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Marotta v. Union City Zoning Board of Adjustment

A-1899-05T5 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2006) (Unpublished)

ZONING; VARIANCES— Where a land use board’s decision in granting variances is not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable, a court will not set the variances aside.

A municipality’s zoning board granted use and bulk variances to a developer to construct an apartment building. An objector opposed the board’s grant of the variances, but the lower court affirmed the board’s decision and held that the board’s grant of the variances was not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable. The board had granted the use and bulk variances on the basis that they would neither substantially affect the public good nor the intent and purpose of the municipality’s zoning plan. The board had noted that the site where the apartment building was to be built was suited for residential development. Furthermore, it had found that the apartment building would conform with the character of the neighborhood. Although the developer did not meet the standard for parking spaces, the board determined there was adequate public transportation. The objector appealed, arguing that the board’s grant of the variances substantially impaired the intent and purpose of the municipal’s zoning ordinance.

The lower court found that constructing the apartment building would contribute positively to the neighborhood by removing vacant industrial buildings as well as by meeting the need for new housing. It found that the apartment building would not interfere with any open space, light or air of the surrounding properties. Additionally, it found there was no evidence of any substantial impairment of the zoning plan. On further appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed, agreeing that the board’s decision in granting the variances was not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable.


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