Resident says map hobbles land use

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:54

    MILFORDnIf the borough wants to take his property, then they should move on it, but the situtation he faces currently is worse, said resident Lou Theodore. Theodore said he was concerned to see his property on River Road, off East High Street, appear on a proposed official map amid properties that the borough might acquire. It's appearance on an adopted version of the map would provide the borough with a year-long option to purchase the property, before Theodore could sell or make any improvements to the property. "It's a taking in terms of my use of the land," he said. Theodore presented his concerns before the Borough Council last Monday night. "What worried me even more was that when I asked individual council members about this, they were unaware of the restrictions involved," Theodore said. Council President Matthew Osterberg said he could not speak to how well other council members were informed about the planning map, but he confirmed Theodore's concern about the restrictions on the land "I can understand his side of it," he said. Theodore said his concern is heightened because of recent court decisions that allows local governments to use eminent domain condemnation to bring property use to its highest and best use. He said he has already negotiated borough access to his property. Osterberg said the borough's "official map" is a planning tool used to provide for future growth and by state law it puts the owner on notice of the public interest. Theodore's property is on the map in terms of a river access point. That does not mean that the borough will acquire it or insist on the year-long option, Osterberg said. "There are a number of lots of on the map for parking and other proposed uses," he said. The bottom line for the moment is that errors were found on the map earlier this month and its adoption was tabled. "We'll be looking at it again in October," he said.