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Zoning Board updates

The Zoning Board of Adjustment heard five applications at its December 15 meeting.

44 Prince William Court, Daniela Bonafede-Chhabra and Ashvin Chhabra/owners and applicants. A floor area ratio (FAR) D(4) variance was requested to permit reconstruction and enclosure of a swimming pool located at the rear of their property. An additional variance is requested to permit a deviation from the required sidewall articulation. The application was approved.

71 Deer Path, Alina and Dan Budin/owners and applicants. A C1/C2 variance was requested to permit construction/conversion of a front entry carport to a garage in exception to the required setback from the nearest portion of the front façade. The application was approved.

48 Leavitt Lane, Yuzheng Zhang and Tianhang Huang, owners and applicants. A C(2) variance is requested to permit construction of a deck and patio in exception to the required rear yard setback. The application was denied by a vote of 4-3, with board members citing concerns about the precedent that would be set by an approval.

20 Moore Street. Margaret Mowrey/owner and applicant. A variance approval is requested to permit construction of steeper pitched roof at the front of the house in exception to the required front yard setback. The application was approved.

176 Edgerstoune Road, The Hun School of Princeton, owner and applicant. A use variance and related site plan application have been filed to permit the temporary conversion of the Mason House, a single family dwelling that previously served as the Head of School residence, to a temporary office use to be utilized by the Hun School.

The Mason House is located in the R2 Zone and the proposed temporary office use is not permitted. The applicant has requested an extension to the temporary use of the house as an office be limited to the period of the Covid-19 health emergency.

The application was approved subject to conditions regarding its end date and requirements for the school to return before the Zoning Board.

Cannabis updates

The N.J. Cannabis Regulatory Commission continues to refine the state’s rules governing the various aspects of the cannabis industry in the state. The law that established the commission set a deadline of August 21 for communities to pass ordinances regulating those cannabis businesses. Under the state law, if a town did not specifically prohibit each class of license by the deadline, those businesses would have automatically been allowed to operate in the municipality for five years.

Princeton decided to initially ban all cannabis businesses and appointed a task force to study the question of legalization. The task force issued a report in November recommending five commercial areas that could be zoned to permit cannabis retail businesses.

These include the area surrounding the Dinky train station; the Jugtown neighborhood at the intersection of Nassau and Harrison streets; the central business district; Witherspoon Street, between Green Street and Leigh Avenue; and Route 206, near Cherry Valley Road.

The task force also recommended that the town allow no more than three retail medical and adult-use dispensaries, but no licenses for the other categories of cannabis businesses.

The council had not made any decisions to implement the recommendation as of December 22, and was faced with opposition from a number of members of the community opposed to cannabis dispensaries.

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