Friday, June 24, 2005

Forcing 500 People to Move

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SOME CALL IT BLIGHT, THEY CALL IT HOME
Thursday, June 23, 2005
BY ANA M. ALAYA Star-Ledger Staff


Beatrice Lambert, a 63-year-old legal secretary, worries about losing her cats, Tinkerbell and Abigail, and the garden she dedicated to her late son, if she's forced to sell the mobile home she's lived in for 20 years.

Joe Depamphilis, a 39-year-old handyman with a failing kidney and an ailing mother, is concerned he won't find affordable storage space for the tools he has amassed over two decades.

"We're worried about losing a way of life," said Lambert, a resident of Brown's Trailer Court.

"We put down our roots here," Depamphilis said.

What Lambert and Depamphilis see as home, borough officials see differently. They see 20 acres of blight on prime real estate bordering Route 46 in Lodi.

If a judge upholds Lodi's plans to replace two trailer parks, Brown's and the nearby Costa Trailer Court, with upscale senior housing and shops, nearly 500 residents will need to relocate.