With nearly 50 percent of its land preserved as open space, and a thriving farmer’s market and an agrarian history, West Windsor has not only a history environmental concern. ##M:[more]## It is also an important part of its present state. The U.S. Green Building Council could recognize it as part of the town’s future, as well.

The West Windsor Town Council is slated to decide on Tuesday, April 10, whether the redevelopment project will be submitted by Hillier Architects to be among the first neighborhoods in the country to be built according to U.S. Green Building Council standards.The Hillier Group, the planners hired to design the redevelopment according to the residents of the township, says if the project is accepted for inclusion in the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’s Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) pilot program, the township is not obligated to enforce the standards.

Participation would mean developers that build the transit village and other buildings expected to be a part of the project will be held to a set of standards for creating environmentally sustainable buildings.The USGBC will include a maximum of 120 projects in the pilot program. According to Hillier Architects, participation in the LEED-ND program will set a high bar for any development in West Windsor’s 350-acre redevelopment area and ""establish the township as a national leader in the areas of environmental, economic and cultural/social sustainability.""

While Hillier Architects has been hired to design the plan for the redevelopment, it has not been hired to develop the area. The LEED-ND standards include guidelines for conservation of natural wildlife habitat; improved water quality, brownfield remediation, and pedestrian access.""It could give the township a differentiator in its ongoing quest for commercial ratables, as many forward-thinking corporations view LEED certification as an asset and would be more interested in West Windsor because of it,"" said a spokesperson for Hillier. Acceptance notification is expected in May.

Hillier will host an open house for residents with questions and comments about the plans it has made public. On Monday, April 9 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., interested parties are invited to its office at 500 Alexander Park. RSVP is requested. Send an e-mail with the subject line RSVP to AllAboard@hillier.com