Zoning and Land Use Chairmen’s Message (Nov 2007)

November 2007 In The Zone

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On October 1, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari in the matter of MiPro Homes, LLC and Builders League of South Jersey, Inc. v. Mount Laurel Township - - the eminent domain case that we have previously alerted you about. Consequently, the N.J. Supreme Court's 12/07/06 decision in Mount Laurel Township v. MiPro Homes, LLC becomes the law of this state on the issues presented there, without benefit of review by the High Court. A scary thought since, in that matter, the N.J. Supreme Court held, inter alia, that a municipality has the statutory authority to condemn property for open space, and its selection of properties on which residential development is planned is a proper exercise of the eminent domain power. Recall further that in this case a builder-developer (MiPro Homes) owned and proceeded to develop a 16.3 acre parcel in the township and received final subdivision approval from the Mount Laurel Township Planning Board for 23-single family residential lots. However, the property was thereafter condemned for so-called open space preservation and the Township filed its condemnation complaint and accompanying declaration of taking a mere 22 days after final subdivision approval had been granted. And so it goes . . .

PS: For our readers in the Bucks and Montgomery Counties we’d like to announce the upcoming HBA Annual Holiday Toy Drive benefiting Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Both Fox Rothschild and our friends at Langan Engineering & Environmental Services will be making our lobby available for a toy-drop site at 2700 Kelly Road in Warrington, PA across from Holbert’s and in back of Houlihan’s. More details to follow but we hope that you will help make this drive helping those less fortunate than us to be a big success.