On July 25, the West Windsor Zoning Board will be considering an application from developer WWM Properties West for more than 400 affordable housing units on Southfield Road, across Route 571 from the Southfield Shopping Center (See story in June 14 issue of The News).

If approved, this development will destroy the neighborhood, add significantly to the traffic, overcrowd our schools and put undue burden on emergency services.

West Windsor has been a leader in providing affordable housing not only in Mercer County but in New Jersey overall. Our township’s latest affordable housing plan was just approved in May (see story on Page 1) by Judge Mary Jacobson. In her ruling she praised West Windsor for both the thoroughness and timeliness of its compliance package.

The township hasn’t just identified properties to satisfy our affordable housing obligations, it has also approved zoning changes and related ordinances required to build that housing.

The approval by Judge Jacobson gives West Windsor immunity from builder’s remedy lawsuits through 2025. West Windsor doesn’t need this particular development to satisfy our affordable housing obligation.

Furthermore, our township’s philosophy is to build inclusive affordable housing developments and not segregate people in an all affordable development. Thus this development is completely against that philosophy.

Finally the developer is asking for too big of a change to current zoning. A decision for such a drastic change shouldn’t be made by the zoning board, which is an appointed board. The decision belongs to the elected representatives, which is the West Windsor Council.

For these reasons I urge the zoning board to reject the application in order to prevent a bad and totally unnecessary development from occurring in West Windsor.

Sonia Gawas

Gawas is a candidate running for West Windsor Council.