Lawrenceville resident: Proposed Care One facility compromises integrity of township master plan


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Why have a Master Plan that preserves the integrity of our community if it is not followed?

That is the question many of us have asked with the recent application for a large-scale commercial senior living and rehabilitation center in an environmentally protected, residential area adjacent to the Carson Road Woods nature preserve.

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For those unaware, CareOne LLC, the largest assisted living company in the state that admits and discharges over 20,000 patients per year, has again proposed building a major facility on the historic William Gulick property at the intersection of Province Line Road and Route 206 at the entrance of the Lawrenceville-Hopewell-Trail. In its third attempt to seek numerous variances and waivers to commercially develop in the Environmental Protection 1 (EP-1) Zone, which is intended for low-intensity use, such as residential and farmland because of severe environmental constraints.

CareOne is proposing a massive three-story assisted living facility to house 170 residents, provide over 50 parking spaces for employees and visitors, and accommodate numerous deliveries from tractor trailers and box trucks throughout the week. CareOne has applied for more than 10 variances and at least six waivers for the current seven-acre lot, which would be required because their Major Site Development Plan departs from the vision of the Lawrence Township Master Plan, a plan that was put in place to protect this environmentally protected land and maintain the character of the township. The stated purpose of the EP-1 zoning is “to protect the environmental resources and qualities of this area, maintain the rural character of roads and scenic views, and retain farmland.”

CareOne’s proposal violates this purpose. The property, which is the current location of the historic Gulick House, is not zoned for commercial use, it is in a residential area, and the CareOne facility proposed would be a severe use of the property. A few of the variances that CareOne seeks include: removing 14 specimen trees; reducing the size of the front yard by half; reducing the size of the backyard to less than 40 feet; exceeding the maximum amount of impervious surface, use for a nursing facility, which is not a permitted EP-1 use; and decreasing the required landscaping buffer. This cannot be permitted and directly contradicts the Master Plan that has been in place since 1997 and most recently recodified at the end of 2019.

In addition to this aggressive construction, CareOne estimates traffic in and out of its facility on a daily basis amounting to over 400 trips. This is sure to impact the road conditions on Province Line Road, the surrounding residential area, and Route 206. And it could result in increased road delays, congestion, and traffic accidents. We cannot let our residential community be impacted in this way.

It is important for the community to understand the CareOne history of the property, which goes back to when the Gulick family sold their land to Squibb, now Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS).

Over the last 25 years CareOne has continued to submit proposals for developing the property. Each time, the zoning board has denied their request, or the conditions proposed to Care One were not accepted.

To those of us who have lived through this saga for 25 years we want our neighbors to be aware of what has transpired and solicit the support of the community. A Master Plan is created by a community to have a vision of what they want the township to look like in the future.

If you want to see what the CareOne three-story, 100 parking lot commercial facility on seven acres will look like go to

The next zoning meeting is scheduled for June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Lawrence Township Municipal Building (2207 Lawrenceville Road). We need you, our community, to attend the meeting and stand up against the over-commercialization of our residential and farmland areas and express your opposition to CareOne’s 170-bed facility proposal. We must stand true to the Master Plan for our area to preserve its character and protect the EP-1 zone for us and for our future.

Erin Hamrick


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