Jackson residents sue to overturn approval of Adventure Crossing

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JACKSON – A group of Jackson residents has filed a legal complaint against the Jackson Zoning Board of Adjustment and a developer who is building athletic fields, a recreation center and two hotels on a 75-acre site on Route 537.

The site for Jackson Crossing 2/Adventure Crossing is between Interstate 195 and the Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in Jackson. The project is being developed by Vito Cardinale of Cardinale Enterprises.

The complaint was filed in state Superior Court, Toms River, on May 2 by attorney Edward F. Liston Jr.

The plaintiffs listed in the complaint are Dean Arcarese, Joyce Arcarese, Robert Bialoglow, Allison Graf, Edward Blewett, Nicole McHale, Donald Chafe, Joy Chafe, David Cusson, Antoinette Cusson, Glen Green, Jane Greenwood, Keith Jolliffe, Joyce Jolliffe, Diane Koveleski, MichaelĀ  Lasko, Holly-Ann Lasko, Aurus Malloy, William Rose, Laurie Rose, Joseph Smolinksi and Lorraine Smolinski.

All of the plaintiffs own single-family homes near the site where Jackson Crossing 2/Adventure Crossing is being developed, according to the complaint.

Cardinale is building the complex on Route 537 at the border of Monmouth and Ocean counties. In November 2017, the zoning board granted preliminary site plan approval to the application.

In their complaint, the residents allege that the zoning board’s approval of the applicant’s amended preliminary and final site plan approval was “arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, unlawful, ultra vires (beyond the board’s legal power or authority) and against the great weight of the evidence presented” to the zoning board.

The residents make the same allegations regarding the approval of the variances that were granted to Cardinale Enterprises in connection with the application.

The residents are seeking a reversal of the approval of the application and the General Development Plan (GDP); the voiding of the resolution authorizing the approval of the application and the GDP; an order directing the zoning board to deny the application or declaring the application to be denied; and the award of legal fees and costs to the plaintiffs.

An attorney who represents Cardinale Enterprises could not be reached for comment.

Attorney Sean Gertner represents the Jackson zoning board and said, “The board meticulously listened to all the testimony, reviewed the evidence, listened to the concerns of the public and believes it crafted approvals memorialized by the resolutions that reflected fairness and equity to all the parties. The board believes it will be vindicated by the court, but is always hopeful that perhaps after receiving all the evidence, the plaintiffs will see that the board did not act arbitrarily in this matter.”

Phase one of the Jackson Crossing 2/Adventure Crossing project broke ground in July 2018 and is expected to consist of the construction of an indoor sports and entertainment venue (party rooms, arcade, laser tag and two sports bars) and an outdoor athletic complex.

Phase two is expected to consist of the construction of an indoor recreation facility and two hotels, containing a total of 241 guest rooms. One hotel will have a bar-restaurant and a small seating area, according to plans that were approved by the zoning board.