Seidman, J.c.c. (temporarily assigned).
Plaintiff Brookdale Park Homes, Inc., in its complaint against the Township of Bridgewater and its planning board, seeks to quiet title to a tract of land owned by it and said to have been reserved for recreational purposes when the local planning board granted final approval for a major subdivision which included the tract in question. As additional relief, plaintiff demands judgment declaring the reservation void and vacating any interest the township may have in the affected lot.
The parties have submitted the issues to the court on a stipulation of facts and exhibits.
From the exhibits, consisting of copies of pertinent maps, planning board minutes and other related documents, the court finds the sequence of events to be as follows:
1. On May 15, 1956 Charles Bicknell, a vendee under contract, filed with the township planning board an application for classification of a sketch plat. The tract, situated on the westerly side of Tullo Road and containing 22.318 acres, was divided into 20 building lots. The map was classified as major subdivision.
2. At a planning board meeting on May 28, 1956, during a discussion of the proposed subdivision, "a recreational area was also asked for and the Planning Board suggested one lot would be satisfactory."
3. On June 19, 1956 Bicknell applied for tentative approval of the subdivision plat, the details of which were essentially the same as those on the sketch plat. The accompanying map, entitled "Martinsville Estates," depicted 20 lots, 10 on each side of a proposed street running westerly from Tullo Road. Lot 20 (the one in question), about an acre in size, was located on the southerly side of the street and at the westerly end of the tract.
4. The subdivision was discussed at a meeting of the board on June 19, 1956. Bicknell was represented by counsel, who stated his client was unwilling to provide such areas (recreational) and challenged their usefulness. "The Board invited Mr. Welch to further discuss the matter with his client and will reschedule his application for Tentative Approval for the next regular meeting on July 17, providing the requirements of the Township Ordinance are complied with."
5. By deed dated July 2, 1956 Arnold Gussen, Sr. and Anna K. Gussen conveyed the tract to Charles Bicknell and Ann Marion Bicknell, his wife, and Harold Brynildsen and Evelyn Brynildsen, his wife.
6. On August 7, 1956 Harold Brynildsen and Charles Bicknell filed with the planning board an application for tentative approval of a preliminary subdivision plat. It described the same tract, but the number of proposed lots was stated to be 19.
7. Submitted with the application was a map, similar to the one referred to earlier herein, which again referred to
the subdivision as "Martinsville Estates" and which showed the same layout of lots, except that the one previously shown as number 20 was now designated "Playground Area."
8. At the public hearing on September 18, 1956, and at the meeting of November 30, 1956 when preliminary approval was granted, the subject of the playground area was not discussed.
9. On January 15, 1957 an apparent new owner of the tract, one Richard Plenninger, and his engineer appeared before the board on problems relating solely to drainage and paving.
10. The next owner was H. & M. Construction Company, to whom Bicknell and Brynildsen had conveyed the tract on July 9, 1957. Although its representative discussed various matters at the April and May meetings of the board, the subject of the recreation area was not raised.
11. When H. & M. Construction Co. applied for and was granted final approval of the subdivision on October 22, 1957, the accompanying map showed the same playground area as had been depicted on the earlier one.
12. Thereafter, on December 3, 1957 the final plat, "Map of Martinsville Estates," was filed in the office of the Somerset County Clerk. The lot marked "Playground Area" is shown on it, and is also designated thereon as Lot 1, Block 5606.
13. On December 10, 1957 H. & M. Construction Co. conveyed the tract to Brookdale Park ...