CHERRY HILL – The village for the second time seeks the demolition of a long unfinished mansion.
These efforts followed a series of legal defeats by property owner Denise Williams, who began building a large house in 2009 in the elite Voken tract.
A Supreme Court judge has scheduled a hearing next month on the township’s motion to order the demolition of a 20,000-square-foot facility.
The township authorities also want to bill Williams for the demolition of the house.
The three-storey building, still far from completion, rises above the mostly bare plot of 1½ hectare, fenced off from the densely wooded neighborhood of the palace houses.
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The house on the 1,100th quarter of Winding Drive has no facade and has been insulated for several years.
Earlier in June 2019, the township filed a demolition claim, citing the expiration of Williams ’building permit in late 2015.
But in October 2019, a state judge granted Williams a reprieve, saying she should be able to appeal a $ 26,000 fine related to her lack of a building permit.
Supreme Court Justice Michael Kassel also gave Williams 60 days after her appeal process to obtain a new permit and pay the fine.
The appeals process ended in October 2021, when the state Supreme Court refused to hear the dispute. This left intact previous decisions against Williams, a municipal court judge, another state judge and a two-judge panel of appeals.
Earlier this year, the township moved to demolition again, saying Williams had not met Kassel’s terms.
Supreme Court Justice Mark Chase in Camden has scheduled a hearing on the request for March 22nd.
Lawyers for the township and Williams could not get immediate comment.
In a May 2021 decision, the Court of Appeals noted Williams ’assertion that the house“ is not damaged. It will be a mansion. ” She also claimed that the multimillion-dollar project faced funding delays due to the township’s actions, among other problems.
Williams, named in court documents as the operator of the title company, also said she had applied for three building permits between April and October 2019. The township rejected each as incomplete, the appellate ruling said.
The decision found no evidence that “the township acted unreasonably and deliberately refused (Williams) permission, or rejected her application for illegitimate reasons.”
Kassel’s decree from 2019 states that any new request for demolition from the village “is supposed to be satisfied.”
That means Williams ’burden lies to show why the house“ should stand without permission and without fines being paid, ”the judge said.
Jim Walsh covers state security, economic development and other articles for the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal.
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