Princeton Council Acts to Address Flooding

December 9th, 2020

Princeton Town Council took action Monday to address widespread flooding by unanimously passing two ordinances addressing stormwater management, adopting several recommendations from The Watershed Institute’s model stormwater ordinance in the process. These measures create protections for the town that will be among the strongest in the state.

The Watershed Institute worked closely with Princeton’s Flood & Stormwater Committee and Princeton’s professional staff to develop the new regulations. These will require stormwater management for new developments that add more than 400-square-feet of rooftops, asphalt, concrete, and other hard surfaces to use green infrastructure, such as rain gardens and green roofs.

New construction would be required to include natural solutions that would capture the rainwater on-site so the water soaks into the ground in ways that mimic nature by using plants and soil. The use of green infrastructure will provide many other benefits to Princeton residents including more green spaces, habitat for pollinators and the improved health of local waterways.

The Watershed Institute’s Executive Director, Jim Waltman, congratulated Princeton Council on this strong action. He urged the council to go further to require that polluted stormwater runoff be managed when old buildings are torn down and replaced, and not just when new development occurs on natural lands. The municipality plans to address stormwater management requirements for redevelopment in 2021.

The Watershed Institute has been working closely with environmental commissions, planning boards, and township committees in a number of towns, including Cranbury, Lawrence and Montgomery, and these three towns are scheduled to adopt stormwater management ordinances by mid-December. Contact the Watershed’s Sophie Glovier to find out how you can help ensure that your town adopts strong protections against flooding and polluted runoff.

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