February 15, 2023

Council Backs Ordinance to Acquire Land on Franklin Avenue for Development of Mixed-Rate Housing

By Anne Levin

Princeton Council introduced an ordinance at its meeting on Monday night seeking to acquire land on Franklin Avenue from the Princeton Housing Authority for the development of affordable and market-rate housing, at a price of $1,720,000.

The municipality already owns two other lots on the street, across from the AvalonBay community. The town proposes to develop the new apartment complex of 160 units with a private developer. A public hearing on the matter is set for February 27.

As part of the public hearing portion of the meeting, Council voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance authorizing the acquisition for $1 of more than 34 acres of open space between Ridgeview Road and Cherry Valley Road. The property forms part of Princeton’s “Emerald Necklace,” and will be added to its preserved open spaces “to be used by the general public for passive recreation and conservation uses, including walking, birdwatching, bike-riding, the study of plants, and similar activities,” according to the meeting agenda.

“I’m very excited to see this gift to the town of private open space finally come to fruition,” said Wendy Mager, president of Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS), before the vote. “It’s going to be a lovely asset for the community. I encourage you to vote yes.”

A scheduled vote on an ordinance extending refuse collection hours was tabled until March 13 to allow time for more public input. Also postponed was a resolution authorizing an agreement with the Princeton Housing Authority to administer Community Development Block Grant 2022 capital improvements.

Council heard presentations on a potential area in need of rehabilitation at 601 Prospect Avenue, where the Textile Research Industry is located; the 2023 leaf, brush, and log collection schedule; and the updated Princeton University Mobility Plan.

It was reported that new waste carts, delivery of which had been delayed, have now arrived and should be delivered to all residents within the next few days. A gas modernization project which was expected to begin in January has now been scheduled to start on February 21.

The next meeting of Council is Tuesday, February 21 at 3:30 p.m. Visit princetonnj.gov for details.