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Land sale would prevent four schools from being built on Jackson tract

JACKSON — The attorney who represents an applicant that is seeking to build four private schools on a Leesville Road tract has confirmed her client and representatives of Jackson have come to a “meeting of the minds” that may see the 32-acre parcel purchased by the township and preserved as open space.

Attorney Donna Jennings told the Tri-Town News on Nov. 1 that the basic premise of an agreement between her client, Bellevue Estates, LLC, and Jackson is in place and could be finalized in a matter of days.

Any agreement the parties make regarding the property would be subject to approval by the members of the Jackson Township Council, Jennings said in an interview.

Her comments corroborated a press release Mayor Michael Reina issued on Oct. 31 in which he announced the township has successfully negotiated to acquire the 32-acre farm on Leesville Road where a developer is proposing to build four private schools.

The mayor’s press release did not state a purchase price for the property or state where the funding would come from.

Reina is running for re-election to another four-year term as mayor. He is being challenged by Martin Flemming, who currently serves as the Township Council president.

Voting by mail and early in-person voting have begun. Election Day is Nov. 8.

Representatives of Bellevue Estates recently testified before the Jackson Planning Board regarding the proposal to construct three private elementary schools and one private high school at 443 Leesville Road.

Residents of the area spoke out against the plan to construct four schools at one location. The public hearing is scheduled to resume in December.

The next Township Council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 15.

In the press release, Reina was quoted as saying, “My priority is to protect existing neighborhoods in Jackson and to protect and honor the rights of all Jackson residents. We have found a way to achieve both outcomes with this agreement once it is finalized and approved.”

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