21 August 2008

Old Folks Home

Do we really need another age-restricted development in Hillsborough? Aren't there too many "old people" here already? Will we need to rename our town "Leisure Village North"?


According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there were 2508 residents aged 65 and over living in Hillsborough. That makes up just 6.8% of the population - the lowest percentage in Somerset County! Compare that with Bridgewater's 5443 seniors - 12.7% of their residents, and Franklin's 5805 - 11.4%.

Does this mean Hillsborough is a less desirable place for senior citizens than Bridgewater, or Franklin, or the 18 other Somerset County municipalities?

According to Erickson Retirement Communities, who propose a 1500 unit age-restricted development at the Royce Brook Golf Course on Hamilton Road, the answer is NO. Senior citizens want to live in Hillsborough - they just can't find the right kind of housing.

Of all the arguments against the Erickson development - the project is too big, the buildings too tall, encroaches on neighbors, traffic, environmental impact - the argument that we already have too many seniors living here is by far the weakest.

Erickson may still not be a good fit for Hillsborough - there just may not be a good location for this project in our town. But if that turns out to be a true, it will be too bad for Hillsborough - for our current residents, and those that would love to make our town their "old folks home".


  1. I’m not sure if I’m for or against this but aren’t old people good at paying property taxes without adding kids to the school system? That’s a plus. They’re not good at driving but I would think that some of them probably would not drive anyway. The others…well look out! I know in Franklin, which is apparently a great place to live, they are building senior housing and they also build small retail within or very close to it so that the old people don’t have to drive much. That makes sense. The only thing that concerns me is that there’s going to be a whole lot of construction going on over the next few years…bypass, this project, etc.

  2. Mike - I first heard the argument that "we had too many seniors already" over at the NJ.com forum. It's simply not true!

    The Erickson project doesn't exactly fit into the zoning - they will need some variances. That is why I would like to see a careful examination of the pros and cons based on real facts.

  3. Okay, I admit to being mathematically challenged. If we add the 2,200 Erickson senior residents to the 2,508 already here, then what is our percentage?

  4. Hypothetically - let's say that when Erickson is ready to open there are 42,800 residents in Hillsborough - 2800 being age 65+. Add Erickson's 2200 and you get 45,000 residents, 5000 age 65+.

    5000 out of 45,000 is about 11% - still less than Bridgewater and Franklin.