Lawrence township, in Mercer county, is a center-point of the county. It is within easy reach of areas of mass transit and business such as Trenton and Hamilton, as well as popular areas to visit such as Princeton and Hopewell. Covering 22 square miles of land, the township is a fairly large diverse mixture of rural and suburban development. The unincorporated community of Lawrenceville is home to several communities and is commonly used to refer to parts of the township as a whole. One of the projects currently in the works for the township is the affordable housing in specified areas for people falling into specific income brackets.

Photo of Laurie Chauncey Trail in January


This is in effect, a form of growth limitation, enables the township to retain refined control over people who are persistent with living there, but fall into a particular level of income that would be otherwise disadvantageous to them. It does however, also enable there to be some growth as well; the township benefits from having this housing occupied financially for small businesses as well as larger ones.

This program appeals to both purchasers and renters, with many units available for outright purchase. Several of these units are also age restricted, which further refines the availability to the population. Lawrence Township as a whole is generally considered to be a fairly desirable place to live in, featuring a diverse landscape and many benefits of a higher income area (comparable to Princeton).

We learned about the impacts of urban sprawl as well as growth limitation in New Jersey extensively in this class. At best, it can be described as a necessary balance that should be maintained at the satisfaction of those personally and financially involved in the area. It is near impossible to find a “perfect” solution that is 100% equitable for all parties, but one can still make strides in the right direction with thoughtful and comprehensive planning. Lawrence Township is a good example of this; covering a diverse range of incomes but still providing housing to those who desire it. Additionally, the township maintains a strong preservation of farms and historic land that has land-marked the community.

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Eagles Chase community near Franklin Corner Rd. in Lawrenceville. One of several affiliated with the affordable housing program.