Hillsborough, NJ 08844
379 South Branch Road
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
In a landmark decision that underscores a commitment to preserving Hillsborough's natural environment and maintaining the character of the community, the Hillsborough Township Committee announced further details about the imminent acquisition of two parcels of land to be added to the Township’s Open Space inventory.
The two properties, one on Amwell Road (11.29 acres) and another on Millstone River Road (17.42 acres) have been the subject of recent controversy, with pending warehouse applications filed by developers on both properties. In order for a Municipality to purchase land, it must pass an ordinance and adhere to procedural requirements for the adoption of ordinances. The law requires that an ordinance be introduced (read by title) at a public meeting and the date for the second reading and public hearing be set, at which time the Township Committee will have the opportunity to vote to adopt the ordinance.
An ordinance authorizing the purchase of the properties identified as 1170 Millstone River Road, Block 183.01, Lot 40, and 303 Amwell Road, Block 198, Lot 2.03 was introduced at the October 24, 2023, Township Committee Meeting. The negotiated price of the land acquisition is $9.5 million, significantly reduced from the seller’s appraised value of approximately $11.3 million. This successful negotiation represents significant cost savings of approximately $2.4 million for the Township while securing a valuable addition to its open space inventory.
"I'm proud of our Township's commitment to preserving our open spaces. It is important to note that this expenditure will not burden taxpayers. The funds are available in our well-managed Open Space Trust Fund, set aside to ensure the long-term sustainability of our open space preservation efforts, and we are fortunate to have the financial means to secure this land for generations to come. These funds can only be utilized for the purchase of open space." Further details of the purchase agreement, outlined in Ordinance 2023-15, can be found on the Township’s website and will be discussed at the public hearing scheduled for November 28, 2023, before being put to a vote to adopt the ordinance and move forward with the land acquisition. “
In addition to preserving our open space, this decision also ensures that the Township will not succumb to the proliferation of warehouses that threatens to disrupt our quality of life, increase traffic congestion, and potentially harm the environment. By acting decisively to prevent such development, Hillsborough Township reaffirms its dedication to maintaining the unique character of our community,” stated Committeeman Jim Ruh, adding “As we move forward with the acquisition process, Hillsborough Township remains committed to transparency and community engagement. We will continue to provide updates on the progress of this endeavor and encourage the community to be a part of shaping the future of our township.”
The decision to purchase the two parcels of land is firmly rooted in the valuable feedback provided by Hillsborough residents. The Township Committee is committed to listening to residents and taking action that aligns with and addresses their concerns.
Rebecca Newman, whose property is in close proximity to one of the properties, reacted to the pending acquisition, “I couldn’t be happier with this news. The potential warehouse would have had a significant impact on the quality of life for many of us living nearby. This decision shows that our Township values its residents and is willing to take the right steps to protect our community’s well-being.” “We are very pleased that Hillsborough Township is buying the land on Millstone River Road to preserve it as open space. This residential neighborhood is already negatively impacted by traffic and flooding.
The addition of a warehouse would only exponentially increase both of those hazards. This is a positive outcome for anyone living or traveling on Millstone River Road,” stated Michelle Cook, who resides close to the property on Millstone River Road. This acquisition, which spans 28.71 acres, represents a victory for the community and is a testament to the Township’s commitment to sustainability, environmental conservation, and the safety and well-being of residents