Lenape site to be cleared by township, ending multi-year struggle to address property
By Kelli Siehl, Staff Writer, The Times
POCOPSON — A collective sigh of relief was heard during Monday’s Township Board of Supervisors meeting when officials announced an agreement with the owners of the abandoned property located across from Lenape Village Shoppes.
Supervisors’ Chair, Steve Conary said the township will hire a contractor to demolish the abandoned building located along Route 52, clean up and remove debris, fill in the foundation and dispose of the septic tank.
He said a lien will be placed against the sale of the property to recoup township expenses. If the property is not sold within five years, Conary said, the township “has the right to put the property up for Sheriff’s sale to recover losses.”
Officials have been trying for several years to get the issue resolved. Last spring, it appeared the property was close to being sold when Megill Homes expressed interest in purchasing the site. That deal fell through after the cost to purchase, clean up and renovate the property became too prohibitive. Conary said there is also a second, land-locked parcel located behind this one and that the two would be merged together for the sale.
The township’s Code Enforcement Officer, Richard Jensen, said the process of clearing the property should begin by the end of this week.
Attentions turned to concerns over vehicles parking in front of one of the gates used to close off a portion of Bragg Hill Road to automobile through traffic. Supervisors looked at photos showing a pick-up truck parked directly in front of the gate closest to North Brook Road. Officials told the audience that any vehicle blocking the right of way makes it impossible for fire or ambulance to gain access to the roadway during an emergency.
Earlier this year, a portion of Bragg Hill Road was closed to car traffic and designated as a walking and horse riding trail. Since that time, there have been several reports of the chains holding the gates being cut and the gates and signs vandalized. Jensen said notices have been sent to all parties involved.
The township’s Director of Public Works, Mark Knightly said the township is ready for winter and that all plows and equipment are in order. Conary reminded residents to avoid parking along roadways during a snow storm. He said cars will be towed if they are impeding snowplows.