Partner William F. Harrison, Director of Genova Burns’ Land Use & Approvals and Environmental Law Practice Groups, was quoted in a January 22nd Law 360 article entitled, “NJ High Court Boosts Towns in Enviro Zoning Fights.” The article discusses the implications of the decision reached by the New Jersey Supreme Court last week, which supported Ocean Township’s ability to establish a very low density residential zoning district based on the environmental sensitivity of the overall area.
“The decision also suggests that towns will be rewarded for comprehensive planning,” quotes Harrison. “I think one of the messages that this is sending to municipalities is that, if you’re going to do a major rezoning like this, you should look at it holistically and come up with an overall rationale.”
The article also discusses the court’s view on property owners pursuing administrative remedies through a variance before challenging an ordinance in court. Harrison raises a concern that “court decisions have made clear that use variances aren’t appropriate for applications of a particular scale, which instead require a rezoning.”
The case is Griepenburg v. Township of Ocean, et al., case number 073290, in the Supreme Court of New Jersey.