Jackson faces lawsuit following denial of Jackson Parke application

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JACKSON – A developer that proposed the construction of 1,100 residential units in the Cassville section of Jackson is now suing the township.

The applicant, Jackson Parke, was seeking approval from the Jackson Planning Board for two applications.

One application proposed the construction of 551 single-family and multi-family residences on a 226-acre tract off Perrineville Road. That application for what was referred to as the Jackson Parke north section included 120 affordable housing units. The application for the north section was denied by the Planning Board in the fall of 2019.

A second application proposed the construction of 549 single-family and multi-family residences on a 129-acre tract off West Veterans Highway. That application for what was referred to as the Jackson Parke south section included 100 affordable housing units. The application for the south section is scheduled to be heard by the Planning Board on March 16.

The lawsuit was filed on Jan. 27 by El At Jackson LLC against Jackson Township, Mayor Michael Reina, the Township Council, the Planning Board and between one and 20 individuals identified as John and Jane Doe(s) who could be elected or appointed officials, consultants or employees of Jackson, or others whose acts violated the plaintiff’s rights, according to the lawsuit.

There are four counts listed in the lawsuit:

• The first count cites the board’s arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable denial of a fully conforming site plan and subdivision application for the Jackson Parke north parcel, and an unwarranted refusal to act within a statutorily mandated time for the Jackson Parke south parcel;

• The second count cites a failure to comply with court orders, justifying the appointment of a special hearing officer to hear applications for the north parcel and the south parcel and all associated applications for board approval and relief, and to recommend decisions, by report to the court or special master;

• The third count cites deprivation of due process and equal protection of the law, and the temporary taking of property without compensation;

• The fourth count cites the violation of conditions of court orders affirming compliance and granting repose and immunity from builder’s remedy litigation.

When public hearings were held regarding the proposed development of the Jackson Parke north section, residents voiced their opposition to the application and expressed concern about environmental issues, endangered species on or near the Perrineville Road property, building on or near wetlands, drainage, flooding and traffic associated with hundreds of new homes.

Jackson officials did not respond to requests for comment about the Jackson Parke lawsuit.