Camden Diocese loses bid for appeal in eminent domain case

    The Diocese of Camden has lost its bid to block the state from using eminent domain to take vacant land at a southern New Jersey cemetery for a major highway project.

    The state Supreme Court announced this week that it won’t hear an appeal the diocese filed over New St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bellmawr. The cemetery, which the diocese owns with St. Mary’s Parish of Gloucester City, has operated for more than 50 years.

    The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill reports that church officials want $19.4 million for the six-acre tract, which contains no graves. But the diocese says its figure includes the cost of relocating some nearby graves, noting the roadwork “might disturb the tranquility of some sights.”

    But the state Transportation Department values the land at $1.9 million.

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