Mobilizing the Region
Issue 259March 3, 2000

Route 92 Looms Over Middlesex Farmland

The Middlesex County Agricultural Development Board is currently reviewing a farmer's petition to set aside 120 acres as permanent open space. The land now stands in the path of the NJ Turnpike's proposed 6.7 mile Route 92. Farmer Nicholas Boyko said at a Feb 16 hearing that either his land becomes an Agricultural Development Area, to be protected under state law for perpetuity, or he will sell to a housing developer - anything but yield the land to the Turnpike.

Bokyo's property is located at a large concentration of county green space, adjacent to the Plainsboro Preserve and the Sondek and Tall Timbers parks in South Brunswick. If added to two undeveloped areas on the South Brunswick Township acquisition list, the area would add up to 800 acres of unbroken open space.

As expected, Turnpike officials are opposed to the designation, but county planning officials also object, despite the farmland's strategic location and in the face of the preservation directives of the State Development Plan. Supporters of Route 92 sit on the board itself, creating a high hurdle for Boyko. A decision on the petition is expected by March 15.

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