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Judge reinstates Bancroft lawsuit

During a Camden County Superior Court hearing today, Judge Nan S. Famular agreed to a request by a group of Haddonfield residents, among them former mayors Jack Tarditi and Tish Colombi, to reinstate a suit they had filed in 2018 against the Borough of Haddonfield and its commissioners, objecting to aspects of the proposed redevelopment plan that failed to promote senior housing. 

Tarditi and the other plaintiffs had withdrawn the suit in 2019 without prejudice — meaning they retained the right to reinstate it in the future — based on a settlement agreement in which the Borough committed to the development of age-restricted housing at the site.

The plaintiffs requested reinstatement of their case because, they claimed, the commissioners had failed to abide by the settlement, which was spelled out in an order entered by Judge Famular in October 2019. The order noted that the borough would take steps to achieve and promote age-restricted housing on the site.

The borough’s attorney alleged that the borough had been unable to find a viable alternative to the “age-targeted” townhomes proposed by the site’s designated redeveloper, despite efforts to do so.

In the suit filed in March 2018, the plaintiffs called for the revised redevelopment plan the commissioners adopted in February 2018 to be set aside, and for the original Bancroft redevelopment plan to be reinstated. The 2018 plan called for fewer design restrictions and increased floor area per townhome — changes the developer had requested. The Planning Board voted overwhelmingly against the developer’s requests, but the commissioners set their objections aside and adopted the revised plan.

It is not known at this time if the Planning Board will schedule a hearing on the developer’s pending application until the issue is resolved in court. Judge Famular has not yet set a date for a hearing on the plaintiffs’ reinstated suit.

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