Township Lawyer’s Error Gives Jackson Trails Application New Life on Monday



JACKSON-Next Monday, the Jackson Township Planning Board will be holding another hearing for the Jackson Trails residential development on South Hope Chapel Road.  The board, on October 7th, voted in a 4-4 tie on the measure which means the project was rejected by the board.

The next step for the applicant should have been to appeal the board’s decision, but now, the township is in a situation because the presiding attorney made a critical error.

Jackson Planning Board Attorney Gregory P. McGuckin determined for the board that the 4-4 vote was a tie and the board would have to re-vote at a later date.

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According to the township’s official minutes from that meeting, McGuckin said, “This is a tie and the motion does not carry, the Board will have to re-vote and a member can motion to
approve, deny or carry this matter.”

According to township law, the matter was case closed.  After hearing McGuckin’s claim the board, on the advice from their attorney held a vote to carry the matter to another meeting. That vote was unanimous to allow a re-vote.

Now, the applicant has sent a letter to the township asking for the re-vote promised by McGuckin to be held by the board, putting the town in a very compromising situation. If the board refuses the re-vote, the town’s position in an appeal or even a lawsuit has diminished, so the re-vote should take place, putting the entire board in the uncomfortable position, which is now a no-win situation for the township.

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