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Monday, July 30, 2007

Vineland Construction Company, Inc. v. Township of Pennsauken

07-27-07 A-3136-05T2

Pennsauken Township determined that approximately 600 acres
of waterfront property, including 137 acres owned by plaintiff,
was in need of redevelopment. The Township designated a master
redeveloper for the entire area. Plaintiff does not challenge
the Township's determination that the area is in need of
redevelopment or the Township's redevelopment plan. It argues
that it should be permitted to develop its own property as part
of the redevelopment project and not be subject to eminent
domain proceedings to turn its property over to the master

We held that plaintiff does not have a constitutional right
to redevelop its own property, and, once it is determined that
the property is in need of redevelopment, thus establishing a
public purpose, the municipality has the authority under the
LRHL to condemn the property and designate a master redeveloper to execute the redevelopment plan if the municipality reasonably concludes that such action is necessary or convenient. The record established a reasonable basis here, and we owe judicial deference to the legislative decision.
Judge Holston filed a dissent.