Home Government Some Improvements in Maple Leaf Park, But ‘Fierce Battle’ Remains

Some Improvements in Maple Leaf Park, But ‘Fierce Battle’ Remains

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Maple Leaf Park (Credit: Google Maps)
Maple Leaf Park (Credit: Google Maps)

The outspoken resident of the Maple Leaf Park condominium complex, whose comments before the Brick Township Council last fall sparked a discussion on anti-crime measures and a rental responsibility ordinance, says there has been an improvement in the neighborhood, but crime issues linger and more work should be done.

James Cancel, who has described rampant drug dealing and other criminal activity in the troubled complex, said the rental responsibility ordinance – under which landlords can be held responsible for renting to tenants who commit crimes – has had an effect on the community, but the complex is embroiled in a tense contest over its association.

“You guys, with what you did, really have rocked the situation,” said Cancel. “It’s a fierce battle right now.”

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Board members at the complex – many of whom own units in Maple Leaf Park but do not live there themselves – defended their record at a township council meeting last fall after Cancel initially spoke out. Rental units account for about 70 percent of the complex, making it difficult for prospective buyers to qualify for mortgages. The result, some homeowners have said, is that investors often buy the properties and rent to tenants who cause trouble.

Cancel said current board members with an interest in maintaining the status quo have been sending scathing campaign letters criticizing Cancel, who is seeking a seat on the board.

Though the rental ordinance has made an impact, Cancel said, he and other residents of the community have said the crime issues linger. One resident, whose name Shorebeat is withholding for his own protection, said recently that there is a “constant smell of marijuana” through the neighborhood, and it is not uncommon for some residents to allow their dogs to defecate and urinate in hallways.

“The … criminal element has taken root again” after Shorebeat first published an article on the complex last fall, the resident said. “Appeals to the association about any of these problems go ignored.”

There have been no citations issued yet under the rental responsibility ordinance, said Township Administrator Joanne Bergin. But the township has taken steps to be more forceful in its enforcement of township codes.

“We have significantly increased our presence in all rental communities through the hiring of a code enforcement official specifically to address some of the issues that have been raised in regards to irresponsible landlords,” Bergin said.

Since the ordinance is new, it may take time for hearings to take place, as state law requires two crimes to be criminal convictions before such a hearing can be held.

Additionally, Councilwoman Andrea Zapcic said the township B-Mac organization has continued its efforts to expand after-schools programs in the neighborhood to keep youth occupied and away from crime.

“We’re reaching out to some of the agencies of the community to see if we can get in there a third day during the week,” said Zapcic. “We have been working on this from multiple approaches.”


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  • Frank Rizzo

    Thanks to JW and his liberal friends we have little or no recourse these days. Back in the day the mafia or mob would handle such events that the government could not. But they were taken down hard while other gangs remain untouched due to political correctness such as crips and bloods and MS13 who now occupy these units. Thank you JW for helping take down a nation with your political correctness.

    • JW

      YOU’RE WELCOME FRANK 😀 !!!!

    • JJones

      Wouldn’t it be possible to make a complex sweep with law enforcement and clean this mess up once and for all ?? They know whos in there and what they are doing and my guess would be you would find drugs , and guns ….and wanted trash..

      • A “sweep”? What exactly is that ? You would need probable cause and warrants for each and every dwelling before you could ” sweep” through.

      • JW

        Listen buddy, you can take that constitutional stuff and shove it, ok? This here is a police state- get that through your thick hippie skull!

        If people are keeping their ‘vices’ indoors and minding their own business, well, what respectable people would tolerate that. They need to be summarily executed, obviously.

      • Who said anything about police state? I was just referring to YOUR Constitutional protection which affords everyone the the protection of unlawful search and seizure. This isnt my own radical ideals. It’s basically the a summary of the simple God given rights WE Americans are born with as sovereign individuals. Don’t radicalize it.

      • Wait, I’m sorry. Were you being sarcastic? I can’t tell if your last post is delusional, brainwashed nonsense or if you were being sarcastic. I apologize if you were. If not, you’re nuts…go lick a cops boot.

      • JW

        I’ll leave the delusional brainwashed stuff to Frank or whatever his real name is.

    • You’re suggesting criminals control the criminals? So after the organized criminals kick out the disorganized criminals, then what? The mob runs the neighbirhood? Yeah, who wouldnt want that? Sounds like a great idea :eyes roll:

  • JJones

    Unless you live in the area you have no clue how bad it is…you just cant ride through and say its getting better ..I f you really cared council walk through on an FRIDAY ..SATURDAY ..SUNDAY ..NIGHT AFTER DARK …And then you will know the truth ..bring the police with you …

  • JW

    Took a ride there yesterday evening actually. Still as run down and uneventful as ever. Didn’t even smell any weed. If this patch of real estate is as crime ridden and crappy as people say, they do a good job keeping it indoors so to speak. Chill down on the hysteria guys.

    • Frank Rizzo

      Remove head from rectum in order to see and smell JW.

      • JW

        Says the guy who won’t get off the barcalounger and surprisingly find the exact same thing- a lot normal people doing nothing at all.

      • Frank Rizzo

        So big JW…all knowing and more intelligent than the majority sees no problem what so ever in Sawmill.

      • JW

        Nope- and the wide shoulders and generally observed low speed limits makes it a good spot to bike around for recreational purposes.

        Tell me what horrors you see there on a daily basis. Child prostitution? Drive-bys? Or do you only visit for the occasional cross burning? Share your expertise- not that you have any except the usual Archie Bunker whining.