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Save Hamilton Open Space

P.O. Box 2594
Hamilton, NJ 08690
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(609) 273-9173

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Diocese of Trenton


Variance Defeated

Latest info about last hearing

January 26th hearing:

As of last Tues. Jan. 26, the Diocese of Trenton Cemetery/ Mausoleum application  #12-07-034 failed to pass before the Zoning Board. The Diocese requested a "D" (Use) variance which requires 5 "yes" votes from the 7 member Zoning Board. The application only received 4 "yes" votes. There were 3 "negative" votes cast and the application failed to pass. No variance was granted.


Revised Plan

included three Mausoleums Plus a change to plan. Diocese offered to give up 211 feet on South Broad Street?


Successful defense of

the RRC zone by


highly qualified expert

witnesses provides

overwhelming factual

evidence against 

the project,

Ensures victory

for the last largely

rural region in Hamilton

protected by ordinance

and master plan


Engineer, Soil, and Hydrologist expert critiques and disputes Diocese engineer's test pit methods and conclusions. High water table could be a major problem if applicant engineer's analysis incorrect.

NCFOS traffic expert disputes conclusion of Diocese traffic study

Controversy over run-off, contamination, property values, and traffic continues.

NCFOS planner debunks "need" for cemetery with study and facts. Cites state planning, county planning, and municipal planning proposed variance would ignore.

Current proposed capacity on approximately half the property reduced. But potential for even more intensive development including possibly more mausoleums on other half - only proposed to be temporarily left vacant.

Ordinance and RRC Zone threatened by Diocese of Trenton Variance Request. Viewshed of historic agricultural community of North Crosswicks threatened. 




New Group Formed to Protect Open Space in North Crosswicks 

First Full Hearing Took Place On Controversial New Proposed Diocese of Trenton Cemetery in North Crosswicks on October 9, 2012.  Over Three years ago!



Latest News!

More test pits dug on Diocese property just before Christmas. Others in April.  

Why the problem? Is this due to the controversial testimony about potential run-off of groundwater from the grave site? The  high water table could be a problem.


Testimony by North Crosswicks  Friends Of Open Space environmental expert creates controversy and discussion by Zoning board over potential negative effects of eventual cemetery contamination ...  possibly extending onto surrounding lands, into wells, and streams.

NCFOS real estate expert critiques Diocese of Trenton real estate study as flawed and valueless as to having no negative impact on surroundng property values.  

All Revised site plans at planning office!  

A group of Hamilton residents was recently organized as the North Crosswicks Friends of Open Space to oppose a planned 18.6 acre cemetery and large mausoleum to be located on farmland near the intersection of South Broad Street and Crosswicks Hamilton Square Road. The Diocese of Trenton plans to ask for a variance from the Hamilton Zoning Board since cemeteries are not a permitted use in the RRC zone.

The first zoning board hearing on this application took place on October 9th in 2012. At that time the lawyer for the Diocese of Trenton provided a  concept plan that would temporarily reduce the burial plots to 3,934 and leave part of the cemetery temporarily as open land while moving the two story mausoleum to the far corner of the cemetery.

However, according to the revised site plan received on July 30, 2013, there will now be three mausoleums occupying the far corner of the re-revised site plan.  The land temporarily left open could be filled with even more at a date in the future.  One entrance is still proposed to be situated on South Broad Street, but a new future lane is proposed extending to Crosswicks Hamilton Square Road. The latest site plan is now available to be viewed on the links below or above. Further details of the engineer's renderings and site plan can be reviewed at the land use office in the  Hamilton Municipal Building. Please note latest modification at last hearing :some additional land is proposed to be left as a setback of 211 feet on the Broad St. side of the property. Will it be temporary or a permanent setback?

A stone's throw from Lengyen farm and the old North Crosswicks cemetery, the proposed Diocese of Trenton cemetery would eventually replace all the scenic open farm fields currently planted with soybeans and wrap around part of the most historic and picturesque part of North Crosswicks.

Residents contend that the use is not compatible with the purpose of the RRC and were out in force at the previous hearings to oppose this application.

Diocese of Trenton Cemetery application was heard on Tuesday January 26th.     (Zoning Board Hearings are typically held on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 2nd floor, at 2090 Greenwood Avenue.)  

See Old Site Plan                   See Revised Site Plan


Crosswicks-Doctors Creek Watershed Association, Inc. Launches new initiative

The Crosswicks-Doctors Creek Watershed Association, Inc. (CDCWA), a local non-profit public educational and conservation charity, was recently awarded a grant of $2,500 from The Watershed Institute in partial funding of a well water test and organizational membership growth initiative.  The CDCWA also has used a portion of a gift made by SHOS to help promote this initiative.

