March 10, 2017
There are several related legal cases involving the township and Solberg Airport, which can make it confusing as updates occur. The Solbergs sued the township to zone the entire 726-acre property for airport use. Currently 122 acres are zoned for that use, and the remainder is zoned agricultural/residential.
Before the suit went to trial Judge Miller issued a summary judgment in favor of the Solbergs. He was relying on Judge Armstrong’s opinion on the zoning ordinance. The ordinance wasn’t part of the matter before Judge Armstrong and is part of what Readington is appealing. Generally courts defer to municipalities to create the zoning for their own towns.
So without yet having the opportunity to defend its zoning, Readington has now been ordered to pay $379,767 in the Solberg’s legal fees for them to sue the town. Since it all stems from the case under appeal, nothing will be settled until the outcome of the appeal is determined.
Citizens for Readington continues to support these efforts of the Township to determine its own fate with regard to zoning and airport expansion and improvements. As we repeatedly state, our best hope is for a negotiated settlement that works for both entities and puts this issue to rest for good.
More detail on the zoning case can be found in our article here: Judge Miller issues summary judgment. The recent online article on the fees is here: NJ.com article
Thomas Thatcher, Division of Aeronautics, State Director of Aviation testimony. Readington consulted with Mr. Thatcher to develop the Ordinance in question that established airport zoning on the Solberg property: Click Here>>