Funds are needed to keep fighting Middletown Township. Your help is needed NOW. web view
The Lawsuit. Round 1:
MINDING MIDDLETOWN LLC
MIDDLETOWN PLANNING BOARD
If you have attended any Township Committee meetings in the last few months, you may have heard “drop the lawsuit” from a Township Committee member to a Minding Middletown/Stop Village 35 representative.
WE REFUSE TO DROP THE LAWSUIT.
It maddens us that residents are not respected as stakeholders,but are dismissively told to “drop the lawsuit”. It further maddens us that the local governing body is not looking to protect its constituents, which is their responsibility as elected officials. A plea for transparency and Quality of Life considerations has fallen on deaf ears. So here we are, asking once again for your help to have justice served. Sorry, I digress, but paying to have our voices heard, via our legal team, keeps me awake at night.
THE LAWSUIT. ROUND ONE.
Last month a decision was handed down in the first round of our legal challenge. We WON the first round.
The Middletown Township Planning Board filed a motion with Monmouth County Superior Court, arguing that the Planning Board should be removed from the lawsuit challenging the adoption of the Circus Liquors Redevelopment Plan.
The Planning Board is not a proper party to the case because it has no interest in whether the Ordinance adopting the Redevelopment Plan will be overturned. The Planning Board also argued that Minding Middletown failed to file the lawsuit within the 45-day time limit.
Minding Middletown argued that thePlanning Board has a specific and integral role in the redevelopment process, and that the Middletown Planning Board made serious mistakes with regard to the Circus Liquors Redevelopment Plan designation process. Minding Middletown also argued that the lawsuit was filed in a timely fashion.
THE WINNING RULING.
On Friday, December 21, 2018, Judge Joseph Quinn ruled in favor of Minding Middletown. As a result of this ruling, the Planning Board remains a party to the lawsuit in which Minding Middletown is challenging the designation of the Village 35 site as an area in need of redevelopment. In other words, the Planning Board is accountable for their actions and inactions.
The lawsuit continues.
We have been told to expect a decision from Judge Quinn regarding our challenge to the area in need of redevelopment designation in early February. This decision has the potential to go into lengthy Appeal if the ruling is in our favor.
The area in need of redevelopment designation enables the Township and the developers to negotiate PILOT (Payment in Lieu Of Taxes) agreements, which are beneficial to both, while financially harmful to residents. Thus, it's quite likely that the Township would appeal such a decision.
Ongoing Middletown Township development continues.
In the midst of the lawsuit, Planning Board meetings with "Site Plan" hearings, which will range from engineering to architectural, to traffic plan review and more, will be conducted.
WE NEED YOUR HELP.
FUND THE NEXT PHASE.
We have been fighting overdevelopment in Middletown for over two and a half years. We know many of you have contributed before, but we have to ask again. Our funds are running low.
We need to continue the lawsuits, and we need to pay a traffic engineer.
If we are unable to do so, the redevelopers will not be held accountable for overdevelopment, neighborhood cut through traffic, and reconfiguring Route 35.
Our Goals for the Circus Liquors Redevelopment Plan, formerly known as Village 35:
Create more open passive and recreational space, be mindful of the rights of surrounding residents, reduce additional traffic congestion, public involvement for the design and a plan that is appropriate for the area and protects our quality of life.