Letter to the Editor: Parsippany Played Unnecessarily by RD Lawsuit

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Editor:

Parsippany Played Unnecessarily by RD Lawsuit in Waterview Rezone What R2018-188 actually makes transparent. What is the settlement however not mentioned.

Let us begin back in back in July 2013 with a Parsippany Focus article, after the Council No Rezone vote. “This is a disgruntled developer,” said John Inglesino, Parsippany’s Township Attorney, looking over at Robert Kasuba, the attorney from the Bisgaier Hoff law firm representing RD Realty, “who didn’t get their way.”

Most shocking, was when the Judge finally got RD Realty’s attorney to confirm that the lawsuit is, in fact, based on legal arguments that have no basis in existing law or judicial decisions.

The point here is: the RD Realty lawsuit is as weak as it is obnoxious! It has no support in the legal case law or statutory precedent. Given its inherent weaknesses, Parsippany stands an excellent chance of having the case dismissed on the merits once it files its motion for summary judgment.

This leaves the open question as to why not just buy all 26.6 acres using Open Space Funds?

How could John Inglesino state all this, and then dismiss without prejudice, and never advocate for the 26+acre open space promise?

Recently some transparency was allowed the public in the ongoing lawsuits initiated by RD developer beginning in 2013. We must remember what actually occurred and did not. In October 2013 after massive public opposition and a final Council No Vote on the rezone, then Mayor Barberio in front of hundreds promised that waterview landscape would become open space. RD then initiated a lawsuit, not against the open space rights of Parsippany citizens, but that they had a right to enforce the Federal Fair Housing Act, and law against discrimination.

Judicial Estopple by RD Realty. Real Issue Open Space not housing

At this time the Christie Administration had forgone the COAH requirements and the issue was given to the higher courts. This action by RD November 15, 2013 should have amounted to a “judicial estoppel”; taking a position in a case that is contrary to a position it has taken in earlier legal proceedings. The facts here have three aspects

(1) RD was complicate in using affordable housing as a fear tactic, along with our then attorney John Inglesino in support. The shopping mall was seen as an alternate to prevent the COAH type housing.

(2) The real issue after the Council No Vote was the promise made by mayor Barberio to have waterview landscape made open space, at no time did Par-Troy’s lawyer argue this right of the citizens to preserve the environmentally sensitive landscape.

(3) the character of Intervale neighborhood had not changed to such an extent as to justify rezoning and that no “public need” existed for rezoning. The need was RD’s, not a public need. What was RD’s public need; to avoid public housing to promote their mall?

In short our tax paid lawyer was working against us in favor of the RD mall.

Why without Prejudice? Shows Perfidy by Par-Troy Attorney

Not only did RD attempt to supersede the Higher Court’s pending decision on affordable housing a frivolous legal position which should have been thrown out of court and objected to by our Attorney, our Attorney then failed to dismiss RD with prejudice, which would have dismissed their claims and set the way for open space. These facts cannot be denied and are transparent in R2018-188 for anyone to see.

Disinformation intention to deceive R2014-102

The other pluses not used by our alleged attorney John Inglesino was that at that time besides our grassroots opposition, no real need for another shopping mall existed, several goals and objectives of our master plan not enforced, Parsippany at the time was in a suspended state of regional master plan conformance since July 2010, which could have been used to enforce the open space. Instead in June 2014 Inglesino ended conformance with R2014-102, as we finally now know, all for false assumptions and deliberately aiding the developer while in service of the taxpayers.

Another hidden truth is that COAH type housing has itself environmental policies which if invoked could have added more defense in waterview. Here are three:

(1) Steep slopes over 15% if regulated by local ordinance, (which the rezone eliminated); (2) land that the town plans to purchase within one year for active or passive recreational purposes;
(3). Floodplains Troy Brook Study. (Waterview landscape scene in its proper scope is actually part of Troy Meadows another element of our Master Plan);

What has this ratable cost us; Legal costs for nothing, and $3.7 Million Buffer?

Parsippany taxpayers paid for an attorney that played both-sides and made unnecessary fees for outcomes that favored Inglesino’s developer friends. His job as attorney was to argue Parsippany’s Open Space promise and long fought defense of Parsippany’s Master Plan, not RD’s destruction of waterview landscape which if all available forces were invoked could of most likely acquired waterview for what we paid for a buffer called open space for $3.7 million. (RD did not buy the land until it was rezoned)

Counter Lawsuit Needed!

What we need is another lawsuit to be reimbursed for the rip-off that was carried out against Parsippany taxpayers by the Inglesino Law Firm. This firm did not represent the people of Par-Troy but RD in overcoming every obstacle and hardship they created and we paid for.  At the very least Inglesino should not be allowed to practice law in any Highlands Community.  The $3.7 Million of open space should not be paid, as this “open space” should have been a required non structural stormwater control; zoned so.

R2018-188 stands as a transparent guide to how Parsippany was not represented and how its goals and grassroots achievements were undermined, and were still paying in many ways. It proved Home Rule a farce.
Nick Homyak 
Lake Hiawatha