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Appeals court tightens eminent domain rules

by Tom Hester/The Star-Ledger Monday February 25, 2008, 1:28 PM

Property owners have 45 days to sue a town that is trying to take their property for redevelopment as long as the town has given them proper notice of their intentions, a state appeals court said today.

The three-judge panel said if a town has given the property owner a clear warning, the property owner has to sue within 45 days or risk losing the opportunity to do so in the future.

The judges ruled on four separate cases stemming from the Harrison planning board's decision in 1997 to declare a portion of the town south of Route 280 as blighted and designate it an "area in need of redevelopment" by Hoboken-based Harrison Commons Inc.

A year later, the Harrison council adopted the planning board's redevelopment recommendation. Property owners had only 45 days to challenge the blight designation, but the town did not identify any specific properties it intended to take through eminent domain. Another six years passed before property owners were notified the town planned to condemn their properties. By then, the 45-day period to take legal action had long passed.

Attorneys for four present and past property owners argued the state's redevelopment law does not give property owners enough time to challenge a town's plans to take their property. They said the owners may not know their property is actually targeted for condemnation until years after the 45-day deadline for legal action has expired.

DID THE POLITICIANS DO THEIE HOMEWORK????? LETS SEE, GOOD JOB TO MANNY AMAREL FOR TAKING THIS FURHTER, AND FIGHTING "CITY HALL"... WAY TO GO MANNY, FOR OTHERS TO SEE THE INS AND OUTS OF EMINENT DOMAIN.

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Guest *Harrisonian*
Appeals court tightens eminent domain rules

by Tom Hester/The Star-Ledger Monday February 25, 2008, 1:28 PM

Property owners have 45 days to sue a town that is trying to take their property for redevelopment as long as the town has given them proper notice of their intentions, a state appeals court said today.

The three-judge panel said if a town has given the property owner a clear warning, the property owner has to sue within 45 days or risk losing the opportunity to do so in the future.

The judges ruled on four separate cases stemming from the Harrison planning board's decision in 1997 to declare a portion of the town south of Route 280 as blighted and designate it an "area in need of redevelopment" by Hoboken-based Harrison Commons Inc.

A year later, the Harrison council adopted the planning board's redevelopment recommendation. Property owners had only 45 days to challenge the blight designation, but the town did not identify any specific properties it intended to take through eminent domain. Another six years passed before property owners were notified the town planned to condemn their properties. By then, the 45-day period to take legal action had long passed.

Attorneys for four present and past property owners argued the state's redevelopment law does not give property owners enough time to challenge a town's plans to take their property. They said the owners may not know their property is actually targeted for condemnation until years after the 45-day deadline for legal action has expired.

DID THE POLITICIANS DO THEIE HOMEWORK????? LETS SEE, GOOD JOB TO MANNY AMAREL FOR TAKING THIS FURHTER, AND FIGHTING "CITY HALL"... WAY TO GO MANNY, FOR OTHERS TO SEE THE INS AND OUTS OF EMINENT DOMAIN.

Is Peter B. putting the For-Sale sign out front on Davis Avenue? He was part of the Master-Mind behind Eminent Domain, Mahogany should take the other half of the credit for this calamity. The two of them should appear in the Elks Club along with Bennett every Friday night and do their rendition of the Three Stooges! How much of our money was wasted on this mindless direction by the Re-Development Chairperson Peter B. Is he ******** ********, again?

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Guest Mike Grafone

Manny is lucky he is a millionaire and had the money to appeal. Good for him. As for us regular people in his situation, we would have got it right up the keester by the town.

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Is Peter B. putting the For-Sale sign out front on Davis Avenue? He was part of the Master-Mind behind Eminent Domain, Mahogany should take the other half of the credit for this calamity. The two of them should appear in the Elks Club along with Bennett every Friday night and do their rendition of the Three Stooges! How much of our money was wasted on this mindless direction by the Re-Development Chairperson Peter B. Is he ******** ********, again?

Does this mean that ******** ******* has to pay back the commissions they earned kicking out the residents on Middlesex Street or is their involvment free and clear????

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Guest Retired Attorney
What is going to happen now? Does the town have to rebuild Manny's gas station?

Waiting 6 years to notify individual property owners of the town's intentions appears to leave the town

wide open for lawsuits. This is a big win for the property owners. It also makes me question the

decision making of this town redevelopment group; their background, expertise and experience.

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Guest Bobby Pinz
I hope Amaral, Adler, and DeRose sue this town for millions. That's what they deserve. McDonough's legacy will be that he made the stupidest decision in the town's history.

Does this mean the Red Bulls will stop building their stadium?

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I hope Amaral, Adler, and DeRose sue this town for millions. That's what they deserve. McDonough's legacy will be that he made the stupidest decision in the town's history.

You should change your name to Mr. Stupid, as we the residents would pay if Amaral or Adler win a lawsuit against the town!

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CONGRATS TO THE INDIVIDUALS THIS RULING FAVORS!

