Mayor Nicole Hagner and Attorney Carl Woodward confirmed the township has been served with a lawsuit over the .
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.
Chatham Patch will continue to update this story.