HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The purchase of 335 acres contiguous to Mountain View Park and Ann Van Middlesworth Park by the township and the Somerset County Improvement Authority contiguous to both Mountain View Park and Ann Van Middlesworth Park has the added benefit of protecting that property from residential development, according to Mayor Gloria McCauley.
The total acreage of the preserved property and the two parks is 724 acres and is in close proximity to other tracts of preserved property. The newly purchased property is next to Somerset County’s 5,500-acre Sourland Mountain Preserve and is in close proximity to some of the township’s Open Space areas. The property is flat and relatively open and offers panoramic views of the Sourland Mountains.
A maximum of 2,000 residential units could have been built on the 335-acre property, according to McCauley, which could have included upwards of 402 Affordable Housing units.
“Hillsborough Township is known for its award-winning parks and trails and this additional acreage magnifies that commitment to our community. Our long-term vision had been to connect these three strategic parcels,” McCauley said at the Township Committee meeting earlier this week.
“We are pleased that the county was able to assist Hillsborough in obtaining this important property,” said Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caliguire. “Not only will it be preserved from residential development, but it also perfectly complements the Sourland Mountain preservation area.
The Sourland Mountain Preserve is County owned and administered by the Somerset County Park Commission. The Preserve provides passive recreational opportunities in an undisturbed natural setting.
The Preserve occupies a portion of the northeast “point” of the Sourland Region, which stretches southwest across Hillsborough and Montgomery Townships through southern Hunterdon and northern Mercer counties to the Delaware River.
The Sourland Mountain Preserve offers numerous recreational opportunities in an undisturbed natural setting, including but not limited to hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, bouldering, and horseback riding.
Officials from Somerset County, the Somerset County Park Commission, and Hillsborough Township officially opened the state-of-the-art athletic complex at Mountain View Park on Saturday, April 22, 2017, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 141 Mountain View Road in Hillsborough, the site of the former GSA Belle Mead Depot.
The Park includes two adult baseball fields, four youth baseball fields and the special needs Challenger Field. All fields are lighted. Amenities include batting cages, playground, pavilion, a concession/restroom facility, park maintenance facility, and a paved perimeter multi-use trail with associated parking. The facility will allow the potential for the future development of up to six additional baseball/softball fields.
Ground clearing on the privately-owned APEX Sports complex has begun on a 40-acre parcel adjacent to Mountain View Park. The facility will include three outdoor playing fields; the centerpiece of the indoor/outdoor complex is a 220,000 square foot indoor space, including two domes, that will enable year 'round sports activities.
Ann Van Middlesworth Park includes two softball fields, 2 basketball courts, a bocce court, dog park, heated restrooms, two playgrounds , skate park, picnic area, picnic pavilion, fishing pond, sensory garden, two enclosed beehives and one mile of unpaved trails.