Consecutive WW meetings to focus on station-area redevelopment

Public will have opportunity to comment tonight as work begins on selecting planning firm

By: Molly Petrilla
   WEST WINDSOR — The proposed 340-acre station-area redevelopment project will be the focus of meetings tonight and Wednesday.
   At three open meetings which took place last month, three finalist planning firms — Hillier Architecture of West Windsor, Street-Works LLC of White Plains, N.Y., and Miami-based Duany Plater-Zyberk teamed with Princeton architectural firm Michael Graves & Associates — presented their ideas for the project and answered questions from members of the public, Township Council and Planning Board.
   Though the council has the final say in the selection process and will officially choose a firm at an upcoming meeting, residents have been encouraged to submit comments and suggestions to the mayor’s office, and will have a further opportunity to discuss the firms at tonight’s council agenda meeting.
   The meeting is scheduled to include appointments to the Cable TV Advisory Board and discussions of other township issues, but residents are invited to offer their input on the three firms during the public comment section of the meeting, which begins in the municipal building immediately after the Board of Health’s 7 p.m. meeting.
   "We certainly welcome everybody’s thoughts," Council President Linda Geevers said. "We’d like to hear from a lot of people."
   Ms. Geevers said the council will also explain the selection process and provide information about Wednesday’s closed, executive-session meeting among the Planning Board, Township Council and the seven-member search committee.
   "We’ll have some discussion on the roles and responsibilities of the mayor and council and everyone else involved, and we’ll talk about the process moving forward," she said of tonight’s meeting.
   Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh said Wednesday’s executive session, beginning at 7 p.m., will give him an opportunity to discuss development-related personnel and contract negotiations with the council. That night, the council will recommend one or more firms with which the mayor will negotiate, according to Ms. Geevers.
   Following Wednesday’s session, Mayor Hsueh will negotiate with the suggested firm or firms and then return to the council with a recommendation and contract for it to review, Ms. Geevers said.
   According to Ms. Geevers, the council plans to vote publicly on that recommendation sometime before the end of the month.