The battle continues: Cranberry Lake

| 09 May 2019 | 02:50

By Mandy Coriston
Byram- The Cranberry Lake Community Club held an informational membership meeting on Thursday evening, Apr 25, at their lakeside clubhouse, prompting a group of those opposed to the CLCC membership mandate to hold a peaceful protest before entering the meeting. The picket was organized by Kristine Cerza, who has been heading the efforts against mandatory membership in the club since last summer. Cerza said the group was met with hostility upon entering the meeting, and were told they could not bring their protest signs into the clubhouse.
Cerza also said that the meeting itself did not include any new information regarding the membership mandate, with club attorney Eileen Born leading a discussion that simply reiterated that Cranberry Lake must enact mandatory membership to comply with Chapter 106 of the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act. Born and the club hold that all residents of the lake are subject to master deed language dating back to the Cranberry Lake Development Company, which dissolved in 1925, but admit there is no single master deed on file.
Those opposed are adamant that Cranberry Lake should not be governed under PREDFDA, because the CLCC is a recreational club, not a homeowners’ association. They also feel that the club is looking for an influx of money to repair the clubhouse and the ailing Cranberry Lake footbridge, both of which are leased from the state, which owns the lake. Many are concerned that the club has been left to its own devices for so long, their operations may not be completely aboveboard. Others still are worried about the financial hardship which club membership may cause them.
State legislators are attempting to amend PREDFDA, which was last adjusted in 2017 to protect and expand the voting rights of the members of existing homeowners’ and lake associations. Bipartisan lawmakers feel the statute is being interpreted in a way to exploit rather than protect residents of lake communities, and in February, Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-24) introduced Bill A5043 to clarify the purpose and definitions outlined in Chap. 106. It’s expected that State Senator Steve Oroho (R-24) will introduce the Senate version of the bill, S3661, when the Legislature reconvenes in May. That bill will be co-sponsored by Troy Singleton (D-7), who is chair of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
Cerza and her fellow protesters are putting their faith in Trenton for a solution to what they see as complete overreach by the CLCC.
“Needless to say, nothing was resolved in this meeting,” Cerza said, “And we are hoping for the new bill to get passed as soon as possible.”