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Lakewood's Township Committee apparently wasted a little favor they did for one of their "boys" (at least for now).

As first reported here on FAA News, earlier this month, Yeshivas Meor Hatalmud which is registered at the Raintree home of Rav Noach Witty, entered into a contract to purchase 5+ acres of land at 1245-1249 Ridge Avenue, near New Hampshire Avenue in Lakewood.

The contract sale land was split across 4 lots as depicted in the map shown below.

The yeshiva was represented in this purchase by Attorney Yisrael Karas, Esq., General Counsel to Madison Title Agency.

The seller is the Violet Theibault Irrevocable Trust.

Mrs. Theibault's son is Craig Theibault. He is very politically connected in Lakewood. For many years he has been the guy who runs the show at the Shade Tree Commission. He is also a paid member of the Lakewood Township Municipal Utilities Authority, (alongside Mayor Ray Coles and Committeeman Meir Lichtenstein), and The Strand. For 20 years he was also the President of Lakewood's Republican Club.

He was also Chairman of the Ocean County Shade Tree Commission for 20 years, and a Member of the New Jersey Community Forestry Council for 13 years.

Appropriately, in his business life he is the Vice President at Joseph J. Theibault Jr Landscape Designer Inc.

Anyways, Craig had just one, tiny little problem getting this sale to go through. 

Luckily, his friends on Lakewood's Township Committee were more than willing to help out - at $0 consideration (hey, "what's to it when there's a friend in need!")

See, despite that the Theibault family has claimed to own all 4 lots for many generations, one of the lots under this contract did not actually have a clear title.

The Township's tax records for Block 190, Lot 64 shows an unknown owner for this lot. Thus, the Township may actually own the lot.

This parcel has the dimensions of 30 feet x 393 feet and 10 feet by 395 feet in a generally triangular shape. The assessed value is $18,800.

The Theibault family has paid taxes on the parcel at least since 2007. (2022 annual taxes were $429.01)

In order for the sale to the developers of the yeshiva to proceed, at the request of the Theibault family, the Township Committee happily agreed to provide a quitclaim deed, surrendering any rights the municipality may have on this parcel.

Curiously, the Township's Resolution specifically states that the Township Committee has determined that relinquishing any rights that the Township may have to this lot would be "beneficial to the continued proper development of land in the municipality."

This favor was to be given for no consideration ($0), with the condition that the Theibault family shall pay all costs and expenses incurred by both the Township and themselves relating to the sale, transfer, and exchange of the property.

Additionally, this little favor included granting a temporary easement on the aforementioned property.

Turns out that the use of this little favor was for naught (at least for now), as plans to sell the property to Yeshivas Meor Hatalmud have apparently fallen through.

The property has now been re-listed for sale. The asking price is $6.8 million.

Public records indicate that the total annual property taxes in 2022 for the 4 lots respectively were, $429.01, $8,564.35, $9,454.33, and $17,384.27, for a total of $35,831.96.

This parcel is across the street from where a developer wheeled and dealed an agreement with Yeshiva Ruach Hatorah to use their name to submit an application for high density housing via the Township's loophole "Planned Educational Campus" ordinance. Read more about the stalled Yeshiva Lane application here on FAA News.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Accountability through Transparency, is a big problem for elected officials