Lyndhurst, New Jersey, July 17, 2017— Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney Roshan D. Shah secured a victory for the City of Asbury Park (“Asbury Park”) in an action brought by First Avenue Realty, a property owner. The case involved complex questions concerning land use and constitutional takings. The Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division upheld a lower court ruling dismissing the complaint for failure to state a claim against Asbury Park.

Realtor Denied Permit

Plaintiff First Avenue Realty was the former owner of a multi-family dwelling located at 213-215 First Avenue in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The property is located in an area deemed to be “blighted” and, thus, is subject to Asbury Park’s Waterfront Redevelopment Plan. Asbury Partners, LLC is the master developer under the Waterfront Redevelopment Plan. On June 4, 2008, the property suffered extensive water damage. First Avenue Realty applied for a permit to rehabilitate and repair the property. On August 20, 2008, Asbury Park denied the permit on the grounds that the proposed work constituted “redevelopment” and, thus, instructed First Avenue Realty to obtain “Subsequent Developer” status under the Waterfront Redevelopment Plan. First Avenue Realty refused and, instead, filed suit.

Asbury Park Prevails on Appeal

The lawsuit accused Asbury Park of committing a constitutional taking under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Paragraph 20 of the New Jersey State Constitution, fraud, conspiracy and breach of contract. First Avenue Realty also named Asbury Partners as a defendant. Asbury Park moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim, arguing that First Avenue Realty had failed to exhaust its administrative remedies, a prerequisite to bringing a takings claim. In addition, the fraud and conspiracy claims were barred by the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. Finally, the breach of contract claim was barred because First Avenue Realty failed to allege it was a third-party beneficiary under the developer agreement between Asbury Park and Asbury Partners. The trial court agreed and dismissed the suit. The trial court also dismissed all claims against Asbury Partners. First Avenue Realty appealed and the Appellate Division affirmed.

Scarinci Hollenbeck Counsel Roshan D. Shah represented Asbury Park.

Roshan D. Shah is a distinguished litigator and trial attorney Mr. Shah has successfully tried cases to juries in federal and state courts, and administrative agencies. Among his many honors and awards, he was named one of the New Jersey Law Journals New Leaders of the Bar for 2016. In 2015, he was awarded the New Jersey Attorney General’s Award for Trial Excellence.  
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