Over the past two months, a group of residents has sought a compromise solution for 31-33 Lytle Street that would retain the porch, facade, character and scale of its 1870’s house, provide two units of badly needed affordable housing, and still expand Mary Moss Playground, which has occupied the corner of Lytle and John Streets for about 80 years.
We are now very close to a solution involving a nationally renowned builder of low-cost housing. The projected economics of this project will provide Princeton with two units of affordable housing at a cost considerably lower than what the Town has paid over the last 3-4 years.
Twenty to 25 years ago it was believed that there should not be too much affordable housing concentrated in the Witherspoon-Jackson area. Now the neighborhood has changed, with a real diversity of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic class. Every study, as well as common sense, says that this is a great benefit for low-income families and their children. The vast majority of neighborhood residents who have spoken at two Princeton Council meetings, a special session on this subject, and last Saturday’s meeting of the Witherspoon-Jackson Association have spoken strongly in favor of additional affordable housing in their area. Lytle Street is just a short walk from jobs in downtown Princeton; elementary, middle and high schools; the library; and the Arts Council.
So far, the Princeton Council has not proactively picked up on this idea, but rather proposed expanding Mary Moss Park across the whole property – to which most neighborhood residents are strongly opposed. Community Park with playground equipment, both large and toddler pools is just a few blocks north; there is a small playground behind the YMCA and Dorothea’s House a few blocks south; and the open space owned by the University leading to Stanworth is even closer.
If you care about these issues please come out and speak for 2-3 minutes at the Princeton Council meeting on Monday June 8, at 7 pm. This will be our last chance to make the best use of 31-33 Lytle Street, a scarce piece of land in downtown Princeton.