I was greatly disappointed a week ago when I read an article in the Trenton Times about the approval of the housing development adjacent to the Hamilton Train Station. It is clear to me that Mayor Bencivengo and his staff do not understand sustainable planning and design, even though they are quick to pay lip service to the concept when it is beneficial to them.
Here is a quote from the Times article:
HAMILTON -- A five-year battle over a plan to build hundreds of residences near the train station appears to have ended this week when the planning board voted to approve the latest version of the project.
Saying they had no choice but to give approval, board members voted 6-1 Thursday night to permit Columbia Group at Hamilton, a venture led by Jack Morris of Piscataway-based Edgewood Properties, to move forward with construction.
"I cannot in good faith have the township spend additional taxpayer dollars on a lawsuit," if the application were rejected, said planning board member Mike Angarone, the township's economic development director.
"Government should do everything in its power to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again in Hamilton," he added, drawing applause from several people in the crowd of about two-dozen observers in the township municipal building.
You can read the full text here.
The Times followed up the story with an Op/Ed piece that hit the nail on the head. What is so wrong with this type of development? It is on top of a mass transit node, the building designs are primarily targeted for small families which commute to work in NYC or Philly, it will reduce the amount of cars on local streets and the list goes on and on. Hamilton has fallen into this rut where children and solid planning are now the enemies of the state. God forbid that the township tax base grows and it has a future. The town current PR likes to position itself as 'America's Favorite Hometown'. I guess that works as long as you don't want to start a family or have a family, and like sitting in traffic every time you venture out of you sprawl inducing development.