Pequannock Ruling Leaves "Castle" High & Dry

A sign posted on the door of a convenience sto...
By Christopher Lotito

Somebody knows how "dry" they are over at the much maligned "Castle Project" headed by Badanco, and it this week it's the Pequannock Township Council.

At the July 24th Council Meeting, Mayor Phelan queried Council Members Melissa Florance-Lynch and Cathy Winterfield on their support for the development: both stated they were not in favor of the Castle Project or at the least objected to prior implications that they were.

At issue, Badanco's liquor license which has been dormant for nearly a decade.  Badanco, following state procedure, recently received the okay from state Alcoholic Beverage Commission to approach the Pequannock Council about renewing the license once more.  Pequannock Council Members took offense to the A.B.C. application's language which stated that the development had the support of the Council.

In a hair-splitting session for the record books, Mounir Badan's attorney, Michael Rueben, failed to apologize but instead stated that his wording on the application was valid as a the Council has remained legally the same over the years despite changes in membership.  Nonplussed by this argument, Mayor Phelan sent Badanco back to the State A.B.C. to alter the wording of their application and come back with an approval for the revised application.

Both Badanco's attorney and the Council's attorney noted that they were not aware of any legal procedure to address this issue and that was something the A.B.C. would have to determine.

Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District, Open Space, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

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