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Planning Board being sued over approval for Humbert Lane development

The Princeton Planning Board will continue to hear Simplify Living Inc.'s application to build a three-unit development at 23-25 Humbert St. at its May 6 meeting.

The Princeton Planning Board is being sued by three neighboring property owners who are challenging its approval of a three-unit townhouse development at 23-25 Humbert St., which is a one-way street off Wiggins Street.

Donald and Mary Anne Greenberg and Daniel Brown, who own properties on Humbert Lane – which is a private, shared driveway off Humbert Street – also are suing Princeton Realty Investment Group LLC, which owns 23-25 Humbert St., and applicant Simplify Living, Inc., which was granted approval for the development.

The Princeton Planning Board granted Simplify Living, Inc.’s application for minor site plan approval for the development at its July 1, 2021, meeting. The board approved 16 variances in connection with the application.

The lawsuit, which was filed Feb. 7 in Mercer County Superior Court, seeks to overturn the Planning Board’s approval of the application. It claims that the Planning Board’s actions were “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.”

The lawsuit takes aim at 16 variances requested and approved by the Princeton Planning Board to accommodate the townhouse development at 23-25 Humbert St.

The variances include the amount of impervious coverage (driveway and building), the minimum lot size and lot depth for each unit, the minimum side yard and rear yard for each unit, and the driveway and parking setbacks on Humbert Lane.

One townhouse will face Humbert Street; the middle townhouse will face Humbert Lane; and the third townhouse will face the rear of the property. Each townhouse will have one parking space in a parking lot at the rear of the site. Three additional parking spaces will be provided on the north side of Humbert Lane for the townhouses.

The lawsuit also alleges that the approval “infringes upon (the Greenbergs’ and Brown’s) rights to use Humbert Lane for ingress, egress and parking.” Brown, who owns 6-8 Humbert Lane, lives in Basking Ridge. The Greenbergs, who own 10-12 Humbert Lane, live elsewhere in Princeton.

An access easement for Humbert Lane was granted in 1992, according to the lawsuit. An easement agreement for Humbert Lane will be provided to allow the owners of 6-8 Humbert Lane and 10-12 Humbert Lane to continue to have access to their properties.

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