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Stafford Township, located in southern Ocean County, is suing its own Zoning Board of Adjustment in an attempt to overturn a Board approval.

The application was filed by Mel-John Development, LLC. However, Town officials know that there is Jewish money backing the project and that's why they are fighting to overturn this approval, FAA News has learned.

Mel-John's application sought approval to permit the construction of two townhouse buildings each containing five units with two garage spaces per unit.

The Use is Conditionally permitted, and the application required variances from some of the conditions, therefore relief was required from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Mel-John filed the required application to the Zoning Board.

Unlike a regular Use Variance (D1) which the Municipal Land Use Law clearly states that can only be granted "in particular cases for special reasons", a Conditional Use (D3) Variance requires much lighter testimony as the use is already permitted and the variance is really only on the "conditions" and therefore this can be granted with "a showing that such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and the purpose of the zone plan and zoning ordinance."

The applicant provide sufficient testimony for the required Conditional Use Variance relief and as such, the Zoning Board - which, as a Land Use Board, only has jurisdiction over land use matters, regardless of Religious affiliation - voted to approve the application on October 5, 2022. The Board adopted their Resolution of Approval on October 19, 2022.

However, Township officials are unhappy with their own Zoning Board approving this application. FAA News has learned that the animosity is because they know that there is Jewish money backing this project.

The Township has gone so far as to file a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Zoning Board's approval.

The Complaint in Lieu of Prerogative Writs, filed in Superior Court by Township Attorney Jean Cipriani, alleges that the Board "failed to discuss any of the requested conditional use variances, and to analyze whether the requested conditional use variances affected the suitability of the site for the proposed use and their impact on the adjacent properties, and to make any findings of fact or conclusions of law in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law and existing case law," and therefore, the Board’s approval of the application is "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable, and contrary to the Municipal Land Use Law and the ordinances of Stafford Township."

The lawsuit seeks to reverse the Board's Resolution of approval and for award of "such other and further relief as the Court deems just and equitable." 

Curiously, the Township Council appropriate their Zoning Board's budget so that would be money going from one pocket back to the other pocket. The winners will of course be all the attorneys.

Zoning Board Attorney Terry Brady has just filed an Answer denying all allegations.

Mel-John is included in this complaint as an interested party by virtue of their interest in the Property although no specific relief is sought against them. They have not yet filed an Answer to the lawsuit.

Ocean County Superior Court Judge Marlene Ford has not yet scheduled a Case Management Status Conference.

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1 comment:

Crazy Joe said...

these guys are went bonkers!! Suing there own board?? fire them if u do not like them