Planet Princeton

Montgomery Township will preserve 34 acres of land near Hopewell

Montgomery Township is under contract to purchase a 34 acre property on the south side of Route 518 near the western border of the township between Hollow & Spring Hill Roads.

This property had been targeted for preservation on Montgomery’s open space acquisition priority list for some time.  It is adjacent to other preserved open space and farmland and to other parcels the Montgomery Township has targeted for preservation.  Township officials are working to create a greenway to keep the view shed open and rural along its “western gateway” where motorists, walkers and cyclists enter the Montgomery from Hopewell Township, officials said.

“The Township regularly reaches out to property owners about potential preservation, but when we see a ‘for sale’ sign on a property targeted for preservation in our open space master plan, we seize the opportunity,” Mayor Ed Trzaska said.

The property owner since 2001 is 901 Realty Associates, LLC. The company had plans to develop the property at some point in the future, but recently listed the property for sale.  Local officials reached out to the property owner and worked out a deal. The purchase price is $1.1 million, and there is a possibility of sharing the cost of the purchase with Somerset County. A portion of the land is in the sewer service area and likely could have been used for residential development.

“I am really proud of this deal.  The land was pursued by multiple other parties and if we didn’t preserve it now, it would have been developed and its view shed lost forever,” Trzaska said.

The frontage of the property on Route 518 includes former farm field,  shrubs, red cedars and young saplings.  There are forested wetlands towards the rear of the property where a tributary to Bedens Brook forms the southern boundary line.

It is anticipated that the closing will take place in August or early September, officials said.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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