Princeton officials take Master Plan on the road

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Princeton officials are taking the proposed Master Plan on the road, seeking public input through a series of listening sessions throughout the town.

Princeton is gearing up to adopt a new Master Plan later this year, but officials want to hear from residents first. The sessions will give them a chance to listen to ideas, ask questions and contribute input, said Planning Director Justin Lesko.

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A municipal Master Plan sets out a town’s vision for itself and how it wants to develop. It includes the character and location of new development and redevelopment, plus other elements.

The current Princeton Community Master Plan was adopted in 1996 and updated in 2001, 2007 and 2017 through smaller, re-examination reports.

Following the listening sessions and the Sept. 27 public open house, a Master Plan introduction will be made at the Princeton Planning Board’s Oct. 19 meeting. A public hearing on it is set for the board’s Nov. 9 meeting.

The Sept. 27 open house, which is the culmination of the listening sessions, will be held at the Witherspoon Hall municipal building at 400 Witherspoon St. It will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The listening sessions, which will lead up to the open house, are set to be held between Sept. 12 and Sept. 23.

“At the listening sessions, any member of the public is invited and encouraged to drop in and share feedback and ideas about future land use, mobility, conservation and economic vitality,” Lesko said.

“We are hoping to engage communities in areas of town that might not have been represented through previous surveys and events,” he said.

Lesko pointed to Princeton High School students and their parents, as well as Spanish-speaking residents and those who live in the Western Section of town – the streets west of Bayard Lane/Route 206.

The listening sessions will include a presentation on the Master Plan, with time for discussion. The sessions will be held in English and in Spanish, in-person and online.

The first listening session was slated for Sept. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the Frist Campus Center on the Princeton University campus. A Zoom listening session was slated for 8 p.m.

On Sept. 13 at 6 p.m., a listening session will be held at The Jewish Center of Princeton at 435 Nassau St. for residents in the Riverside and Jugtown neighborhoods on the east side of town.

A Spanish-language session is set for Sept. 14 at 8:30 p.m. at the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church at 124 Witherspoon St.

A listening session for the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood will be held Sept. 16 at 9 a.m. at the Arts Council of Princeton at 102 Witherspoon St.

Senior citizens and others who live in the Elm Court development can attend a listening session at noon Sept. 18. It will be held in the Harriet Bryan House at 310 Elm Rd.

The Central Business District listening session is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 19 at the Nassau Inn on Palmer Square.

On Sept. 20, there will be listening sessions for the Princeton University Farmers Market at 11 a.m. at the Firestone Library on campus, and at 7 p.m. for the Princeton Middle School and Princeton High School communities at the Princeton High School black box theater.

The final listening session is set for Sept. 23 at noon for residents in the Western Section at Monument Hall (the former Princeton Borough municipal building) on Stockton St. The Western Section encompasses the neighborhood west of Bayard Lane/Route 206.

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