By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., a NJ Zoning Attorney
New Jersey Zoning Law has strict requirements that all townships must abide by when they pass amendments to the current zoning ordinances. One of these is the “Notice” requirement. NJ Law requires that notice of such amendment be published in the newspaper and given to residents in the surrounding area that will be affected by the change. This notice must include a brief summary of the provisions of the ordinance, so the residents are made aware of what exactly the changes are.
The notice requirement was the main issue in a recent NJ Zoning Case. The case involved a proposed amendment to a zoning ordinance that would effectively create new zones with different uses throughout a district. While the notice was properly published and mailed to residents in the surrounding area affected by the ordinance, the plaintiff, a supermarket in the area, challenged the notice on the grounds that it was did not sufficiently alert the residents as to what exactly the changes would be. The notice merely alerted the public that some type of zoning amendment was being proposed to the zoning board, but was not specific enough, since it did not identify the new zoning plan or uses. The NJ Court held that the notice was therefore insufficient, and consequentially, the ordinance was considered invalid.
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