Master Plan Goals

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The purpose of the Master Plan is to anticipate the needs for reasonable growth in appropriate locations, while maintaining the socio-economic diversity of population and cultural diversity that lends the Princeton Community its special character. In preparing this Master Plan the Regional Planning Board of Princeton has built upon and expanded the foundation established in previous plans.

Listed below is a summary of the Goals found in each of the elements that make up this master plan.

1996 - 2001 LAND USE GOALS

The Land Use Element recommends future land uses that will achieve a balanced land use pattern consistent with the primary goals of the Master Plan and to accommodate present and future needs. In order to retain and enhance the distinct character which is Princeton the following goals have been adopted.

I.Maintain a balanced community that offers a mix of land uses while providing appropriately scaled community infrastructure and services.

II.Preserve the existing character and mix of commercial, residential, and other land uses in the Princeton Community.

III.Encourage the use of sound urban design and energy saving principles in new construction and redevelopment projects to enhance the character and appearance of the Downtown Business Districts and other developed areas.

IV.Preserve, protect and enhance natural, cultural and recreational resources including open space linkages, steep slopes, floodplains, historic & cultural resources and recreational & open space areas.

V.Preserve the scenic quality of Princeton's principle gateways, and where possible take steps to enhance and protect those gateways.

VI.Guide future development with due regard to its impact upon future taxes, as well as other costs that might adversely affect all residents and diminish the opportunity for low and moderate income persons to continue to reside within the community.

VII. Use economic and employment growth to preserve the community's quality of life and services.

VIII.  Continue to provide the community's fair share of affordable housing.

IX.  Encourage historic preservation through land use policies which support the preservation of historic buildings and sites.

X.Preserve and protect the character of established neighborhoods.


The Housing Element documents the Princeton Community's long history and commitment toward providing affordable housing. The goals of the Housing Element reinforce this commitment as well as seek to preserve existing neighborhoods.

I.Provide Princeton's regional fair share of affordable housing for low, moderate and middle income households.

II.Provide for the housing needs of the handicapped and the elderly.

III.Promote, preserve and enhance Princeton's unique community life and housing stock.

IVProvide for present and future housing needs in the Princeton Community, while retaining the small-town quality and diversity of life within the community, consistent with the vision of Princeton.

V.Balance Princeton's housing needs with other land uses, and the goals and policies of other elements of the Community Master Plan.

VI.Ensure that new housing development does not have a negative impact upon the natural or man-made environment within Princeton, nor should it place an undue burden on existing infrastructure and roads or negatively impact the quality of life.

VII.Higher density housing opportunities for affordable and senior housing should be provided in areas where the impact on Princeton's quality of life, traffic circulation, schools, and transportation system can be minimized.



The goals of the circulation plan are intended to facilitate mobility for people who live and/or work in Princeton and to service the kind of development which the master plan encourages. The plan distributes through traffic to higher capacity transportation facilities on the periphery of town. Much of the projected increase in traffic for Princeton is due to the extensive development occurring in surrounding communities as well as statewide traffic patterns.

I.Goals to manage traffic to protect and enhance the historic districts, downtown and business districts as well as residential neighborhoods in the Princeton Community.

II.Goals that require coordination with the State, with Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset Counties, and with surrounding local communities.

 A. Regional Traffic Coordination    1.   Provide leadership in promoting regional traffic coordination in State, County, and municipal road projects. B. Regional Traffic Distribution Goal    1.   Promote a peripheral road system which will distribute traffic over several smaller two-lane roadways rather than creating larger four-lane roads. C. Regional Land Use Goal    1.   Balance land use with the capacity of the circulation system to ensure that proposed land uses will not overload the circulation system. D. Interstate/Interregional Traffic Goal    1.   Develop strategies to reduce interstate/interregional truck and automobile traffic in the area through the development of by-passes, especially ones with direct links to the turnpike. E. Information Goal    1.   Develop traffic data on employment and commuting patterns to evaluate circulation impacts from existing and new development.    2.   Develop information on traffic management plans and policies.III.Goals that require coordination with transportation providers.

