The wheelings and dealings in the Garden State land preservation game
Friday, April 6, 2012
256 Acres Preserved Around Carrier Clinic, Somerset County
I used to live near here, and love when I hear about their continued efforts to preserve land. Route 601, where Carrier Clinic is located, is loaded with open space. It's a beautiful road, unlike parts of nearby Route 206, which has been bitch-slapped by short-sighted, "profits are all that matter" developers before.
Somerset County will preserve 256 acres of wooded open space surroundingCarrier Clinicin the Belle Mead section of the township.
The county came to the planning board on Thursday evening to ask for a minor subdivision of the parcel that lies in both Hillsborough and Montgomery.
According to William Robertson, deputy Somerset County counsel, Carrier Clinic owns 367 acres, 99 of which are in Hillsborough. The county will be acquiring 256 acres.
Of the 99 acres in Hillsborough, Carrier Clinic will retain nearly 18 acres to be used for a solar installation. That project has already been approved by the Board of Adjustment.
Tom Bocino, of the Somerset County Engineering Department, said the open space will become part of the county’s Sourland Mountain Preserve.
Bocino said the space will be used for passive recreation and the only possible construction in the future would be a trail system.
“We do not propose any improvements,” he said.
He said that a vacant house in the northwestern part of the property would be demolished. Bocino also said a part of the property is also farmed and that will continue until the county completes an assessment.
One of the largest private, not-for-profit behavioral healthcare facilities in New Jersey, Carrier Clinic, specializes in psychiatric and substance abuse addiction treatment on the inpatient and residential levels.
Without discussion, the board unanimously approved the subdivision.
Robertson said the county will also be seeking approval from Montgomery.
It's out there, even if it's not always so easy to spot.
Born and raised in New Jersey, having spent some time elsewhere, including western New York and South Korea, the author has always come back to the place of his birth, the place he loves, the Garden State. There is a lot to love about New Jersey, not least of which is some of the most beautiful, plentiful, awe-inspiring farmland and open space. But, being the most densely populated state in the nation, some of that space can be hard to find. So, he takes great pride in finding it and thus sharing the knowledge of its existence with others.
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