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Sadrakula v. City of Clifton

A-3488-99-T2 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2001) (Unpublished)

ZONING; SUBDIVISIONS—A subdivision that might otherwise be classified as “minor” because it involves off-site improvements that must be paid, pro rata, by neighboring owners, need not be so classified if the applicant agrees to pay for the improvements.

A planning board approved an application for a minor subdivision to divide one existing lot into three lots. Neighboring homeowners filed a complaint challenging the approval of the subdivision. They claimed that because the subdivision required the extension of the sewer main to service one of the lots, it should have been classified as a major subdivision and therefore it required notice to the neighboring homeowners. A subdivision cannot be classified as “minor” if it involves the extension of off-tract improvements to be paid, pro rata, by the neighboring property owners. The lower court rejected the neighbor’s argument because in this instance the cost of extending the sewer line was to be borne by the owner, and not the neighboring homeowners. It also determined that the subdivision was minor because all three lots created under the plan would conform to the local zoning ordinance without requiring variances. The homeowners also claimed that the subdivision map was incomplete because one of the lots to be created by the subdivision did not comply with a thirty foot setback requirement in the earlier deeds. The lower court rejected that claim as not being ripe for review until the owner applied for a building permit to develop the lot in question. The Appellate Division agreed.

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