West Windsor Township v. Yadav

A-1549-98T1 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 1999) (Unpublished)
  • Opinion Date: November 16, 1999

CONDEMNATION; APPEALS—A court need not wait until a Construction Board of Appeals hears a demolition order before it rules on whether a municipality can require an owner to demolish blighted property.

A municipality alleged an unoccupied house was decaying, dilapidated, and structurally unsound. Its Construction Official ordered the owner to demolish the building. The owner appealed to the Construction Board of Appeals, but a scheduled hearing was postponed because the Board lacked a statutory quorum. The municipality, rather than waiting for a quorum to be appointed, brought an action in court seeking a declaration that the building was a public nuisance and an order requiring its demolition. The lower court found for the municipality and ordered demolition within forty-five days. The owner demolished the building, but then appealed the lower court’s order contending that the matter should have been determined by the Construction Board of Appeals before the lower court considered the matter. The Appellate Division concluded that the owner’s argument to the effect that the lower court should have deferred to the Construction Board of Appeals was, as a matter of law, without merit.