For the prosecutor, Lum, Fairlie & Foster (John S. Foster, of counsel).
For the defendant, Osborne, Cornish & Scheck (Abram H. Cornish and A. Harrison Cornish, Jr., of counsel).
Before Justices Donges, Colie and Eastwood.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
EASTWOOD, J. This is a zoning case. The present writ of certiorari brings up for review the determination of the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Maplewood in the County of Essex denying the application of the prosecutor for permission to erect two outdoor advertising billboard signs on
its lot, situate at the southwest corner of Springfield Avenue and Vermont Street, in the Township of Maplewood and known as 1665-1667 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood, New Jersey, and further designated on the tax maps of Maplewood as lots 1 and 2 of plate 49.
Prosecutor acquired the land in question in the year 1932 prior to the enactment of the Zoning Ordinance under review, and is engaged in the business of renting advertising space on outdoor billboards owned by it. On March 6th, 1947, application was made by the prosecutor to the building inspector of the Township of Maplewood for permission to erect two 11 feet by 25 feet signs upon the premises and was advised by letter from the building inspector, on March 7th, 1947, that his office would not issue the requested permit on the ground that the zoning ordinance of the township did not permit the issuance of building permits for signs of the billboard type in the business zones. An appeal was taken to the Board of Adjustment. It is from an adverse disposition made by the Board of Adjustment that the prosecutor brings the present writ. The zoning ordinance in question was adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Maplewood on March 20th, 1934, and was subsequently amended, in particulars not pertinent to the issue, on July 16th, 1940. Prosecutor's lot is concededly within a district zoned for business purposes. Section 9 of the ordinance, pertaining to business districts provides, inter alia: "1. In the business districts no building, structure or premises shall be used and no building, structure or alteration, enlargement or extension of the same shall be constructed unless designed, arranged or intended to be used exclusively for one or more of the following purposes:
"a. Any use permitted in a single residence, two family or a general residence district."
Section 9 then continues with a specification and enumeration of various types of businesses, trades, &c., permitted to be carried on in business districts, none of which are pertinent here.
It will thus be seen that in so far as the provisions of the zoning ordinance, relating to business ...