Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Used To Make Former Mayor Happy?

The Bernardsville News:
"The ordinance states that if acquired, the parcel would be used for a pocket park. But two audience members Monday questioned whether there might be safety problems by creating a place for children to play adjacent to busy Mount Airy Road.

Councilman Mikael Salovaara said that while he favored giving the borough power to use eminent domain, he continued to have an “open mind” about how to use the parcel, if acquired.

Kress purchased the 22 Mount Airy Road parcel from former owners William Jr. and Emily Howlett on March 10 for $519,000. The Howletts, now in their 80s, and a tenant moved out last July after borough building officials ordered them out pending renovations. The two-family Victorian-style house on the property had become rundown over the years, and the town feared for the occupants’ safety. They had owned the property since 1953.

The borough advanced the eminent domain ordinance several weeks ago after hearing concerns from former Mayor Peter Palmer, who lives on Prospect Street, adjacent to Kress’ parcel. Palmer said he feared intensification of the use of the property based on Kress’ expressed desire to build townhouses there."
I think I'm reading this correctly. A former mayor of the city in question complains that his new neighbor wants to build townhouses, and the former major doesn't want townhouses on the parcel belonging to his neighbor. So, the city council votes to allow the use of eminent domain to take the parcel from the former mayor's neighbor. Is this a great country, or what?

[David Polakiewicz, 'B'ville OK's possible use of eminent domain law for Mount Airy tract," The Bernardsville News, 5/24/2006]

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