NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued February 26, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Docket No. L-985-10.
Rajeshwar Singh Yadav, appellant, argued the cause pro se.
Michael W. Herbert argued the cause for respondent (Herbert, Van Ness, Cayci & Goodell, attorneys; Mr. Herbert, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Alvarez, Waugh, and St. John, Judges.
Defendants Rajeshwar Singh Yadav and Roopa Yadav appeal the Law Division's April 16, 2012 order setting the value of an easement through their property for construction of a sidewalk by plaintiff West Windsor Township (Township). They also appeal the June 15, 2012 order denying their motion for reconsideration. We affirm.
We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.
The Yadavs purchased Lot 20, Block 11.06, which is located on North Post Road in the Township, in February 1983. The property has been the subject of extensive litigation brought by the Yadavs against the Township concerning zoning and variances. All of the prior actions have been dismissed.
In December 2006 and February 2007, the Township applied to the New Jersey Department of Transportation for grants to enable it to extend sidewalks for pedestrian and bicycle access to a nearby school, library, municipal complex and train station. Both applications included the proposed sidewalk crossing the Yadavs' property. The Township was awarded a $200, 000 grant in September 2007.
The Township commissioned an appraisal that valued the easement across the Yadavs' property at $33, 000. The Township made an offer to purchase the easement at that price in a letter dated February 19, 2010. The Yadavs did not directly respond to the letter, but shortly thereafter filed a complaint in the Law Division, challenging the Township's authority to condemn the property for the easement. That complaint, Docket No. MER-L-439-2010, was dismissed. We affirmed and the Supreme Court denied certification. Yadav v. Twp. of W. Windsor, No. A-5314-09 (App. Div. Jan. 10, 2012), certif. denied, 212 N.J. 287 (2012).
On April 19, 2010, the Township adopted an ordinance authorizing acquisition of the easement and the commencement of an eminent domain action to acquire the easement across the Yadavs' property for the purpose of constructing the sidewalk. The Township's mayor approved the ...