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Chatham Township Seeks 165-Acre Purchase of Giralda Farm Land for Open Space

Ed Barmakian

Friday, June 13, 2014 • 1:10am

CHATHAM, NJ - Mayor Kevin Sullivan announced that the Chatham Township will be seeking county Open Space funding to purchase 165 acres of Giralda Farms land, previously known as the Dodge Estate, at the committee meeting held Thursday.

"Over the last several months the committee has been discussing it," Sullivan said. "Giralda Farms, which was in receivership, went out to bid. Normandy Group was the winning bid and they have approached us as part of their bidding process. They're not interested in the entire tract of land. They only want about 40 acres in Madison."

The Open Space Institute is helping to facilitate the purchase, which would transfer 165 of the possible 205 acres to Chatham Township. The deadline for filing the application to Morris County for Open Space funding is Friday, June 20.

"This is a very historic purchase for us," Sullivan said. "It would be the largest open space purchase in Morris County ever and one of the largest in the entire state of New Jersey. It's a little bit of a complicated transaction with several participants, including ourselves."

The land is adjacent to Loantaka Reservation and, according to Sullivan, expand the access of bicycle and hiking trails with additional parking.

"Hopefully, the application will be submitted next week and we will be holding a public hearing on it at our July meeting," Sullivan said. "I think it is something that is incredibly exciting for the town. I'm looking forward to seeing how this progresses."

In other business, the committee delayed introducing an ordinance that would authorize the sale of a foreclosed property to Morris County for $350,000.

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