The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference acquired the Darlington Schoolhouse, a historic schoolhouse, which the Trail Conference subsequently rehabilitated and uses as its headquarters. Our firm represented the Trail Conference pro bono throughout the acquisition and in connection with the complex approvals process for rehabilitating the property.
Through a public-private partnership, the Trail Conference took joint title to the property with Mahwah Township utilizing New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Green Acres Funds and Bergen County Open Space Funds. Our firm counseled the Trail Conference through the complex transaction.
In addition to being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the schoolhouse’s location is within New Jersey’s Highlands Preservation Area and the flood hazard area of the Darlington Brook. The schoolhouse is within wetlands and in close proximity to alleged sightings of several threatened and endangered species, including wood turtles, box turtles and rattlesnakes. Our firm obtained a use variance from the Mahwah Township Zoning Board and successfully negotiated a settlement agreement with the NJDEP granting an exemption to the Trail Conference from the applicability of the Highlands Act.