In 2009, the biggest news around West Windsor was the Township Council’s adoption of a redevelopment plan for the 350-acre Princeton Junction train station area.
Over the course of the last year, West Windsor officials saw the beginning pieces of that plan fall into place, even if one involved a lawsuit and the other is still winding its way through the Planning Board process.
During the Township Council’s meeting on December 20, Council President Diane Ciccone briefly recalled all of the accomplishments that she felt had been achieved in 2010 and highlighted the upcoming on her 2011 "wish list."
As the year was winding down, the council settled a lawsuit with InterCap Holdings, paving the way for 800 housing units surrounding a promenade with a shared space concept for traffic and bicycle and pedestrian circulation as well as retail storefronts.
InterCap, led by CEO Steve Goldin, a township resident, had sued West Windsor over the redevelopment designation of the 350-acre area around the Princeton Junction train station, which included InterCap’s 25 acres off Washington Road. The settlement also requires InterCap to provide amenities and infrastructure improvements.
When the new year begins, the council will have to finalize its part under the terms of the settlement by introducing and adopting two ordinances putting into effect the details of the settlement — a process that will begin in January.
In November, the township’s Planning Board also wrapped up its third meeting on the site plan hearing submitted by the new owners of the former Acme shopping center for the proposed revitalization of what is now known as Windsor Plaza on Route 571. Deliberations are scheduled to continue on Wednesday, January 12.
The shopping center’s new owner, Irv Cyzner, has estimated that about 20 storefronts — 22 at most — could occupy space in the shopping center if the Rite Aid space were divided into two storefronts and each of the 20 tenants occupied 2,000 square feet.
All together, the proposed plans include the reduction in square footage from 59,500 to 58,055 square feet by demolition of two back loading areas to make way for a circular road connection around the site for deliveries that would bring delivery trucks in through a proposed new driveway connection off Alexander Road, across from Harris Road.
The plans feature a facelift for the shopping center that includes a cupola on the side of the building closest to Alexander Road, where Starbucks has already expressed interest in moving.
Plans also included increasing the number of parking spaces from 311 to 342, including eight handicapped parking spaces, and two new "monument" signs — one on the Alexander Road frontage and another on the Route 571 frontage. The signs require waivers, since Cyzner is proposing two 90-square foot signs as high as 15 feet, even though the ordinance only permits one sign at a maximum 30 square feet.
The signage issue, which has drawn a lot of concern from residents, will be discussed at the January 12 hearing.