Camden County ponders eminent domain for redevelopment

Pizza parlor, single-family homes threatened with seizure

Tri-State /
Oct.October 05, 2021 03:39 PM
Camden County ponders eminent domain for redevelopment

Camden County ponders eminent domain for redevelopment (Google Maps)

The doctrine of eminent domain is rearing its head in Camden County, New Jersey, threatening to push out the residents of single-family homes and a local business.

The municipal planning board in Mount Ephraim voted to recommend that the borough approve a resolution designating their street corner as in need of redevelopment, according to NJ.com. The corner includes three homes and a Tony Roni pizza franchise.

The potential redevelopment is focused on a Catholic church that hasn’t been used in 20 years. The borough bought the church property two months ago for $775,000. But the property wraps around the pizza shop, for which the franchisee has a long-term lease.

Eminent domain involves public entities forcing the sale of private properties for public interest. Tony Roni’s owner does not consider it appropriate in this instance.

“I don’t really believe it falls under eminent domain,” Anthony Altomare told NJ.com.

The borough aims to carve out a 2-acre plot where the church, pizzeria and occupied homes stand. A developer hasn’t been chosen for the project, but there have been preliminary discussions about bringing in a Lidl grocery store.

The borough commission doesn’t have the redevelopment resolution on its agenda for this month, borough clerk Terry Shannon told NJ.com. That will likely happen after a developer is lined up, Shannon added.

Altomare, who operates eight other shops in the Greater Philadelphia area, is reeling from the possibility of losing his lone New Jersey location to government seizure.

“We’re part of the community,” Altomare told the publication. “They can’t just throw us out in the street.”

[NJ.com] — Holden Walter-Warner





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