distinct and yet interrelated, the master plan articulates a vision for the community, informed by the community. 

Per New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law, which lays out the role and powers of the planning board, all municipalities must adopt a municipal master plan. The master plan is both an important legal document and a community’s vision for how and where growth should occur. To view archived municipal master plans including the 1996 Princeton community master plan, its 2001, 2007, and 2017 reexaminations, and all adopted and readopted elements, visit the master plan page on the municipality’s website.