Highland Park homeowners sue over requirement to pay for repairs to sidewalks

Residents in Highland Park may be headed to court, claiming they shouldn't have to pay to repair crumbling sidewalks.

The town marks sections of sidewalk that officials

The town marks sections of sidewalk that officials say need to be replaced with a white "X". (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

HIGHLAND PARK - Residents in Highland Park may be headed to court, claiming they shouldn't have to pay to repair crumbling sidewalks.

The town marks sections of sidewalk that officials say need to be replaced with a white "X". The problem is, the town says property owners must pay to make the repairs at their own expense.

Pat Iurilli has impaired eyesight and gets around on foot, so he appreciates the need to maintain the sidewalks. But he was given notice to replace the sidewalk in front of his house and is now one of the homeowners fighting back and suing Highland Park.

Attorney Mark Oshinskie says the sidewalks are the town's responsibility and that most of the damage to them is caused by trees that also belong to the town. 

"The town has the right of way over the sidewalks," Oshinskie says. "They cannot exclude others from the sidewalks."

Some residents feel they have no choice because they are getting fines if they don't replace the sidewalks.

Each slab of sidewalk can cost $200 to $300.

Highland Park's mayor says laws requiring homeowners to keep up sidewalks in front of their property also apply to replacing broken sidewalks. 

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