Limited to the first 43 participants and running from now through October 31, 2013, the well water test and 1-year membership in the CDCWA  special offer is just $95.  We want to encourage the residents and businesses in the part of Hamilton who get their drinking water from private wells and who are proximate to the Crosswicks and Doctors Creeks to take advantage of this special offer.

To participate, click here to access the Well Water Test and Membership Growth Initiative page.  Read the content carefully, fill in the on-line Order Form (Part 1) and send it in.  When you are directed back to the Initiative page to pay for the test, follow the Part 2 instructions and, at Your Shopping Cart checkout, use the coupon code WELLSHED2013 and click Validate in order to get the special pricing.

For more information, email to , or call (609) 752-1832, or (609) 758-1609.





Christopher Estates (at Laura & Evelyn Avenue) - Enforcement Issue brought to Township Council's attention on November 20, 2012. Lawsuit filed in June 2013.

A Non Compliant Stormwater Management System ... 10 Years and Counting


This past November 20th  2012, Save Hamilon Open Space and their lawyer Stuart Lieberman, plus Michele Donato representing Save Barnegat Bay and the Sierra Club, went before the Hamilton Township Council to urge that something be done about the still non complaint stormwater management system at Christopher Estates, a 16 house development at the corner of Laura and Evelyn Avenues.

Previously, after nearly nine years and completion of the 16-house Christopher Estates development, the Hamilton Planning Board voted on Jan. 12, 2012 that the storm water management plan that was built there was not compliant with Phase II storm water regulations.( In a second action that night, the Board voted that a revised plan submitted in 2009 was also not compliant.) At the November 20th meeting, the council concurred that this is a problem.

However, even after that meeting, apparently no progress was made to solve the problem of a non-compliant , poorly functioning, and failing, stormwater management system. So finally in June of 2013 Save Hamilton Open Space was forced to file a lawsuit against the township to enforce compliance. For the complete story, see the Trenton Times article of July 6, 2013 Hamilton Environmental group sues township over stormwater management


Solar Complex Variance DENIED

In a 6-1 vote the Hamilton Zoning Board denied a variance request to build a 42,000 panel solar complex on 60 acres of farmland in Hamilton's Rural Resource Conservation Zone. The vote came at the May 22, 2012 hearing, the sixth hearing on the variance application. 

A few Zoning Board member comments:

"I visited the site four or five times. The neighbors (who testified) want the area to remain rural and I felt their sincerity".

"Why would you choose this (RRC) area (for a solar complex). It puts the board in a position of appearing anti-solar." He said they definitely were not anti-solar.

(This variance request) "is a definite impairment to the Master Plan."

"This is a nice area and it needs to stay that way."

"I'm not against solar - (the issue) is where it needs to go."

"I would be hypocritical to support this."

"The Master Plan needs to be respected."

(A solar complex) "is not the highest and best use."



real farm v solar farm with rrc quote




In 2003 Hamilton’s Open Space and Recreation Plan identified 4535.47 acres of private undeveloped land or 17.7% of the township.

The Oct 25, 2010 revision of the Open Space and Recreation Plan identified 2769.87 acres of private undeveloped land or 10.8% of the township.

In seven years Hamilton’s inventory of land decreased by 1756.6 acres, a decline of 38.7%. That’s an average of about 251 acres per year.

If that rate continues there will be no land left in eleven years, and Hamilton will reach build-out by 2021.

We can’t continue to view farm fields and woods as a limitless commodity that drives the economy with jobs and taxes. Redevelopment, re-use and recycling of existing developed land and preservation of the last bits of open space should be the guiding philosophy of citizens and government.


Who We Are

Photo of a farm We are a local, not-for-profit 501 (c)(3), non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving open space in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey. We believe that there should be a balance between natural habitat, parks, farms and developed land. With more than 85% of Hamilton's land already developed, we have far exceeded that balance, and should preserve what land remains.

What We Do

Photo of a red barn Education - We educate people about the extent, location and inherent value of open space in Hamilton, along with strategies and tactics that can be used to save it.

Preservation - We work directly with citizen groups and government to save all or parts of specific parcels of land in Hamilton Township.

Advocacy - We support laws, ordinances and actions by government that help save land, recycle existing development, and give communities a greater voice in land use decisions.

Save Hamilton Open Space P.O. Box 2594, Hamilton, NJ 08690 | 609-273-9173 |
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