The League would like to alert our members to a recent State Supreme Court ruling that will undoubtedly impact how municipal zoning boards handle appeals of zoning permits. Earlier this week, the NJ Supreme Court issued its decision Mary Harz v. Borough of Spring Lake, which dealt with issues surrounding the right to appeal zoning decisions by interest parties and the NJ Civil Rights Act.
In this case, the Court ruled that an interested party has the statutory right for an appeal to be heard before the zoning board and that this is a substantive right, the violation of which is subject to the remedies afforded within the Civil Rights Act. While these rights and the possibility for a civil rights violation were found to exist, the Court refused to require an appeal hearing when the complaint from the concerned party has already been addressed by the zoning officer or other municipal official. This overturned the contrasting decision from the Appellate Division which would have seemingly provided a right to a board hearing regardless of the underlying matter becoming moot. The Court’s common sense ruling provides a more efficient framework for dealing with appeals of zoning decisions.
To read more about the Court’s decision please see the League’s recent blog posting.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, FMarshall@njslom.org, 609-695-3481, Ext. 137.