TOMS RIVER, NJ – Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill, who goes simply by “Mo”, ran on a platform of stopping development and curbing expenses in Toms River. He has been working hard since being elected to anything but either one of those two things. Last year, Hill tried to sneak a two-acre zoning ordinance in the backdoor for houses of worship, he hired his campaign lawyer to a nearly half-million-dollar contract, but what he’s doing now makes all that seem like child’s play.
On Tuesday, the township council and Hill had an agenda item that called for the $250,000 sale of a property owned by the township on Hinds Road. According to the township tax assessment, that property is worth $250,000. It was quietly put to a two-day auction. The property at 1870 Hinds Road is now listed as under contract.
According to the auction house, that property had a high bid of $318,000, but the township agenda item listed the sale as $250,000, $500,000 lower than the township’s assessed value of the 1.219 acre lot that backs up to about a dozen residential homes on Greenwood Road. Records show that there were 59 bids as two entities competed for on the property in back and forth bidding during the auction. The 1/3 acre residential lots connected to the property have been appraised by the township at between $103,000 to $110,000 per .3 acres.
The 1870 Hinds Road lot however is zoned highway commercial according to the township zoning map. A comparable commercial lot next to the 1870 property carries an $825,000 land value assessment by the township.
The auction took place from Monday, June 22nd at 9 am and ended on Wednesday, June 24 at 2:00 pm. The buyer of the property is 1810 Hinds LLC. According to New Jersey state records, that LLC was actually formed four days later, on June 26th. 1810 Hinds Road has a mailing address that tracks back to an unmarked UPS store post office box located in the Tri-City Plaza on the border of Toms River and Lakewood.
The council decided to pull the vote from the agenda and the matter will be heard on August 11th after a unanimous vote by the township council. The name of the person behind 1810 Hinds LLC has not been disclosed.