A coalition of property owners filed suit yesterday against Union Township to prevent officials from using eminent domain as part of a sweeping proposal to transform the township’s aging shopping district….
William Ward, a Florham Park attorney representing the 20 property owners, said the one and two-story brick buildings that predominate the area should not be condemned.
“These buildings are not blighted,” Ward said. “Blight is deserted, dilapidated, vacant, burnt out…you don’t have that in Union Center.”
Union Township officials insist they have no plans to seize properties….Nevertheless, property owners are nervous….
“I’m scared to death,” said [Frances] Metta, whose husband died in August. “I just became a widow, and now I find out that I may be subjected to eminent domain because some developer wants to build an anchor store and increase foot traffic? I can’t even tell you the stress.” – By Joe Ryan, Star-Ledger Staff