NJ High Court Could Give Towns More Ammo In Zoning Battles

By Martin Bricketto (November 7, 2014, 3:41 PM EST) -- The New Jersey Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider when towns are justified in designating property as environmentally sensitive in order to prevent higher-density development, in a case that some attorneys say could make it harder for landowners to challenge radical zoning decisions.

That's if the justices overturn a 2013 appellate ruling in Thomas and Carol Griepenburg's suit against Ocean Township, which "downzoned" their 31-acre property in 2006 to require minimum lot sizes of 20 acres for development as part of broader smart growth plans. A trial court had ruled for the municipality.

The property's inclusion in an environmental conservation zone...

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