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Landview Property Group v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

A-6518-05T2 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2008) (Unpublished)

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION — The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection can set different standards for non-water dependent developments on islands than it sets for water dependent developments.

A property owner sought to redevelop a marina located on a bay island. It wanted to build ten, single family residencies on the property, which at the time contained no residential housing. The property owner’s proposal called for nearly fifty percent coverage on the property, which far exceeded the three percent maximum for non-water dependent development on the bay island. The only exception was for properties that already exceeded the limit. The exception allowed for new properties to be built in the footprints of the previous properties, meaning the same footage in the same exact location, but not in excess of what had previously existed. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) denied the property owner’s request and affirmed its denial at an administrative hearing. The property owner appealed the DEP’s decision. On appeal, the Appellate Division agreed with the DEP that the intention of the limiting non-water dependent development was to preserve and further water dependent uses on a bay island and that the property owner’s request ran counter to the intentions of the regulations since the proposal would have resulted in a reduction of the amount of space for marina and boating activities. Thus, the DEP’s decision to deny the property owner’s proposal for redevelopment was affirmed.

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