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Developer in Morris Plains sues city

Sometimes business litigation arises when there is a dispute between two or more businesses, other times, it arises when a businesses is denied the right to do something by a governmental entity. In Morris Plains, a real estate developer has initiated commercial litigation for the later reason.

In this case, the developer purchased a 62.68-acre piece of land in Morris Plains that had formerly been owned by Pfizer. The company wants to build residential housing on the property including 800 new units. At least 295 of these new homes would be designated for low and moderate income residents. This is higher density of residential housing that is currently permitted under the zoning ordinances.

In the lawsuit, the business claims that the city planning board has not met its obligation to pass a new city ordinance that creates a plan to provide low and moderate income housing like its required. The company is asking the court to allow them to complete the project as they would like. They argue that since the city needs more low and moderate income housing, they should be allowed to make an exception to the zoning rules.

On the other hand, the city claims that they were surprised by the lawsuit and believed they were in negotiations with the developer. The city claims that they sent a proposal to the developer to make some changes to the property including adding some commercial retail space.

Sometimes, it is best for businesses to try and negotiate and avoid litigation. Litigation can be time consuming and expensive. By trying to negotiate a settlement, often times a deal can be reached that creates an acceptable solution. However, there are times when companies need to be aggressive and protect their interests. With the right help, litigation can force a resolution on pressing business issues.

Source:, “Developer files lawsuit to build 800 housing units in Morris Plains,” Justin Zaremba, Feb. 13, 2013

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