Opinion: Resigning Hillsborough committeewoman wants town to continue to grow

PHOTO COURTESY OF HILLSBOROUGH TOWNSHIP
I am writing this letter to thank the residents of Hillsborough for electing me as your committeewoman. As you may know, at the beginning of the year I contracted the COVID-19 virus and although I am feeling much better than I did last month, I am still not physically 100%. The Hillsborough Democratic Committee will choose someone to fill my seat for the remaining months of my term.
I would like to thank everyone I met along the way and who supported me on this journey.  I also would like to thank the township employees from all the departments for all their help. I have learned so much from all of you. I also want to thank everyone who served with me on the Township Committee.
There are several issues that I have worked on throughout my term that I would hope our town would consider examining in more depth. These are ideas that I believe will continue to attract people to Hillsborough and maintain its appealing character for the future.
Hillsborough is going through tremendous growth and will continue in the upcoming years. To preserve and protect our unique environment of farm fields, woodlands, and wildlife, it will be necessary to examine the possibility of increasing building densities. The 206 corridors would be an ideal spot.
Many developers have sued our town because we did not have a plan for our affordable housing allotment. It will be important to develop a plan now for the next round of required affordable housing.
The bypass will be completed soon. That will leave us with two highways running through our town. I would like to see the old 206 reduced to a minor road, a Main Street for Hillsborough. Using the existing shoulder and rights-of-way for bike lanes, street trees, and pedestrian walks. Land along a Main Street will be more valuable if the density is increased. Therefore, landowners could be required to give back to the town by providing some of these amenities.
We must become more sustainable. Our policies should make us a leader in the fight against climate change. We should bring back the LEED requirements for buildings and include the Sustainable Sites Initiative standards for new projects. We could establish a Shade Tree Commission and plant more trees throughout the town. We can get more commuters off the road by establishing a shuttle between the Princeton and Somerville train stations, maybe with electric buses.
As Hillsborough grows it is important to maintain a cohesive community. We will need a public space where we can meet our neighbors from across town, have conversations, celebrate special events, and listen to concerts. We could investigate transforming sites that are owned by the town or land that is available for purchase.
Once again, thank you everyone for the opportunity to serve our wonderful town.
Committeewoman Olivia Holmes
Hillsborough