LumberYard opponents' petition rejected

A state court has rejected a petition seeking a public referendum on a plan to jump-start the stalled LumberYard redevelopment project in downtown Collingswood, two local news organizations are reporting.

Superior Court Judge John T. Kelley ruled Monday that ordinances duly approved by a municipal government are not subject to approval by voters as well.

A citizens’ committee led by longtime borough resident and LumberYard opponent Joseph DiNella had collected 415 signatures in support of a referendum. Opponents are concerned about a 25-year municipal property tax abatement and other aspects of a proposal by the Ingerman Group of Cherry Hill to finish a vacant residential building and construct an office building and additional residential units at the Haddon Avenue complex. l

“The project is moving ahead,” Mayor James Maley said by phone Tuesday. “We're glad this (legal matter) is over.”

“We're still digesting it," DiNella told me. "We have to figure out what we're going to do."