A New Jersey appellate court this week rejected an appeal by a Sayreville developer to challenge the imposition of costs and fees levied upon its commercial redevelopment by the Sayreville Economic Redevelopment Agency (“SERA”). The developer Gillette Enterprises, Inc., sought to develop a parcel of land within Sayreville’s redevelopment area with age-restricted housing, after it purchased the rights to the property from the redeveloper originally designated by the SERA. Gillette filed an action in lieu of prerogative writs seeking a judgment striking the requirement that it pay the costs of the SERA’s consultants and an annual redevelopment fee, a refund of escrow charges it has paid, and an order approving its redevelopment application. The trial court granted SERA’s motion for summary judgment.
On appeal, the panel affirmed the trial court’s opinion. It concluded that SERA had statutory authority to require appellant to agree to pay a redeveloper’s fee and its professional costs to review its redevelopment plan and agreement, and that SERA’s demand that appellant pay the fee and other costs was not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable.
This decision marks the latest round of litigation involving a large redevelopment project along Raritan Bay in Sayreville, which is the site of the former National Lead operation. The project called for approximately 3 million square feet of retail space, hotels, offices, other commercial uses and 2,000 residential housing units. The project had been slowed by a variety of legal challenges, environmental issues and also market conditions.
A copy of the appellate court’s opinion is available here.
More information regarding Sayreville’s redevelopment project is available in the links below: