Several residents of Lyndhurst Drive are suing the Brick Township Board of Adjustment over the board’s approval late last year of a plan to build 13 homes where 32 bungalows once stood before being destroyed in Superstorm Sandy.
The former land-lease parcel that is the subject of the lawsuit was the southernmost portion of Camp Osborn, which burnt to the ground after an electrical fire was fueled by natural gas leaks.
The neighbors, who vigorously fought the proposal at a number of hearings in 2015, have said the number of homes proposed for the is too dense. Though 32 homes once existed on the site, current zoning calls for lots of 7,500 square feet, amounting to about six homes per acre. The Board of Adjustment approved a variance sought by former property owner Robert Osborn that would allow about 10 homes per acre.
Osborn, who leased the land to the residents whose homes were built on the plot of land, died in March. His family quickly sold the property for $3.1 million to RTS IV, a company based in Totowa, Passaic County. Shorebeat was unable to contact a representative from the company, which shares an address with a real estate investment firm.
In their lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by Shorebeat through an Open Public Records Act request, the residents claim through their attorney that the decision to allow the homes to be built was “arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, oppressive, unlawful and against the great weight of the evidence presented” during the hearing on the matter.
Edward Liston, the attorney representing the Lyndhurst Drive residents, argued before the board that granting a a variance to set aside the density requirements for the lot constituted an illegal rezoning of the property. John Jackson, the Brick attorney who represented Osborn, successfully argued that the proposed group of homes was “consistent with the history and the charm of the area that was there,” and reiterated on numerous occasions that the number of homes was reduced by more than half of what existed on the lot prior to Sandy.
The lawsuit requests a judge to reverse the Board of Adjustment’s decision, deny Osborn’s application and award his clients attorney fees.