The Verona Town Council has posted the agenda for its next meeting, which will be held on Monday, June 11.
The Council will again not be voting on resolutions authorizing it to acquire two pieces of property that a developer had been seeking to use as sites for affordable housing. The vote, which had been scheduled for the May 21 meeting but was tabled after public participation. A representative of the Law Office of Price, Meese, Shulman & D’Arminio came to the microphone and announced that she was going the Council a letter outlining the objections of the property owner to Verona’s plans. South Orange developer Roger Kruvant currently owns both 25 Commerce Court, which has long been used as the Verona leaf dump, and 111 Mount Prospect Avenue, a heavily wooded lot at the edge of Eagle Rock Reservation. The vote was to have taken place at the June 11 meeting, but has not been postposed to June 25.
The Council is looking to invoke the the Eminent Domain Act of 1971 to acquire both properties. Eminent domain allows a government entity, including a municipal government, to take private property for public use but requires “just” compensation to be paid to its owner. The proposed ordinances authorize the Council to use $25,000 per property from the Capital Surplus Fund for preliminary planning expenses, but do not indicate a total purchase price for the acquisitions. The ordinances say that the Council wants to maintaining both properties as open space and public parks, and that 25 Commerce Court will also be used by the Department of Public Works.
Also on the agenda for Monday’s meeting is public recognition of the community service of Edward Conlon and Michael Zichelli. Both men retired early this year after several decades on the Board of Adjustment.
The meeting, which will be held in the second floor Council chambers at Town Hall, begins at 7 p.m. It is open to the public. You can read the full agenda here.
The Council’s website contains information on meeting dates, agendas, ordinances and resolutions, and links to videos of past Council meetings.