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Dumont Settles Lawsuit With D'Angelo Farms Developer

Residents address the Dumont Mayor and Council during the special public meeting. Photo Credit: Matt Speiser
Most residents opposed the move. Photo Credit: Matt Speiser

DUMONT, N.J. — Dumont's mayor and council agreed Tuesday night to settle a lawsuit with the developer of the former D’Angelo Farms site, over the objections of residents who said the borough was moving too quickly.

The 5-1 vote to settle the two-year dispute with Landmark Dumont LLC came during a special public meeting attended by roughly 200 at Dumont High School.

Landmark, which sued in Superior Court in Hackensack to force re-zoning for “inclusionary” development, will be clear to build 124 units on the seven-acre site -- which came up for sale in 2013 after D'Angelo Farms closed after nearly a century.

It will also rebuild Borough Hall into four stories of 18 affordable housing units, with 12,000 of office space dedicated to municipal use .

“The settlement proposal is not what any of us want, but it is the best option we have,” Dumont Mayor Jim Kelly told residents, many of whom said the borough was getting a raw deal.

"The mayor and town council has failed miserably to protect the interests of our community," Bruce de Lyon told the council to raucous applause.

"The proposal is 100 percent for Landmark, not for Dumont," added Peter Fusco.

Council President Barbara Correa agreed, voting against the settlement.

Kelly and other council members said that settling with the developer was safer than leaving the issue up to a judge.

"We could roll the dice and then six months from now all the other people in Dumont who are not here tonight will be complaining about how we could have made this deal," the mayor said.

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