 A. Public Transit Goal    1.   Encourage the further development, extension, and use of both public and private mass transit. B. Specialized Transit Service Goal    1.   Encourage the development and coordination of various specialized transit services to the elderly, disabled, and other transportation dependent persons.    2.   Investigate the possibility of coordinating or integrating school children transportation services with other transportation services to better serve the transportation needs of the community.    3.   Coordinate private transportation services such as taxis, shuttles, valet, and other services. C. Transit Availability and Information Goal    1.   Provide better information on available transit service using print and electronic media.IV. Goals within our control. A. Environmental Goal    1.   Protect and improve the visual, historic, and human-scale qualities of Princeton's roadways, bridges, culverts, and other transportation facilities. B. Pedestrian/Bicycle Mobility Goal    1.   Provide a pedestrian and bicycle path network for maximum recreational and circulation use between neighborhoods, recreational areas, schools, and shopping areas.    2.   Encourage the enforcement of pedestrian safety in signed and marked pedestrian zones and crosswalks. C. Local Circulation Goal    1.   Create by-passes and a peripheral road system which will distribute the through traffic over several smaller two-lane roadways.    2.   Improve parking opportunities for mass transit facilities.    3.   Encourage the development of parking facilities and the coordination of shared parking facilities in appropriate areas of local business districts.


The goal of the Utility Element is to provide adequate infrastructure to serve the needs of the Princeton community without adversely affecting the environment or quality of life in Princeton. Utility expansion should be based upon changing demands and environmental considerations. The location of new utilities or expanded facilities should guide growth to appropriate areas of the community.

I.Provide an adequate level of utility service, at a reasonable cost, to serve the present and projected future population of the Princeton Community.

II.Facilitate the implementation of other elements of the Master Plan through proper utility service planning.

III.Ensure that utility service does not have a negative impact upon the environment or quality of life within the Princeton Community.

IV.Provide for the Princeton community's fair share of regional utilities but recognize that other communities should bear their fair share as well.

V.Develop a regional master plan for drainage to address flooding in built-up areas as well as to ensure that Lake Carnegie is protected from polluted storm water run-off.



Princeton is served by a comprehensive system of municipal services which include public utilities, police and fire protection, emergency services, the public library, public health, public school system and recreational and cultural facilities. The Community Facilities Element encourages the provision of convenient well-located community facilities; provides adequate municipal facilities for the efficient operation of the community; plans community facilities to serve the needs of all age groups; and, coordinates construction and installation of improvements as part of a comprehensive capital plan. In order to implement these strategies the following goals have been adopted.

I.Provide adequate municipal, educational and cultural facilities to meet the needs of Princeton residents.

II.Balance the provision of community facilities against the goals and policies of other elements of the community master plan and ensure that such facilities enhance the quality of life within the Princeton Community.

III.Create a sense of place distinctive to the Princeton community by enhancing public areas with art, creating a safe and pleasant pedestrian environment, and linking commercial, educational, and cultural activities.


Princeton has always treated open space as an integral component of the community, not just land that is left over or unsuitable for development. The Open Space and Recreation Element goals provide for a comprehensive system of parks, recreation facilities and open space areas for the enjoyment of the Princeton community.

I.Preserve twenty-five (25) percent of the community's land area as public open space, private open space or park land.

 A. Preservation of Public and Private Open Space    1.   Preserve from development environmentally sensitive lands such as the Stony Brook, the Ridge and Lake Carnegie that are characterized by the presence of natural features such as wetlands, steep slopes, stream corridors, boulder fields, unique ecological areas, and prime wildlife habitats.    2.   Preserve important visual amenities, placing special emphasis on the preservation of woodlands, vistas, corridors, agricultural lands and other scenic resources.    3.   Preserve and protect open spaces around important historic and cultural sites.    4.   Identify acquisition goals, realizing that acquisition may not be possible in the immediate future, while development of existing parks will always be possible.    5.   Establish a stable source of funding for acquisition of property, easements or development rights such as an open space tax. B. Provide sufficient athletic fields, open playfields, and other active recreational facilities to meet the needs of the Princeton community.    1.   Fulfill presently accepted acquisition goals realizing that acquisition may not be possible in the future, while maintenance and development of existing facilities will always be possible.    2.   Actively promote the development of parks, open spaces, and recreational facilities of varying sizes to meet neighborhood needs and the needs of the community at large.    3.   Develop a stable source of funding for acquisition and development of parks and open space through an open space tax.II. Actively promote the development of indoor recreation facilities. A. Develop indoor recreation facilities that can meet the needs of all age groups. B. Work with the schools, governing bodies and Recreation Department to develop indoor recreation facilities.III. Enhance public access to Princeton's open spaces.

