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Suit Filed Against Long Branch For Passage of New West End Zoning

LONG BRANCH: A local attorney has filed suit against the city for its passage of the West End Overlay District zoning ordinance.

Scott Kelly, an attorney whose private law practice is located in West End, filed suit against Long Branch and the Long Branch Mayor and Council on June 17 in Monmouth County Superior Court.

The council passed the zoning amendment ordinance on April 28 which now allows both institutional and residential uses on the second floor of retail buildings in a large area of West End.

The first count of lawsuit states that the passage of the ordnance was "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable" and violates the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law. Kelly asks that the city not be allowed to approve any applications for projects in the affected zoning area and that ordinance be deemed "illegal, invalid, void, unenforceable and a nullity."

The second count claims that the city used "spot zoning" by adopting the ordinance.

"Generally defined, spot zoning is a municipal entity's use of the statutory zoning power to benefit particular private interests rather than to benefit the collective interests of a community as a whole," the lawsuit states.

The suit says that spot zoning is prohibited under the Municipal Land Use Law and that the the ordinance should be deemed "illegal, invalid, void, unenforceable and a nullity," as a result.

City officials have said they hope the new zoning could help spur more development in West End and would allow several projects such as proposed theater and Jewish community center to apply to the Long Branch Planning Board for approval.


Read more from: Long Branch

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