Somerset County will preserve 256 acres of wooded open space surrounding Carrier Clinic in the Belle Mead section of the township.
The county came to the on Thursday evening to ask for a minor subdivision of the parcel that lies in both Hillsborough and Montgomery.
According to William Robertson, deputy Somerset County counsel, Carrier Clinic owns 367 acres, 99 of which are in Hillsborough. The county will be acquiring 256 acres.
Of the 99 acres in Hillsborough, Carrier Clinic will retain nearly 18 acres to be used for a solar installation. That project has already been approved by the Board of Adjustment.
Tom Bocino, of the Somerset County Engineering Department, said the open space will become part of the county’s Sourland Mountain Preserve.
Bocino said the space will be used for passive recreation and the only possible construction in the future would be a trail system.
“We do not propose any improvements,” he said.
He said that a vacant house in the northwestern part of the property would be demolished. Bocino also said a part of the property is also farmed and that will continue until the county completes an assessment.
One of the largest private, not-for-profit behavioral healthcare facilities in New Jersey, Carrier Clinic, specializes in psychiatric and substance abuse addiction treatment on the inpatient and residential levels.
Without discussion, the board unanimously approved the subdivision.
Robertson said the county will also be seeking approval from Montgomery.