The Township of Jefferson, New Jersey utilized eminent domain to condemn approximately 110 acres of lakefront property on Lake Hopatcong for open space preservation. The Township’s offer of compensation was $825,000, based upon its appraiser’s conclusion that the property had unfavorable zoning and also contained steep slopes which would make it difficult to develop the property with housing.SOLUTION
McKirdy & Riskin was engaged as condemnation counsel, and secured the assistance of appraisal, planning, and engineering experts who together concluded that the “unfavorable zoning” did not apply to the property. They developed a subdivision plan to established the fact that the property could be developed with dozens of single family lakefront and lake view homes, as well as a common area for recreational use along the lake frontage that the property enjoyed.RESULT
As a result of McKirdy & Riskin’s efforts, Jefferson Township agreed to settle the case before trial and to pay the owner $2,300,000 as just compensation, nearly three times the amount it had originally offered for the property.