May 23, 2018

Affordable Housing Plan Presented At Meeting Of Council, Planners

By Anne Levin

At a joint meeting May 17 of Princeton Council and the Planning Board, members of the public learned how the town proposes to meet its court-ordered affordable housing obligation of 753 units by 2025. The meeting was held following repeated requests from residents, in recent months, that the process be more transparent and inclusive.

The plan names 10 sites where affordable units could be constructed. Locations named for future units include the Butler Tract, where 90 of 450 units would be affordable; and a mixed use site on Lower Alexander Road, where 60 of 300 units would be affordable. Both of those properties are owned by Princeton University.

Also named were the Franklin parking lot and the Maple Apartments, where 60 of the 80 units to be built would be affordable; Princeton Shopping Center, where 30 of the 150 units would be affordable; 375 Terhune Street, where 5 of 25 units to be built would be affordable; two affordable units on Lytle Street; the S-2 rezoned area, where 30 of the 150 proposed units would be affordable; group homes, where three units would qualify; and accessory apartments, with 10 affordable units.

The time period included in the obligation ranges from 1999 to 2025, and officials have said that 261 units have already been built or approved. These existing units are at Copperwood, Avalon Princeton, Merwick-Stanworth, Carnevale Plaza, and two group homes for disabled adults.

The town hopes to foster development near existing transit, retail, and restaurants to encourage the use of transit, biking, and walking.

The Planning Board is scheduled to meet on June 7 for a public hearing and adoption of the Housing Element and Fair Share Plan, and the Council will meet the following week to endorse them. Council is scheduled for a hearing in Trenton on July 24 to have the housing plan approved by the court. After court approval of the plan, the governing body will introduce necessary ordinances and resolutions, to be reviewed by the Planning Board with the Council planning a public hearing and adoption of the ordinances August 27.