2002-10-17 / Front Page
Jackson wants details before renewing trailer park license
Jackson wants details before
renewing trailer park license
By Joyce Blay
JACKSON — Despite a pretrial decision by state Superior Court Judge Eugene Serpentelli, sitting in Toms River, on Oct. 4, giving Shady Oak Mobile Home Park owner Earl Terhune 10 days to submit documentation for a license renewal, Jackson lawyers say that will not guarantee he re-ceives it.
"The township is prepared to review his application," said township attorney Kevin Starkey, "but he would have to apply for a zoning variance ... if he wants more trailers."
According to Starkey, the Route 571 property the park occupies is zoned RD-1 for rural development under township ordinances. Although previous owners of the 60-year old park had expanded it in years past, Starkey said that current owner, Terhune, would not be able to do the same without a zoning variance.
Terhune came to the pretrial conference with his attorney, Lori C. Greenberg, while Starkey and Guy Russo of Russo Secare, the law firm for the township’s insurance company, represented Jackson.
Greenberg asserted that Terhune had supplied all the documentation required of him, but said Jackson still would not renew his license to operate the trailer park.
"Tell us what more (we need to provide)," she said, "and make it reasonable."
According to Starkey, though, what is required has not yet been received. He said the township wants three things: a plan showing the individual pads on which each trailer sits, the distance between them, and the fire lanes and streets; a survey of the trailer park; and a register listing owners and occupants of the trailer.
"Clearly the facts are disputed and there is no way for me to tell who is correct," Serpentelli said.
In order to expedite the matter, the judge split the issue of the license from that of the Terhune lawsuit’s other allegations, which include defamation of character; the charge that the township’s actions in denying a license renewal were arbitrary and capricious; and Terhune’s contention that denying him a license is tantamount to seizing his property. Also at issue is whether Terhune was deprived of due process as well as his civil rights.
Those issues will be decided in a separate trial once the matter of the license is settled.
Starkey, however, did not preclude the resolution of the standoff.
"He owns the land," the attorney said. "Shady Oak has been around for years and it will probably be around for many more to come."