Green Villagers Sue Town Over Farming Law
Lawsuit contends the ordinance violates the land use element of the Master Plan.
The lawsuit cites language from the township's 2006 Master Plan Reexamination Report, which encourages "the continuation of remaining agricultural activity" and the preservation of "agriculture as a way of life in Chatham Township where it exists." According to the suit, the ordinance does neither.
The ordinance, the lawsuit reads in part, "is clearly arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable, and plainly contrary to the fundamental principles of zoning and Municipal Land Use Law," and "fails to advance the Municipal Land Use Laws [sic] declared purpose of promoting the publich health, safety, morals and general welfare."
Plaintiffs want the ordinance declared void and invalidated. They also seek attorney's fees, costs and expenses from the township.
The lawsuit was served by an unincorporated association of residents of Green Village Road, including Jim and Shirley Honickel, Richard Erich Templin, Chris and Kristen Struening, Michael J. and Nicole O'Connell and Vincent and Thea Bancroft Ziccolella. They are suing both individually and as members of the Citizens Against Ordinance 2012-05, the market garden ordinance.
According to Woodward, the township has 35 days to file an answer with the courts.
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