Sunday, June 18, 2006

More Eminent Domain To Start Your Day

From the Star Ledger:

When a state can take or save the family farm

When the state wanted open land to create wetlands in 1998, it condemned 20 acres of the Borinski farm in Lincoln Park, despite the farmers' objections.

When Montville wanted an access way to a well on Lotta Lettuce farm last year, it used eminent domain to try to take some of the property, touching off litigation.

And when the state looked for another area to create artificial wetlands, it moved this year to take 17.4 acres of Harvestone Farms in Washington Township, drawing the ire of local officials and state legislators.

Parcels of working farms continue to be eyed by state and local governments for a variety of purposes. As open, level spaces, they can look like welcome mats, farmers say.

But agriculture advocates note that hundreds of millions of tax dollars are now being spent to preserve farms. They point out the state is now giving farmers tax breaks to keep them in business and enforcing the Right to Farm Act, which helps farmer get around conflicts with local officials and neighbors.

"Why then should it permit farms to be exposed to the random application of eminent domain and contradict all those adopted policies?" New Jersey Farm Bureau Executive Director Peter Furey said.

"It seems appropriate to remove all farmland from eminent domain proceedings," Furey said in an interview.

4 Comments:

Blogger Metroplexual said...

"And when the state looked for another area to create artificial wetlands, it moved this year to take 17.4 acres of Harvestone Farms in Washington Township, drawing the ire of local officials and state legislators."

NJDOT wants to use this land for wetlands mitigation for the Route 206 widening up by Stokes Park. Look on a map and see how far these sites are away from each other, Stokes is up in Sandyston and the farm borders Hackettstown. The site is also where a bypass has been proposed for Route 57 to get to RT 46.

NJDOT supposedly has 14 different sites but chose this one which imo was the worst. They ne\ver consulted the locals on it either. the site is also on top of Hackettstown's water main. The Township, the owner, the County of Warren, and neighboring Hacketstown all highly dissaprove of this remediation.

Bad planning on DOT's part. They dropped the ball and did not follow actual planning procedure which is the 3Cs approach: comprehensive, coordinated and continuous. Nothing coordinated here folks. I told that to the project manager's face as well. They are so arrogant at DOT.


Also, the Farm Bureau is perplexed as to why the state would take a working farm by emminent domain when it is the state's mission to keep farms viable.

6/18/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Skeptic said...

Metro,

I appreciate your professional comments on this issue. Do you think DOT is going to give up? If this matter goes into litigation, who do you think will win?

6/18/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Metroplexual said...

I think that the opinion of the people can prevail. It needs an outcry from the electorate. DOT has traditionally been insulated but this might just be enough to get them because the farm bureau is involved (they are a lobby).

But alot of this politics. Washington Township residents don't want too see the bypass because they think Hackettstown did this to them self. However, Mansfield (Warren County)next door has done more in the last 5 years and Mount Olive(Morris)also has as well.

DOT is now in the business of punishing towns behaving badly. Especially if they are rural (defies state plan) or Republican, which seems to go hand in hand in this state.

6/18/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Y'ALL NEED TO MOVE THE FUCK OUT OF NEW JERSEY. IT IS A SHITHOLE AND ON THE HI WAY TO HELL. GET THE FUCK OUT.

6/19/2006 11:28:00 PM  

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