MONROE (Middlesex) — A construction project was halted by discovery of a bald eagle's nest nearby, the amended plan failed to get approval — and now the developer is suing.

The lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Middlesex County last month accuses the municipality, the Zoning Board and Mayor Gerald Tamburro of violating laws in rejecting the amended plan after the Zoning Board hearing on March 26 on the mixed use development, according to court documents and a report by Monroe Now.

Tamburro also is accused of defaming the developer to local residents in a news release before the March hearing.

“We will not be bullied by aggressive developers and their lawyers, who are focused on maximizing their profits, going beyond the court ordered settlement, no matter the detriment to the people of Monroe and our environment,” Tamburro said in a written response to the lawsuit.

“Suing the town, and me personally, will do absolutely nothing to change the position of the zoning board, which has made its ruling. And, as a resident who cares deeply about this community, it is a decision I fully support and I will not be silenced.”

The developers secured permits in 2016 to build 215 residential units along Route 33 West in Monroe Township, with five buildings and 65,000 square feet of retail.

A bald eagle’s nest was found on the property near the Millstone River in 2017, and federal law requires new buildings to be 660 feet away from the nests.

The companies submitted a new application in 2018, proposing six buildings with 206 residential units and 43,568 square feet of retail space, among other features.

The Zoning Board unanimously rejected the new plan, citing issues with the buildings being taller than initially proposed, closer to the road, and saying the buildings would be “out of character” compared to other local mixed-use developments, as reported by NJ.com, which cited court documents.

On the agenda for the upcoming Zoning Board meeting on June 25 is "Appointment of Attorney in the matter known as CT07 SPII, LLC and DT07 SPII, LLC vs. Monroe Township Zoning Board."


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