PQA Attorney Denise O’Hara filed suit on behalf of the Concerned Citizens of Lake Como to challenge the Borough’s recent zoning ordinance that would permit the construction of a 530′ radio transmission tower and related buildings, which General Media seeks to build in the Borough’s Green Acres-funded Behrman Park. The ordinance purports to permit telecommunication towers up to 550-feet to be built in the zone where Behrman Park is located, and also provides that such towers can only be built on public property. The stated purpose of that provision is to enable the Borough of Lake Como to profit from lease payments General Media would have to pay for the use of park land on which General Media would build its tower. O’Hara, who is a resident of Lake Como and whose home backs up to Behrman Park, had previously spoke in opposition to the proposed tower at the June 21, 2011 “scoping hearing” held by the Mayor and Council of Lake Como at which General Media presented its plan. The scoping hearing is part of the “pre-application” process required when a portion of a Green Acres-funded park is sought to be diverted for certain commercial purposes.
When the Mayor and Council did not withdraw their plan following the objections of dozens of residents at the scoping hearing and in written comments, O’Hara filed a motion on behalf of the citizens group to intervene in a pending prerogative writ action previously filed by the Borough of Spring Lake, whose Marucci Park adjoins the proposed location of the mammoth tower. Both complaints challenge the zoning on multiple grounds, including that the Borough failed to provide proper notice as required by the Municipal Land Use Law, and that the ordinance constitutes improper spot zoning and financial zoning.