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Midland Park Coal and Lumber Co. v. Terhune

Decided: January 23, 1948.

THE MIDLAND PARK COAL AND LUMBER CO., INC., A CORPORATION OF NEW JERSEY, PROSECUTOR,
v.
MAITLAND B. TERHUNE, INSPECTOR OF BUILDINGS OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, THE BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, AND THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, DEFENDANTS



On certiorari.

For the prosecutor, Chauncey A. Plyley.

For the defendants, William E. Reinhardt.

Before Justices Donges, Colie and Eastwood.

Eastwood

The opinion of the court was delivered by

EASTWOOD, J. Certiorari was allowed to review the denial by the Board of Adjustment of the Village of Ridgewood of prosecutor's application for a special exception to the village zoning ordinance, so as to permit use by prosecutor of certain of its lands for the storage of lumber, building materials and coal, in connection with a similar business now conducted by it on an adjoining tract located partly in the Village of Ridgewood and partly in the Borough of Midland Park. A review of the action of the Board of Commissioners of the Village of Ridgewood denying prosecutor's application for

permission to erect a fence encircling the premises in question, eight feet in height, topped by barbed wire, is also sought in these proceedings. The matter is submitted on an agreed stipulation of facts and photographic exhibits of the locus tending to reveal the factual conditions and circumstances of the same.

The prosecutor has operated a lumber and storage yard for coal and building materials for a considerable number of years. Its property is bounded northerly by Lake Avenue in the Borough of Midland Park, having a frontage of approximately 340 feet on the southerly side thereof. The property then extends in a southerly direction crossing the boundary line between the Borough of Midland Park and the Village of Ridgewood of approximately the same width, into Ridgewood, with a depth of approximately 125 feet on the easterly side and somewhat over 200 feet on the westerly side. At its southerly terminus prosecutor's yard abuts and adjoins the premises in question. The existing lumber and coal yard was used as such at the time of the adoption of the zoning ordinance in 1931 and has been continued as a non-conforming use down to the present time. The existing lumber and coal yard and the tract now sought by prosecutor to be used for like purposes are located in a single dwelling zone as defined in the zoning ordinance of the defendant village.

The premises in question are designated as Block 116, Lot 6 on the village tax map and consists of a strip of vacant, unimproved land which was formerly part of the right of way of the Paterson and State Line Traction Company, over which trolley tracks were formerly laid and used. The Traction Company discontinued operations prior to the zoning ordinance of 1931 and the premises in question were acquired by prosecutor from the Public Service Co-ordinated Transport on May 21st, 1943. The present applications were filed for permission to extend the non-conforming use of its previously owned property to the premises in question.

The lot comprising the subject-matter of the applications before us is roughly in the shape of an inverted "L." It fronts on its easterly end for a distance of 54.50 feet on the west side of Lakeview Drive, which extends southerly from

Lake Avenue in Midland Park. The lot then runs in a general westerly direction for approximately 385 feet abutting on its northerly side the present lumber and coal yard of prosecutor. The lot then turns abruptly and runs in a southerly direction about 540 feet at a varying width of about 50 feet at the northerly end to 40 feet at its southerly end. Adjoining this, the longer side of the "L" on the west, is the right of way of the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad. On the easterly side it abuts the rear of properties on which are erected single dwellings. Single dwellings are also erected on the southerly boundary of the shorter side of the "L." The locus ...


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