When eminent domain became widely abused after the landmark New London, Connecticut case (a 5 to 4 split in the US supreme court supporting the government in New London and dissing the citizens that had their homes taken) it didn't take long for my own home town's government to "cash in" with an eye towards political targeting.

This ruling is going to cost Harrison's citizens PLENTY. It's interesting how government's elected officials can bumble ANY AMOUNT of taxpayer money and later simply stand at the podium using words to describe each other like, "Honorable" when they conspire for re-election.

Look. Since I've been on KOTW, Harrison has been a perpetual messageboard circus of everything bad that happens in politics, almost. It's actually funny if one ignores the hardship upon the decent people of the town........like some campy movie filmed in a dustbelt state where the "good ol' boys (and girls)" in government got a sweet thing going for themselves and everyone else in town saves cardboard for the broken windows.

So for now in Harrison the "bleeding" will continue unfortunately, but with recent courageous efforts made by Joe Wood and others to face the political entrenchment for what it is, if the people get ACTIVE, perhaps the depth of the Harrison hole will stop before it hits oil.

For sake of ALL DECENCY, I hope so. The comedy/drama is getting very old............but above all in this post.........BRAVO for the ruling, some very deserving people will now be loading up on any number of gastro anti-acids! (and THAT'S funny!)

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Corzine unveils budget with major cuts to key N.J. programs

2/26/2008, 1:27 p.m. ET

By TOM HESTER Jr.

The Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Jon S. Corzine on Tuesday proposed major budget cuts to key New Jersey programs, including state workers, property tax rebates and aid for towns and hospitals, calling it an agonizing bid to revamp troubled state finances.

"Frankly, New Jersey has a government its people cannot afford," Corzine said. "The budget I present today declares the time of living beyond our means is over."

The $33 billion budget proposes $2.7 billion in cuts as Corzine looks to right state finances plagued by annual budget deficits, high taxes and mounting debt. Corzine called his plan "cold turkey therapy for our troubled spending addiction."

"I am pained by the stress and anguish brought to our people's lives by the cuts proposed," the Democratic governor said. "We are positioned between a rock and a hard place."

Under the proposal:

• Property tax rebates would be eliminated for households earning more than $150,000, reduced for households earning between $100,000 and $150,000 and sliced for renters.

• State aid for hospitals, towns and cities and colleges would be cut.

• State workers would be laid off and offered retirement incentives, and the agriculture, commerce and personnel departments eliminated, with the goal to cut 5,000 workers.

• Motor vehicle agencies and state parks could have hours cut.

• Health care services for low-income workers and the poor face funding cuts.

"Failing to take on the tough choices will only force New Jersey into a deeper fiscal swamp and weigh down our taxpayers with more unbearable financial burdens," Corzine said. "That outcome is unacceptable."

The plan needs legislative approval. The state Constitution requires a budget be adopted by July 1. State government closed for a week in 2006 when that deadline was missed amid a dispute between Corzine and lawmakers over tax increases.

Corzine also wants to significantly increase tolls on the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike and Atlantic City Expressway to pay state debt and fund transportation.

Although that plan is separate from the budget proposal, Corzine referenced legislative opposition to it and pleaded to find a way to cut debt.

"Fixing the fiscal problem without addressing debt reduction is a fiction and if we try to do that, we're misleading the public," Corzine said.

Democratic legislative leaders said they would review the cuts, but acknowledged a need to slice spending.

"The Legislature will look through these cuts and say which ones are fair and not fair," said Senate President Richard J. Codey, D-Essex. "But these are sobering times financially."

Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts Jr., D-Camden, predicted the budget will pass "in large measure as the governor presented it."

"It's pain that is across the board, but sadly it's necessary," Roberts said.

New Jersey has the nation's highest property taxes, at $6,330 per homeowner, or twice the national average. The rebates averaged $1,051 last year, after Codey and Roberts led a fight to increase them. Both said they would review the proposed rebate cuts, but noted 90 percent of New Jerseyans who received a rebate last year would get one this year.

Republicans vowed to fight rebate cuts.

"Property tax relief must remain a priority and we cannot support a reduction in direct property tax relief," said Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce, R-Morris. "All other cuts must be on table for discussion."

The cuts were welcomed by businesses.

"We applaud the governor for understanding the seriousness of our fiscal crisis by presenting a budget that, while tough to stomach by just about everyone in this state, will begin to repair the damage," said Joan Verplanck, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce president.

Carla Katz, president of the largest state workers union chapter, said the cuts would "scapegoat public workers, will hurt middle class families and fail to provide a real solution to the state's fiscal problems."

But some Republicans called on Corzine to find more cuts, such as eliminating the public advocate's department.

"This budget is still a pig that is ripe for roasting," said Sen. Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

© 2008 NJ.com All Rights Reserved.

REPUBLICANS ,Did they say" eliminate the public advocate's department".

I BET SOME DEMOCRATS AROUND HERE WOULD VOTE FOR THAT TOO.... TOOOOO LATEEEE.

