Government

Piedici Appointed New Planning Board Chair, Board Authorizes Attorney to Defend Twp. Against Smith Challenge to Mosque Settlement

d2d2d5e559ddcdb2d779_KippyP.PlanningBoard.jpg
Bernards Planning Board Member Kippy Piedici was appointed to serve as board chair at the meeting on Tuesday, June 6. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
d2d2d5e559ddcdb2d779_KippyP.PlanningBoard.jpg

BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Katherine "Kippy" Piedici was chosen as the Planning Board's new chairperson on Tuesday night, following last month's resignation of three board members, including Chairman Jeffrey Plaza.

No vice-chairman has been selected yet for the board, and no new members had been appointed as of Tuesday night's meeting. Piedici's term on the Planning Board continues through the end of this year.

Plaza and two other board members, Paula Axt and Leon Harris, resigned from the board prior to a vote to approve a settlement agreement to reverse the board's December 2015 rejection of plans for a mosque in Liberty Corner Village.

Sign Up for E-News

Plaza had just been reappointed as board chairman at the beginning of 2017. Plaza's term was due to run through the end of 2020.

Axt's appointment ran through the end of 2018. Harris was due to serve on the board through the end of this year.

Board authorizes attorney to represent township in lawsuit opposing mosque settlement

At the end of Tuesday's meeting, following a closed session to discuss pending litigation from resident Cody Smith against Bernards Township and the Planning Board, the board authorized its attorney Jonathan Drill to represent the township against Smith's case. Smith has opposed of the settlement with the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge and the U.S. Department of Justice to facilitate the establishment of a 4,250-square-foot mosque on a little more than four acres of residential property in Liberty Corner.

On Smith's behalf, a New Jersey attorney affiliated with The Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court alleging that the township violated the state Open Public Meetings Act by approving a legal settlement without disclosing the terms of the settlement and allowing public comment before the settlement was approved.

The settlement agreement was approved on May 23 by a majority of Planning Board members and the Township Committee, with some dissenting votes; Township Committeeman John Carpenter cast a no vote. The terms of the agreement were not released until the following week, on May 30, because officials said that it needed to be approved by all involved parties.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Basking Ridge

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Madison

Kids' Critter Camp

Education

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Tue, June 26, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Horse Care Workshops at Lord Stirling Stable Start June 23

June 17, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable is offering Horse Care Workshop 101 for adults and youth seeking to gain experience and confidence around horses through a combination of non-riding activities and hands-on practice.

Horse Care Workshop 101 will be held at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ beginning Saturday June ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...