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Save Hamilton Open Space, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving undeveloped land in Hamilton, New Jersey, filed a lawsuit against the township last month. The organization is suing the township over a years-long violation of the Stormwater Management Act occurring in a residential sub-development known as Christopher Estates. The Estates were developed using a poorly designed, constructed, and implemented stormwater management plan (“SWMP”) that is resulting in poor drainage across the community, causing areas of standing water to become breeding grounds for mosquitos and creating general safety hazards for residents.
The stormwater issues are caused mainly by the type of soil in the area, and the manner in which water drains into the ground. Save Hamilton Open Space had hired experts to testify in front of the Hamilton planning board that the water would not drain. Save Hamilton Open Space had sued the township prior to the development’s construction on the basis of concern for predicted stormwater issues, but the development was completed by the developer at its own risk. According to Stuart Lieberman, who is representing Save Hamilton Open Space in the suit, the town has taken some preliminary measures to address the issue, but they are not moving quickly enough as the problems worsen in the community.