This suit is one in lieu of prerogative writ instituted by Aldrich Water Company against the Township of Jackson and its individual committeemen. A consent order permitting the intervention of Jackson Water Company as a party defendant was subsequently entered. The matter is now before the court on the following motions: (1) for summary judgment by intervenor; (2) to dissolve a temporary restraint entered against plaintiff; (3) to strike intervenor's answers.
The Aldrich Water Company (hereinafter Aldrich), a corporation of the State of New Jersey, was organized pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 19 of Title 48 of the Revised Statutes. The consent of Howell Township was obtained December 27, 1955, as required by the statute and the company was given a franchise to supply water to designated areas within the township. Thereafter, the franchise was approved by the Board of Public Utility Commissioners of the State of New Jersey in Docket No. 9489, in accordance with R.S. 48:2-14.
By ordinance adopted September 16, 1959, Jackson Township, which is located in Ocean County and abuts Howell Township in Monmouth County, granted Aldrich a franchise to supply water within that municipality. The area to be serviced was limited to:
"All that certain area of the Township of Jackson as shown on a map entitled 'Edgewood Park, Jackson Township,' filed in the Ocean County Clerk's Office, D 307, prepared by J. C. Fellows, Engineer."
The area known as Edgewood Park is designated as Lot 13-A of Block 127 and Lot 2 of Block 126 on the Tax Map Sheet
No. 10 of Jackson Township and comprises an area of some 87.64 acres.
On April 3, 1961 Aldrich made application to the Jackson Township Committee for an enlargement of its franchised area within the township. A proposed ordinance embodying the extension was submitted with the request and described the additional area as follows:
"All that certain area of the Township of Jackson as shown on a map entitled 'Plan for Aldrich Water Company, dated March, 1961, prepared by Stanley B. Peters, Engineer.'"
The area delineated thereon is bounded by the North Branch of the Metedeconk River, Bethel Church Road, New Prospect Road, Bennetts Mills-Hyson Road, Jackson Mills-Lakewood Road, Bartley Road, Hyson Road, Brooks Road and Farmingdale Road. Within this area is the development known as Edgewood Park, the franchised area previously granted to Aldrich. Correspondence between Aldrich and the township committee indicates that three developers, namely, Rogave Brothers, The Kabet Company, Inc. and K.F. Holding Corporation, requested service of their developments, all of which were to be located within the proposed franchise area.
No action was taken by the township committee on the Aldrich application. On May 3, 1961, the Committee adopted a resolution authorizing the organization of Jackson Water Company (hereinafter Jackson) for the purpose of operating a water company within the township. The franchise granted covers an area of some 1,885 acres as shown on a map entitled "Map of Franchise Area of the Jackson Water Company and Jackson Sewer Company" prepared by John C. Fellows, a licensed public engineer and surveyor. Bounded by the North Branch of the Metedeconk River, Bennetts-Mills-Hyson Road, New Prospect Road, Brooks Road and Farmingdale Road, the area encircles the franchised area previously granted to Aldrich.
Thereafter, Aldrich made several requests of the township committee to reconsider its action of ...