Greg McGuckin loses key anti-development lawsuit in Jackson Township

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JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ – The Shore Builders Association has won its lawsuit against Jackson Township. The association balked at the township’s tax on fill dirt imported into the township. One of the benefactors of the victory is Cardinale Enterprises, developer of the massive Adventure Crossing complex.

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Adventure Crossing comprises of hundreds of acres of newly deforested land. Cardinale Enterprises is a member of the Shore Builders Association. Another beneficiary of the lawsuit is the Jackson Trails development which is building a 355 acre residential community on South Hope Chapel Road. Both Jackson Trails and Adventure Crossing are represented by the same attorney, Sal Alfieri.

Wilentz, Goldman& Spitzer represented the Shore Builders Association.


Toms River Township Attorney Greg McGuckin failed to produce a victory for the community which pays him $200,000 annually. It’s yet another defeat for the pay-to-play township attorney in Jackson.

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The association filed a lawsuit after the township passed an ordinance requiring a soil and fill importation permit. McGuckin drafted the ordinance that was soundly defeated in court.

The plaintiffs argued that the township’s ordinance creates a new level and layer of authority for the township zoning board not allowed by law in New Jersey. The township contended the ordinance was a general law, but because the township gave the enforcement powers to the zoning officer, it was deemed illegal under New Jersey’s municipal land use law.

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The court felt the township’s implementation of the soil ordinance was faulty because it was not reviewed by the planning board as required by law.

In court McGuckin conceded that the review of soil permits by the zoning officer is not a traditional authority of that position under New Jersey law.

Judge Marlene Lynch Ford ordered the Jackson Township ordinance to be invalidated.

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