The Elmwood Village Homeowners Association is suing Berkshire Investments Holdings (which is owned by Sharon Dachs), the developers of the adjacent Maplewoods development for illegally using and damaging their storm water management basin, as well as the Township of Lakewood for refusing to stop this damage.

Elmwood Village, which received Township Planning Board in 2003, built their own shul, playground, parking lot, and storm water management basin, all of which are privately owned and maintained by the Elmwood Village Homeowners Association (HOA).

In 2014, Berkshire Investments Holdings (which is owned by developer Sharon Dachs), received Township Planning Board approval to build 20 duplex units, a shul, and a storm water management basin on Elmhurst Blvd across from Elmwood Village. Subsequently, due to environmental constraints, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection required the number of duplexes to be reduced to 13. The shul and storm water management basin remained in the approval.

Berkshire first commenced site clearing on the Elmhurst Blvd homes back in January 2019. Once site clearing was complete, construction on the homes stalled.

In late 2020, Elmwood Village residents and their property management company noticed that during and after significant rainfalls substantial and unreasonable amounts of muddy water from Berkshire's development site was discharging and finding its way to Elmwood's property and privately owned and maintained basin.

At one point, Berkshire even lay down pipes, establishing a direct connection to direct mud, silt and other discharges from its muddy "lake" directly to Elmwood's basin.

Eventually, Berkshire built their own storm water management basin to collect their own storm water runoff.

In March 2021, prior to Berkshire's construction of their basin the Elmwood Village HOA filed a lawsuit in Ocean County Superior Court against Berkshire Investments Holdings and the Township of Lakewood seeking to stop the illegal use of their basin and to collect monetary damages.

The lawsuit seeks a Writ of Mandamus to enjoin Berkshire from continuing to make use of Elmwood's basin, and for monetary damages that the illegal runoff has caused to their basin.

The lawsuit also charges that Township officials have permitted Berkshire to lay their pipes into Elmwood's basin, and despite pleas from the Elmwood Village HOA to use their enforcement powers to stop this illegal use, Town officials have refused to step in on the matter. As such, the lawsuit seeks a Writ of Mandamus to order the Township to issue a Stop Work Order and to cease all work until Berkshire removes their direct connection pipes and redesigns its drainage facilities to halt and prevent any unreasonable overland flow to Elmwood's property and basin and to comply with State Stormwater requirements.

The suit also seeks a Writ of Mandamus requiring the Township to "enforce all soil erosion and control requirements and State Stormwater Regulations on Berkshire, and for Berkshire to conform its stormwater drainage plans and work to the State Stormwater Requirements".

The lawsuit was filed by Attorney Ron Gasiorowski.

Since the filing of the lawsuit, the parties have held off from proceeding in court and have attempted to hold settlement talks.

However, no settlement has yet come to fruition.

Just recently, the Elmwood Village HOA has replaced Mr. Gasiorowski with Yosef Jacobovitch, Esq to hopefully bring their proposed settlement to the finish line.

Ocean County Superior Court Judge Marlene Ford has scheduled a Status Conference on the case for next Tuesday, December 6th.

As previously reported here on FAA News, this developer of these homes is also facing additional drama as the Planning Board stipulated in their approval that no Certification of Occupancy  can be received on any of the homes until the Shul is constructed, and now the homes are going through final building inspections and are nearly move-in ready, however, construction on the shul has not yet even begun.

To join a FAA WhatsApp Group, click here.

To join the FAA WhatsApp Status, click here.


Anonymous said...

Go Team Elmwood!

Developers should not be permitted to do whatever they want at other's expense.

The Township should not be permitted to permit developers to take from others as they please.

Poshut said...

Beis Din anyone?

Anonymous said...

Greedy developers come in many forms. Why is it so hard to just be honest?