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New Monmouth Mall Zoning Challenged By Eatontown Residents Group

EATONTOWN: A group of Eatontown residents who oppose the ordinance to rezone the Monmouth Mall have filed a lawsuit against the borough in an effort to overturn it.

The three-count complaint was filed in Monmouth County Superior Court in October by residents Evelyn Guerra, Judith Bretzger, Barbara Denegar and Sara Breslow and seeks a ruling to declare the ordinance null and void due to "violations of the Municipal Land Use law, procedural deficiencies and violations of the Open Public Meetings Act," according to the complaint.

The ordinance, which created a new mixed use regional center zone where the Monmouth Mall currently sits, was approved by the Eatontown Council on Sept. 14. The 5-1 vote came following a lengthy public hearing where the majority of the residents in attendance spoke out against the ordinance, with most stating that the increased traffic and 700 apartments would negatively impact the borough. Councilman Anthony Talerico was the only member of the council to vote against the ordinance.

The complaint alleges that people were turned away from council meeting room when it reached its 130-person capacity and were asked to watch a live stream of the meeting next door at the Eatontown Fire Department. The suit states that the livestream did not work properly and that those in attendance could not hear or see the meeting for long periods of time.

The plaintiffs also claim that the council never made a formal motion to vote on the ordinance and that it should be declared "null and void" as a result.

The final count states that the new zone "adversely impacts, the plaintiffs' property rights and property owned by them."

Eatontown Mayor Dennis Connelly told Word On The Shore this week that he did not wish to comment on the lawsuit at this time.

Read more from: Eatontown

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