Judge Rules In Favor Of Education Center

Milky Way Education Center applied in February to move science academy from Clifton to Wayne and build dormitories on Totowa Road. Council approved an ordinance shortly after the application was submitted that banns dorms in the zone where the school want

A Superior Court judge ruled Monday that the Way Education Center had all of the proper documents in order when it submitted its application to relocate a school to Totowa Road and place dormitories on the property earlier this year.

Milky Way applied Feb. 9 to relocate its 18,000 square-foot facility, The Pioneer Science Academy, from Clifton to the BAE Systems building on Totowa Road.

The company wants to construct a 160,000-square foot facility and more than triple its enrollment from 177 students to 600. The new facility would have dormitories to accommodate its students, who hail mostly from eastern European countries.

The that amends the rules and regulations governing dormitories in the town code. Officials at the council meeting said that the application was incomplete when Milky Way submitted it and that only completed applications would be exempt from the new regulations.

The ordinance amends the code to allow dormitories to exist only in open space/government use districts. The BAE Systems building is not located in such a district. Dozens of proponents of the move filled the council chamber that night.

A. Michael Rubin, the attorney representing Milky Way, said at the meeting that the regulations pertaining to the application should have been those already on the books, not those adopted later by the governing body.

Milky Way March 9. Judge Ralph DeLuccia Jr. also ruled Monday that dormatories may be included in the application.

Rubin said that he was “very pleased with the decision.”

Rubin said there are several positive aspects to the project.

“We’re going to take a fair number of children out of the Wayne Public School System and put them into a public school,” Rubin said. “We think there will be a substantial savings to the taxpayers.”

Town counsel Matthew Giacobbe could not be reached for comment. Council President Joseph Scuralli did not return messages seeking comment.