 A. Creation of additional path systems    1.   Develop a network of greenway systems which connects existing and proposed open space areas as well as connecting to adjoining municipal systems.    2.   Link existing open space properties wherever possible to form a continuous greenway system around Princeton and provide alternative means for transportation.    3.   Preserve major stream corridors as greenway connections between open spaces within and outside of Princeton.    4.   Obtain access easements over private lands augmenting public access to existing and proposed open space areas.


The Historic Preservation Element goals promote and encourage the preservation and enhancement of those buildings, structures and areas of historic, as well as aesthetic, value that reflect the cultural, social, economic, and architectural history of Princeton. Historic architecture is an essential element of Princeton's physical image today and preservation is undertaken in order to retain buildings and areas for the education, pleasure and welfare of the people of Princeton.

I. Identify and document historic buildings, structures, sites, roads and districtsA.Expand, maintain, and update the Princeton Architectural Survey.B.Focus additional surveys on historic and scenic roads, bridges, streamscapes, landscapes, especially those which may be endangered.II. Promote appropriate utilization of historic properties A.Promote original and/or present use of historic properties in their original location whenever feasible and encourage sympathetic adaptive use when original or present use is no longer feasible. B.Review zoning ordinances to ensure they encourage the preservation of historic properties and revise zoning ordinances to make them compatible with preservation goals. C.Encourage cluster zoning, utilization of transfer of development rights for non-contiguous planned development as allowed by MLUL, and other mechanisms to utilize historic properties and protect their historic landscape features. D.Require local officials to consider preservation goals in interpreting regulations and building codes; train local officials quickly in the new New Jersey Rehabilitation Code if and when it takes effect. E.Work with landowners, public and private agencies to encourage the preservation, acquisition and maintenance of endangered historic properties.III. Protect and enhance historic properties A.List by importance those historic properties, sites, buildings, structures, and districts that require protection and recommend appropriate local ordinances to effect that protection. B.Review boundaries of locally designated districts and revise boundaries as appropriate in accordance with standards set forth in this Element. C.Encourage state legislation permitting Transfer of Development Rights for historic properties. D.Revise Borough Ordinances as needed to enable the designation of individual properties. E.Intervening or surrounding properties that significantly affect the quality and character of an existing or potential historic site (or sites) should be reviewed for inclusion in a historic buffer district. A historic buffer district ordinance should be studied as a means to protect historic preservation districts F.Review and develop new design standards as needed for historic districts. G.Encourage parking design for historic districts that is unobtrusive, minimizing the effect on the historic character of the setting. Parking should be limited to that necessary to serve the proposed use. H.Accept donations of property, grants of easements, and other forms of less than fee-simple ownership of historic properties. I.Encourage utility companies to plan, schedule, and design infrastructure improvements in a manner that is sensitive to the scale and character of historic and scenic roads and bridges. Develop design standards and other preservation tools for historic bridges and roadsIV. Protect historic and scenic sites from governmental projects A.Nominate additional sites and districts to the State and National Registers. Investigate other types of designation or legislation that might be available for historic roads and bridges and to protect the mature landscape and historic streetscape elements along these corridors. B.Encourage governmental officials to plan, schedule, and design infrastructure improvements in a manner that is sensitive to the scale and character of historic and scenic roads and bridges. Develop design standards and other preservation tools for historic bridges and roads. C.Promote public awareness of government projects which conflict with community preservation goals.V. Promote appreciation of historic properties A.Make available to local officials and the general public the Princeton Architectural Survey and all designation surveys, photographs, and maps. Prepare and disseminate brochures and/or guides to historic architecture and preservation in Princeton. B.Work with homeowners and the business community to develop a comprehensive signage system to inform the public of historically significant sites throughout the community. 


The Conservation Element goals provide for the preservation, proper use and management of Princeton's natural and visual amenities. These amenities include critical environmental features, resources with exceptional community value, and special environmental areas. The conservation of these resources contributes to the quality of life and minimizes adverse effects upon the public health, safety and welfare that result from inappropriate land development.

I. Identify, protect, and preserve environmentally sensitive areas and natural systems.A.

Strictly limit disturbance of environmentally sensitive lands such as steep slopes, floodplains and wetlands.B.

Protect the quality of groundwater and surface water to safeguard its use for drinking water supply, recreation and natural habitats;II. Protect important wildlife habitat, streams, waterways, wetlands and other unique or irreplaceable land types.

