Monroe Township adds properties to open space holdings


MONROE – Municipal officials say they are well on their way toward a goal of preserving half of Monroe Township as open space with the recent preservation of the 59-acre estate of Otto and Mary E. Pohl on Federal Road and 25 acres on Cranbury-Half Acre and Applegarth roads.

The purchase of the Pohl estate adds 59 acres to Monroe Township’s open space inventory. The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders purchased the land in May.

Mayor Gerald Tamburro said municipal officials reached out to the county once they learned the property was available.

“These 59 acres will be a great addition to the careful balance of development and nature in Middlesex County,” Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said. “We are honored for the opportunity to help Monroe Township in their preservation goal and hope their mission will encourage our residents to take an interest in protecting the environment.”

The land was purchased through the Middlesex County Open Space, Recreation and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund for a price not to exceed $508,000 and comprised of approximately 34 acres at the southwest corner of Perrineville Road and 25 acres on the north side of Federal Road.

Officials said nothing is on the Pohl estate except for thick forested woods.

The 25 acres of land at Cranbury-Half Acre and Applegarth roads, which officials accepted from K. Hovnanian at Monroe NJ LLC, will not only be slated as “Patriot Park,” but will also allow for the construction of 37 affordable housing units specifically for veterans in the future.

Township Business Administrator Alan Weinberg said the developer across the street deeded over 25 acres to the township. He said officials decided to designate two to three acres to fulfill the township’s affordable housing obligations and develop the rest of the space as a park, which will be home to the newest Monroe Township recreation area built by the developer that will feature a playground, basketball court and cricket pitch.

The additional open space acreage increases Monroe Township’s open space inventory to nearly 8,000 acres.