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Neighbors Oppose a 154-unit Housing Development Proposed for River Road

By Barbara A. Preston l July 6, 2021

A new development with 122 rowhomes plus 32 low-rent apartments to be built on River Road (just south of Rocky Hill and east of the Montgomery Woods neighborhood), is now before the Montgomery Planning Board.

A third, and mostly likely final, hearing is scheduled for Monday, August 16, via Zoom. About 475 neighbors signed an online petition asking elected officials to "cancel" the development. Some hope to speak at the upcoming meeting.

An architect's rendering of the rowhomes proposed for River Road in Montgomery Township. The 154-unit development would be called "The Haven at Princeton."

Christopher W. Stavola, who gives his address as Trap Rock Industries in Kingston on the application, is requesting a preliminary and final subdivision of the 74-acre property at 460 River Road (County Route 605). The quarry's offices were based in a 2-story fieldstone building that currently exists on the site.

The property, which is mostly meadows and mature trees, is zoned for apartments and rowhomes, and is listed on the Montgomery master plan as a site to help the township meet its court-approved state-mandated affordable housing obligation.

It is the fourth or fifth large affordable housing development in Montgomery within the past couple of years.

The Montgomery Township development would sport the name "Princeton" and include two apartment buildings (see architect's rendering above), with a total of 32 low-rent apartments and a parking lot with 65 spaces.

The planning board spent a lot of time at the July 28 planning board meeting discussing the extension of Salisbury Road.

"Currently, Salisbury Road ends at Garfield Way, so the only traffic on this road is local," says Brad Rankin, who started the online petition. "There are children’s parks and tennis courts, which we rely on as safe spots for our kids to play—without through-traffic. With the proposed extension, the safety will be lost, as there will be more traffic, including drivers not part of the community, who will use it as a shortcut."

Rankin says he started the online petition to Montgomery Township officials on behalf of the residents of Montgomery Hills, Princeton Village, The Manors, Princeton Walk, and Montgomery Woods communities.

"This proposed development is located between two fragile and protected wetlands; it endangers deer, birds, and other fauna (and flora), upsets migratory patterns, feeding habitats and watering habitats, none of which stop at the boundaries of one wetland, but cross back and forth to the other wetland, the two separated by a relatively narrow grassy corridor," he adds.

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Neighbors say they are worried about traffic, the environment, and the safety of their children. See comments below:

"Too much development is destroying the ambiance of people’s neighborhoods, and driving wildlife to extinction." — Marcine McBride.

"We do not need another townhouse development in the Blue Spring area. The planning board is ruining Monty." — Stefanie Decker.

"The majority of families are in this neighborhood because it is kids friendly. They are raising young kids without having to worry about traffic ... The proposed development is a problem because Salisbury Road would have direct connectivity to River road. This project will not only add traffic from the new community, but also divert traffic from River road via Salisbury and its various outlets on Blue Spring Road. It will not only multiply the number of cars plying on Salisbury and Blue Springs, but also school buses, delivery vehicles, etc." — Dikshant Barhate

Rankin encouraged others to sing the petition.

"We enjoy the beautiful balance of nature and urban living in Montgomery, and have been proud so far on how our township has maintained this equilibrium," he said.


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