 A.Preserve natural vegetation including woodland, old field, meadow and wetland communities and specimen vegetation.

III. Preserve, protect and enhance existing natural and manmade visual resources. A.Preserve and enhance existing scenic corridors, historic landscapes, open agricultural land and woodlands.

 B.Preserve and enhance the tree-lined quality of Princeton's roadways.

 C.Review of site plans to minimize environmental disruption and encourage landscaping consistent with the above goals.

Witherspoon-Jackson Historic District



Mercer County Affordable Housing Veterans Residence provides rental units for low-income veterans. The rental property is located at 2280 Hamilton Ave., Hamilton, NJ 08619. For more information, visit:

For eligibility and requirements, download the PDF handbook at:

To view the application, download a PDF copy at:

For more information, contact the Mercer County Affordable Housing Program at:

640 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ 08611

Phone: (609) 989-6858, Fax (609) 989-0306



3.4.2      Municipality-Specific Housing Programs

In Alphabetical Order by Municipality

Ewing: The Township of Ewing coordinates its affordable housing program in collaboration with

Piazza & Associates. They provide both home sales and rental units for low and moderate-income households.

Princeton Forrestal Village

216 Rockingham Row, Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 786-1100, Fax: (609) 786-1105




Hamilton: Hamilton Townshipcoordinates its affordable housing program in collaboration with Piazza & Associates. They provide both home sales and rental units for low and moderate-income households.

Princeton Forrestal Village

216 Rockingham Row, Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 786-1100, Fax: (609) 786-1105




Hamilton: Hamilton Township Housing and Urban Development Office provides information regarding Community Development Block Grant Program (i.e. housing rehabilitation), rental assistance (Housing Choice Voucher Program), and affordable housing.

2090 Greenwood Avenue, P.O. Box 00150 Hamilton, NJ 08650

Phone: (609) 890-3675, Fax: (609) 890-3525




Hopewell Township: TheTownship of Hopewell affordable housing program provides both for sale homes and rental units. Hopewell’s Affordable Sales are managed by Princeton Community Housing Development Corporation.

One Monument Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 924-3822, ext. 5




Hopewell Borough: Hopewell Borough provides affordable housing in accordance with COAH. Contact the affordable housing liaison for more information.

88 East Broad Street, Hopewell, NJ 08525

Phone: (609) 466-2636, Fax: (609) 466-8511




Hightstown Housing Authority serves low income residents of the Borough of Hightstown and the surrounding areas.

131 Rogers Avenue, Hightstown, NJ 08520

Phone: (609) 448-2268, Fax: (609) 426-9440




Lawrence Township: Lawrence Township provides affordable housing for both purchasers and renters.

2207 Lawrence Road, P.O. Box 6006, Lawrence Township, NJ 08648

Phone: (609) 844-7087, Fax: (609) 896-0412




Pennington Borough has limited affordable housing properties, which are advertised through the New Jersey Housing Resource Center at

For more information, contact the Affordable Housing Liaison:

30 North Main Street, Pennington, NJ 08534-0095

Phone: (609) 737-0276

Email: (Eileen Heinzel, current affordable housing liaison)

Web: or


Princeton Housing Authority (PHA) is a government corporation that provides housing for low income families in Princeton while promoting self-sufficiency. PHA owns and manages 236 apartments for families, seniors, and disabled residents in addition to five developments in Princeton. Units may have income requirements.

1 Redding Circle, Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 924-3448



Robbinsville Township: Robbinsville Township provides affordable housing for both sale and rent. For more information, contact the Municipal Housing Liaison/Administrative Agent, Gail Pfister.

2298 Route 33, Robbinsville, NJ 08691

Phone: (609) 259-3600 ext. 110




Trenton Housing Authority (THA) provides affordable housing for Trenton residents. For a listing of affordable rental properties in the City of Trenton, visit documents/rental_housing_list.doc (Word document). For Trenton Housing Authority eligibility requirements, visit

875 New Willow Street, Trenton, NJ 08638

Phone: (609) 278-5000



West Windsor: TheTownship of West Windsor affordable housing programs are coordinated in collaboration with Piazza & Associates. Sales and rentals are available for low and moderate income households.

Princeton Forrestal Village

216 Rockingham Row, Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 786-1100, Fax: (609) 786-1105



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