Solberg Airport Trial Adjourned in Favor of Mediation
A trial charged with solving a dispute between Readington Township, New Jersey and the owners of the private Solberg-Hunterdon Airport has been adjourned so the two sides can resume mediation procedures.
The township has been attempting to acquire the airport and surrounding land use rights in order to expand the airport facility and take control of it, with the intention of operating it as a public airport. The original lawsuit was filed several years ago. The township has amended the lawsuit several times and has lost several court decisions in the process. The Solberg family, who have owned and operated the airport since its founding in 1941, also sued the members of the City Council in 2006, a lawsuit that is still in effect.
The dispute stems from a referendum held in 2006, wherein voters in Readington approved a $22 million bond to either negotiate a settlement with the Solbergs for acquisition of the airport or to acquire the land rights. The most recent amended complaint from the township sought to compel the Solbergs to sell just the usage rights and not the actual land. Judge Yolanda Ciccone rendered the decision to adjourn the trial and ordered both sides back into mediation with retired Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman to seek a mutual solution to the dispute.