MILLVILLE — The city has won another round in a years-long battle with the owners of a defunct local airport stemming from development plans for the site.
A ruling earlier this month by the Appellate Division of Superior Court again upholds the city’s master plan that officials from the former Rudy’s Airport tried to have stricken.
The three-judge appeals court panel ruled that Rudy’s Airport was initially successful in overturning the city’s master plan in 2006. They also found that the master plan adopted two years later, and which remains in place, meets all state guidelines.
Another appeals court made the same ruling several years ago, the justices state.
“We find no basis to disturb the court’s rulings,” the justices write in this month’s ruling.
Officials with the city and Rudy’s Airport could not be reached for comment.
The city in 2006 rejected a proposal by Rudy’s Airport owners for a 416-unit senior-citizen housing development near Willow Grove Lake in the municipality’s North Vineland section. The airport owners sued the city, which led to the invalidation of the municipality’s master plan that year.
A master plan is a blueprint for development in a municipality.
Superior Court Jude Michael Brooke Fisher invalidated the city’s master plan after court proceedings showed the municipality developed the plan without properly advertising or opening to the public 16 meetings that led to the document’s creation.
Fisher’s ruling led to the 2008 master plan, which was adopted after a procedure that included five public meetings. Fisher upheld the plan in 2010, ruling that the five public meetings allowed for the transparency needed in the master-plan-development process.
Rudy’s Airport lost a subsequent appeal in which it charged that Fisher should never have upheld the 2008 master plan, in part because it was an “illegal byproduct” of the 2006 plan.
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