stewart resmer May 04, 2012 at 05:02 PM
What is it with this council and decisions like this where taxpayers are liable for attorneys fees? I was @ council that night when Atty Rubin explained the new law, and only Schwengel voted no. I thought Mr Scullari was particularly gruff with those who rose to voice their concerns, he was visibly angry at them raising his authoritarian voice time and again. For some one as learned as he profesers one would think he would be more able to understand the law and act accortdingly?
Nose Wayne May 04, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Stewart,I don't know how long you have lived in Wayne,but their seems to the Right Way and the Wayne WAY The owner will be before the town looking for a tax reduction because the building is VACANT!Do we need another VACANT BUILDING on Totowa Road.And you wonder why your taxes are increasing so much.Business Friendly?I think if the council screws up,they should foot the Attorneys fees,not the people who told them"I told you so"!.
Rob Burke May 05, 2012 at 09:39 AM
From this article it looks like the point of law that the case turned on is whether the council's new ordinance banning dormitories applied to this application. Thats because the council adopted the new ordinance after this application was filed. Believe it or not, only until very recently, that sequence of events was legal in NJ. But in a recent legislative session, a powerful lobbying group comprised of builders and developers in large part, got a law passed that now makes the law in effect at the time of filing an application the law that governs the application. It used o be the law in effect at the time of decision governed the application. So towns are no longer able to adopt ordinances to outlaw applications in response to those applications. The environmental lobby was up in arms about the new law. They said the towns need the flexibility to restrict development that could detrimentally impact the environment and would not be able to anticipate the kinds of development that would be proposed in the future. I disagree. I think there are plenty of other ways to protect the planet and that it's not fair for a municipality to change the rules in response to what someone wants to do. Why have rules at all if that's the case? Equally important is the impact these lawsuits have on my taxes. I just paid my quarterly tax bill - $8400. A whopper, and it all comes out of my pocket and goes into the governments bank account.
Justice May 05, 2012 at 11:24 AM
As a non-profit school, they will not be paying property taxes.
Justice May 05, 2012 at 11:41 AM
STATUTES: Veterans organizations N.J.S.A54:4-3.5 & 54:4-3.25 & 54:4-3.15 Educational, religious, charitable organizations N.J.S.A.54:4-3.6 Firefighter organizations N.J.S.A.54:4-3.10 & 54:4-3.13 Burial grounds & cemeteries N.J.S.A.54:4-3.9 & N.J.S.A.8A:5-10 Youth organizations N.J.S.A.54:4-3.24 Fraternal organizations N.J.S.A.54:4-3.26 Disaster relief organizations N.J.S.A.54:4-3.27 District Supervisor Religious Organization N.J.S.A.54:4-3.35 Historic Sites N.J.S.A.54:4-3.52 Conservation/Recreation Land N.J.S.A.54:4-3.64
Cathy Kazan May 05, 2012 at 04:03 PM
You are correct Justice. The non-profit school will not be paying taxes. However, the parents of the children that attend this private school will be more inclined to purchase homes in Wayne if they move the school here. Unlike most homeowners with children, this will not cause a "negative" rateable, as their children will attend private, not public schools here in Wayne. I consider that a win for the district and our community. Just my two cents.
Jeffry Kostic May 05, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I was at the meeting that night as well and had I been a Member of the constituent group who came to speak about the ordinance, I would have felt insulted. As an observer, I had to wonder whether the apparent hostility shown to those who tried to speak was based on "cultural" differences. Understanding full well that the topic for discussion was the ordinance, not the application, the terse (seemingly bordering on anger?) way that the speakers were cut off was certainly not the way anyone should treat another person - and definitely not behavior that should be displayed by our public, elected officials. I now sit and patiently await the next round of nastygram(s) from "offended" council members.
Justice May 05, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Cathy, I agree with your statements. I just wanted to get the property taxation discussion (a non-issue) out of the way in order that the true discourse could begin.
Justice May 05, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Jeffry, you may be pleasantly surprised to not receive any nastygrams, now that the High and Mighty Council know that you will publish their antics. Freedom of Speech and Press is a wonderful thing.
Justice May 05, 2012 at 07:45 PM
A public official with zero tolerance for other citizens needs to be gone, IMMEDIATELY. I await the council's resignations.
stewart resmer May 05, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Mr Burke, what you describe as to how gvt can change the code at will to suit some capricious ends smacks of dishonesty and it is no wonder then that a powerful lobby has smashed this sort of thing! But in the final analysis I think that We The People are entitled to anticipate our elected representatives act in good faith. In this example I feel the council has not.
Al Scala May 06, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Jeffrey....I agree. The Town officials that night were rude, obnoxious and arrogant towards the petitioners. I was embarrased the way they acted towards the representatives of the school. It just validates what many people have said about out town officials. They are full of themselves with the POWER and CONTROL they exercise over the political system here in town and our town government. It's the same way with our BOE.That's because they are all part of the same group. There is only one way to end this and that is to defeat these ignorant people who are not there for the people of Wayne, but there to feed their own egos.
Nose Wayne May 07, 2012 at 12:51 AM
All,welcome to WAYNE! The home of the not Freedom of Speech and Press.
Rob Burke May 07, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Well, Stewart, I look at it differently (but I do agree with much of what you say). It doesn't matter much what we are entitled to, as taxpaying citizens of this great country. Unfortunately, as I explain to my kids all the time, life isn't fair. With that said, we do have some control and influence. The real problem I see is that most/many people choose to ignore the status quo way of doing things as if it doesn't affect them. As more people post in places like this, and sign their names, and get involved -- well, maybe that can influence some positive change. I sure hope so, for the sake of the generations that follow us.
Pad May 07, 2012 at 08:00 PM
They need to be voted out. The form of goverment here isn't working at all. Yes Al, the Wayne Mayor, Council and BOE are all in it together. Look almost the entire Council and the Mayor are former BOE members. They are destroying this town with thier never ending spending, holier than thou attitude and costly litigation over every little thing. No you can't build this, no you can't erect a sign etc etc. It is disgusting what goes on in this town behind the taxpayers backs. Meanwhile the taxpayers are suffering under never ending tax increases. Over 300 homes in foreclosure, 35 million in lost tax revenue etc. While Wayne burns they are fiddling in thier high and mighty positions.


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