NJ COURT DISMISSES TOWN’S CLAIM AGAINST ZONING BOARD FOR LACK OF STANDING

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., a NJ Zoning Attorney
All Zoning Boards have the authority to issue variances to any applicant it deems has satisfied the required criteria for the variance. The typical New Jersey court case resulting from a zoning board decision is an appeal by an applicant whose request for a variance is denied by the zoning board. However, sometimes municipalities are unhappy with the zoning board’s decision to grant a variance and will appeal the decision, asking the NJ Courts to reverse the decision and deny the approved variance.

Such was the case in a recent NJ trial. A borough challenged the decision of the municipal zoning board after the board granted a variance that allowed an applicant to operate a law office out of a portion of her home, an activity otherwise prohibited in the borough. The NJ Court found that the borough lacked standing to challenge the decision of the zoning board in this case. The Court stated that a governing body has standing to challenge the decision of the zoning board only when the board has exceeded it’s scope of authority and the decision is one that threatens the public interest or NJ Municipal Land Use Law. The borough was unable to show any of these criteria here, so the NJ Court dismissed the case and the applicant was entitled to proceed with the approved variance.

Contact me personally to discuss your NJ Zoning Law matter. I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns. You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or email me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com/.

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