SHORT HILLS, NJ - Two months after the Millburn Township Committee adopted an ordinance to allow the Silverman Group to build a 62-unit housing development in Short Hills, another builder filed a civil action in Essex County court with the intent of building a 225-unit housing development in the Township.
According to the civil action filed on November 20, Woodmont Properties of Fairfield, NJ has contracted with the New Jersey American Water Company (NJAW) to purchase property at 185 John F. Kennedy Parkway in Short Hills. As stated by Millburn's Special Counsel, Murray Bevan, the 25-acre property for sale is currently zoned by the municipality as a conservation area and any use of the property for a housing development would require Millburn to rezone the parcel of land.
The civil action states that Millburn Township officials were aware of Woodmont's plans to develop the property back on November 2018, when discussions first began. On August of 2019, Woodmont again met with township officials to present its plan for the property. No response was provided to Woodmont by Millburn officials as of November 2019, according to the civil action.
Woodmont claims that Millburn Township officials are attempting to delay and/or impede the sale of land from NJAW to Woodmont. In a letter from Millburn's Special Counsel to NJAW Vice President and General Counsel, dated November 1, 2019, Bevan writes "Should NJAW file a petition with the BPU [Board of Public Utilities] to transfer the Millburn property......Millburn plans to intervene in that proceeding and to actively participate in the case to protect the interest of the municipality".
The civil action seeks an order from the court granting Woodmont leave to intervene as party defendant. If so ordered, Woodmont would be permitted to intervene and fully participate as a party defendant in the issues currently before Millburn Township with its affordable housing obligations. The hearing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on December 6.