To the Editor:
In 2020, the town of Princeton passed an ordinance #2020-17 that implemented affordable housing overlays as a way of promoting residential development in town. By easing zoning restrictions for residential development in areas designated under the AHO ordinance, the town provided incentives for developers to build new residential housing that would include at least 20 percent affordable housing units. In 2023 we are beginning to see the impact of these eased rules on residents in and near these AHO districts, particularly in designated historic districts, where there are some unexpected consequences. We support the concept of AHO’s and the need to build affordable housing. The devil, as usual, is in the details. I believe the current ordinance needs to be revised.
At the Planning Board meeting of February 2, 2023, developer RB Homes presented a concept plan for development of 344 Nassau Street, at the corner of Nassau and Harrison streets. This project is in both the AHO-2 overlay and the Jugtown Historic District. Under the rules of the AHO, building requirements that are part of normal zoning are superseded by the AHO rules. In short, the protections against overdevelopment of Jugtown are eliminated. This is not the case in the Jackson-Witherspoon AHO-7 approved in January 2023, where the role of the Historic Preservation Committee is affirmed. more