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Stirling v. City of Plainfield

Decided: October 2, 1946.

RUTH E. STIRLING AND NORMAN W. STIRLING, PROSECUTORS,
v.
CITY OF PLAINFIELD, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, AND HELEN MCCARTHY, RESPONDENTS



On certiorari.

For the prosecutors, Carroll W. Hopkins.

For the respondent City of Plainfield, Salvadore Diana.

For the respondent McCarthy, Frank H. Blatz.

Before Justice Colie, sitting as a single justice pursuant to the statute.

Colie

COLIE, J. The writ of certiorari was allowed to test the validity of an ordinance of the City of Plainfield adopted on November 19th, 1945, on the grounds that it is arbitrary and unreasonable and that its passage was illegal.

The facts so far as necessary to a decision of this case are as follows:

Helen McCarthy is the owner of property at the intersection of East Seventh Street and Belvidere Avenue in the City of Plainfield. The prosecutors are the owners of property at the intersection of Belvidere Avenue and Park Lane, diagonally across Belvidere Avenue from Block 1 in which the McCarthy property is situated. On October 1st, 1945, the

common council introduced and passed on first reading a revised zoning ordinance which placed Block 1 in the "B" residence zone. The ordinance was published on October 3d, 1945, and October 15th was fixed as the date for a public hearing thereon and final passage thereof. The common council passed a resolution on October 15th continuing the public hearing to November 5th, 1945. On the adjourned date of public hearing, a resolution was passed amending the zoning ordinance in twelve respects, one of which changed Block 1 from a "B" residence zone to a "D" residence zone, the latter zone being known as a "Garden Apartment Zone." At the same meeting, a further resolution was introduced and passed, directing the clerk of the city to advertise the ordinance and fixing the date for public hearing and final passage thereof as November 19th, 1945. On November 14th, 1945, the amended zoning ordinance was published in the Plainfield Courier News and five days thereafter, on November 19th, 1945, was adopted on final hearing.

Prosecutors contend that the ordinance should be set aside and held illegal because the municipality failed to comply with R.S. 40:55-34:

"No zoning ordinance shall be adopted, amended, or repealed until after public hearing thereon by the governing body or board of public works, at which parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard. Said ordinance and notice of the time and place of hearing thereon shall be published at least once in an official newspaper, if there be one, or otherwise in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality, and such publication shall take place ten or more days prior to such hearing."

Respondents, on the other hand, contend that the ordinance was legally adopted in that the municipality had fully ...


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