The Lawrence Township Zoning Board of Adjustment is expected to hear more testimony from the developer of a proposed assisted living facility at the site of the historic William Gulick House on the corner of Route 206 and Province Line Road when it meets Jan. 18.
The application, which was presented to the Zoning Board at its Nov. 30, 2022 meeting, is in front of the board because a use variance is needed. An assisted living facility is not allowed in the residential Environmental Protection-1 zone.
Applicant Care One at Lawrence LLC has proposed a 113,391-square-foot assisted living facility on the property of the historic William Gulick House. The three-story building is proposed to have 170 beds.
This is not the first time that a use variance application for an assisted living facility has been proposed for the six-acre property on the corner of Route 206 and Province Line Road.
The Zoning Board approved an application for an assisted living facility at the William Gulick House after a lengthy legal battle in 1999, but the project did not go forward and the approval expired.
Care One at Lawrence LLC returned with another use variance application that would have included demolition of the William Gulick House, but a public hearing was never held on it. The Zoning Board denied it for inactivity in 2011.
This time, the applicant has proposed moving the house to the corner of the property near the intersection of Route 206 and Province Line Road. The three-story assisted living facility would be built on the present site of the William Gulick House.
The proposal to move the house took up much of the Zoning Board’s Nov. 30 meeting through testimony presented by architect Max Hayden. He has been involved in similar house relocation and restoration projects.
Hayden said William Gulick, who built the house in the 1850s, was a member of the prominent Gulick family of Princeton. The three-story house was built in the Italianate style and later remodeled in the 1920s to reflect the Colonial Revival architectural style.
The William Gulick House has been vacant since the 1970s, Hayden said. There has been some decay, but the house is still intact. The applicant’s goal is to preserve and restore the house, he testified.
Moving the house could take two to three months, Hayden said. A new foundation would be put in place at the location where the house would be moved. The actual move would take a day or two, but there is preparation work that must be done.
Once the house has been relocated, it would take about 12 to 18 months to restore it, he said. It could cost as much as $3 million to move and restore the house, which he “believed” would be offered for sale.
Also at the November meeting, engineer Michael Thomas outlined additional variances that would be required for the proposed assisted living facility, including front yard and rear yard setbacks.
The building is proposed to be set back 73 feet from Route 206, which is less than the 100-foot minimum front yard setback. The minimum rear yard setback is 50 feet, but 38.6 feet is proposed. The three-story building would be 40 feet tall, which exceeds the maximum height of 35 feet, Thomas said.
Similar variances would be needed for the relocated William Gulick House, Thomas said. The minimum lot size for a single-family house is two acres. One acre is proposed. The minimum front yard setback is 75 feet, 37.6 feet is proposed.
The Lawrence Township Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting begins at 7 p.m. Jan. 18.