October 09, 2013

Jonathan Epstein Quoted in The Times

Princeton partner Jonathan Epstein was quoted in two Trenton Times articles regarding the University’s Arts and Transit development litigation, which was recently tried over 4 days in Mercer County Superior Court.

A group of plaintiffs that opposes Princeton University’s $325 million Arts and Transit development challenged the legality of the rezoning and claimed, among other things, that the two Princeton municipalities improperly adopted local zoning laws allowing the project in exchange for a series of payments from the University. The plaintiffs alleged that the largely tax-exempt university promised $950,000 in total, but said it would withhold payment until the project was approved.

Jon, who represents Princeton was quoted as saying, “I think the allegation is actually absolutely baseless.”

During the third day of trial, a witness for the plaintiffs testified that the ordinance was inconsistent with the master plan because the plan calls for fewer institutional takeovers of commercial and residential land.

Jon argued that the ordinance is consistent with the master plan and, therefore, legal under New Jersey. “The planning board did a review of the ordinance and did not find substantial inconsistencies with the master plan,” the Times reported.

“The Municipal Land Use Law requires ordinance to be substantially consistent with the town’s master plans and so far, the testimony of Princeton’s planning director has demonstrated that this is the case with the ordinances that have allowed the university to move forward with their plans,” Jon explained according to the Times story.

To read both articles, click here.

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