Try a compromise: Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, 5/12/06

Letter to the Editor

By Mary Berko

In Haddon Township [New Jersey], the potential use of eminent domain for a redevelopment project is far different from the situation in Camden.

In Camden, activist Carmen Ubarry-Rivera and others disagree on the need to designate parts of her Cramer Hill section as blighted and in need of redevelopment.

Everyone in Haddon Township agrees that the site of the defunct Dydee Diaper Service plant is blighted and recognizes the need to redevelop it.

Unfortunately, included within the designated redevelopment area are some very well-maintained business properties and houses owned by taxpaying business owners and residents who do not wish to negotiate a sale to the chosen developer.

That is their right, but the threat of eminent domain looms.

The plans for the site may indeed be attractive and add to our tax base, but at the expense of forcing out taxpaying residents.

The obvious benefit is to the out-of-town developer who reaps more profit.

The township's commissioners and planning board should fight to protect the rights of property owners.

Residents of Haddon Township should go to the planning board meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday and voice their support of property owners' rights.

Insist that the developer limit his plans by excluding those property owners who do not wish to sell. It is time to compromise and move on.

Philadelphia Inquirer: www.philly.com

Mary Berko is a resident of Haddon Township