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Guest Bill Kolecktor
Wait until we get sued and pay off a large settlement if they win. Only an idiot would think it's such a great day!

The Redevelopement Committee should get sued. Not the resident taxpayers. They made this mess, now let them pay the piper. But they won't. They will put it on the taxpayers. And even if the residents are forced to pay millions, I predict this gang will still be re-elected by the Zombies.

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CONGRATS TO THE INDIVIDUALS THIS RULING FAVORS!

When eminent domain became widely abused after the landmark New London, Connecticut case (a 5 to 4 split in the US supreme court supporting the government in New London and dissing the citizens that had their homes taken) it didn't take long for my own home town's government to "cash in" with an eye towards political targeting.

This ruling is going to cost Harrison's citizens PLENTY. It's interesting how government's elected officials can bumble ANY AMOUNT of taxpayer money and later simply stand at the podium using words to describe each other like, "Honorable" when they conspire for re-election.

Look. Since I've been on KOTW, Harrison has been a perpetual messageboard circus of everything bad that happens in politics, almost. It's actually funny if one ignores the hardship upon the decent people of the town........like some campy movie filmed in a dustbelt state where the "good ol' boys (and girls)" in government got a sweet thing going for themselves and everyone else in town saves cardboard for the broken windows.

So for now in Harrison the "bleeding" will continue unfortunately, but with recent courageous efforts made by Joe Wood and others to face the political entrenchment for what it is, if the people get ACTIVE, perhaps the depth of the Harrison hole will stop before it hits oil.

For sake of ALL DECENCY, I hope so. The comedy/drama is getting very old............but above all in this post.........BRAVO for the ruling, some very deserving people will now be loading up on any number of gastro anti-acids! (and THAT'S funny!)

HEY...........TWO YEARS AGO TODAY I JOINED KOTW! I'm glad to reply to a JOYOUS ruling concerning Harrison on the anniversary of my membership! Let's KEEP THE BALL ROLLING!

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IT AIN'T OVER YET, THE FAT LADY HAS NOT SUNG HER SONG, DON'T BE SO QUICK TO CELIBRATE WE ALL THOUGT IT WAS OVER AND THE TOWN WAS OK, LET JUST LET IT PLAY OUT.................DON'T WANT TO EAT CROW , DO WE...............?

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Wait until we get sued and pay off a large settlement if they win. Only an idiot would think it's such a great day!

You are the idiot or work for the boss IT IS ABOUT TIME THEY ARE GOING TO GET THEIR DO

LET THE DEVELOPERS PAY UP AND GET THE MONEY OUT OF THE LINED POCKETS OF ALL THOSE FROM THE MAYOR ON DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOPE THEY ALL HAVE TO PAY UP

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Guest BlueTideBacker
I hope Amaral, Adler, and DeRose sue this town for millions. That's what they deserve. McDonough's legacy will be that he made the stupidest decision in the town's history.

Absolutely right !! What this town did was morally wrong and now the court has said it was legally wrong.

More proof that when the inmates run the asylum, bad things happen.

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The Redevelopement Committee should get sued. Not the resident taxpayers. They made this mess, now let them pay the piper. But they won't. They will put it on the taxpayers. And even if the residents are forced to pay millions, I predict this gang will still be re-elected by the Zombies.

Guess who is going to pay the millions. Bend over.

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Guest Peter Higgins should resig

I agree that Peter Higgins has done a poor Job in the last 12 years. He should resign!!

We should aquire a group of people to lead this.

Maybe Joe Wood, who has brought us web meetings can lead this?

Go Joe Go

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Guest guest
I hope Amaral, Adler, and DeRose sue this town for millions. That's what they deserve. McDonough's legacy will be that he made the stupidest decision in the town's history.

How "dumb" can you be!!!! Or are you out to see the regular citizens of this town 'suffer'???

Any 'monetary' payouts will come out of the 'pockets' of the hardworking, private citiizens in the town, not off of any of the politicians, or those involved in the redevelopment!!!!

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Guest Guest
How "dumb" can you be!!!! Or are you out to see the regular citizens of this town 'suffer'???

Any 'monetary' payouts will come out of the 'pockets' of the hardworking, private citiizens in the town, not off of any of the politicians, or those involved in the redevelopment!!!!

The best thing would be to get rid of The existing board and replace it

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Guest Soprano's Construction
The Redevelopement Committee should get sued. Not the resident taxpayers. They made this mess, now let them pay the piper. But they won't. They will put it on the taxpayers. And even if the residents are forced to pay millions, I predict this gang will still be re-elected by the Zombies.

We have been contacted by vested citizens in the Eminent Domain case regarding their properties that were leveled by Peter B and the Re-Development Committee. We will be parking a Bull-dozer on Cross Street and Davis Avenue. We will begin demolition of a smaller structure and then progress to the main structure. We have appropriately christened our dozer " E D " in harmony with our current municipal legal theme of the season! Pete do you want us to save the cyclone fence? Can we use the gas grill during our lunch break?

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