Our Approach to Minimizing Residential Taxes
Positive momentum has been started under the Marathe administration for attracting new commercial investments to improve the tax base and minimize residential taxes. These actions already made a difference, as we collected even more revenue than anticipated in 2020 despite COVID-19.
Mayor Marathe took multiple steps to make West Windsor a desirable destination for businesses in the early days of his administration:
1) Put the word out that West Windsor is receptive to commercial development;
2) Eliminated the duplicative Site Plan Review Advisory Board (SPRAB) in favor of an efficient staff review team, i.e. the Technical Review Committee (TRC); and
3) Streamlined the inspection process to reduce delay in the construction phase.
With these actions, the Township -- with its train station and excellent education system – has become a coveted destination for new business enterprises. A pedestrian-friendly multi-use project at the train station has begun to come alive, and the first hearing by the Planning Board is set for August 25. An unsightly corner of Route 1 and Washington Road has been approved for redevelopment, and plans are currently being prepared. Several long-abandoned houses on Princeton-Hightstown Road (Route 571) at Southfield Road are to be replaced by attractive retail outlets.
A new Land Use Element of the Master Plan was adopted in 2020 by the Planning Board. Both Mayor Marathe and Councilwoman Geevers, who sit on that Board, worked to permit more uses for commercial properties to increase business development in town, while ensuring minimal negative impact on residents. Council members Linda Geevers and Martin Whitfield will work to ensure all zoning changes reflect the intent of the Master Plan goals. With low interest rates and the new climate for development, potential investors are now actively engaged in discussions with the Township’s land use staff to explore opportunities in West Windsor.
The pièce de résistance was the realization by the Howard Hughes Corporation that it was never going to be permitted to build residences on any of its 653-acre parcel under the Marathe administration. After the sale of the full tract to Atlantic Realty and the settlement of a carry-over lawsuit, that land is now guaranteed to be developed only with commercial uses. These can include research labs, data centers, professional offices, retail space, and warehouses.