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Barnegat Township Sues Walters Group, Claims $594K Lapse in Drainage Fee Payments

Barnegat Town Hall (Photo by Gavin Rozzi)

BARNEGAT – The township has filed a lawsuit in Ocean County Superior Court alleging that the Walters Group has failed to pay $594,500.00 worth of stormwater drainage assessment fees, according to court documents.

In a complaint prepared by township attorney Christopher Dasti, of the Dasti Murphy et al. firm, Barnegat Township claims that the Walters Group and subsidiary Mark Madison, LLC. has failed to pay $594,500.00 worth of stormwater and drainage fee payments incurred under agreements made by the township and the developer. Instead, only $121,500.00 has been paid by Walters under the agreements thus far, the township alleged in court filings.

Those fees accrued on “numerous real estate developments” owned by the Walters Group located in Barnegat, to include 733 subdivided lots in the Barnegat portion of the Ocean Acres development.

“Defendants have refused to pay the Township the stormwater drainage assessment fees due and owing pursuant to the Agreements,” Dasti wrote in the complaint. Dasti is seeking a declaratory judgment declaring Walters in violation of the agreements pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:16-50 et seq.  In addition to the fees, pre-judgment interest and attorney fees are being sought in the litigation.

State court records indicated that on January 6th, 2017, a motion seeking summary judgement, or in the alternative, dismissal of Barnegat’s complaint, filed on behalf of the Walters Group by the law firm of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla was denied by Judge Mark Troncone following a hearing on that date. Those records also stated that a cross-motion filed by Barnegat seeking summary judgment in the their favor was also denied.

The Walters Group is best known for their taxpayer-subsidized affordable housing developments throughout Ocean County, to include the townships of Stafford, Lacey and Barnegat. Ocean County recently purchased land in Berkeley that the developer planned to use to build affordable housing. That plan, known as “Berkeley Family Apartments” faced fierce public opposition.

See the lawsuit below:

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