[33 NJSuper Page 118] This is an action in lieu of prerogative writ, plaintiffs seeking to nullify the adoption of an amendment to the zoning ordinance which permits landscaped administrative offices and laboratories devoted to research as special uses in Residence A and B Districts. Subsequent to the filing of the complaint the U.S. Rubber Company, pursuant to the provisions of the ordinance under attack, made application to the board of adjustment for a permit and approval to erect a research and experimental laboratory, which application was recommended to and thereafter approved by the township committee -- it is the holder of the right to acquire ownership of a tract of approximately 98
acres, upon which it intends to erect the laboratory, and by reason of its stated interest, was granted leave to intervene as a party defendant.
The Township of Wayne, in pursuance of a comprehensive plan or scheme, adopted a zoning ordinance (No. 14 -- 1949) under which the township was divided into four classes of districts: Residence A, Residence B, Business and Industrial. Permitted uses and structures in Residence A and B Districts, under sections 3 and 4 of the ordinance, were confined to a single-family dwelling (and customary accessory buildings); a church, public library, public or private school, public park or playground; any form of agriculture or horticulture (with specified exceptions); the sale of farm products on properties where produced; other buildings, structures and uses, as provided by paragraphs (a) and (d) of section 7.
Paragraph (d) of section 7 regulates stationary signs and paragraph (a) permits special uses authorized by the township committee after recommendation by the board of adjustment: a boarding or rooming house or tourist home; a public or quasi-public building; clubhouse; private athletic field; a railway or bus station; a nursing home or hospital for other than mental or contagious diseases; and a telephone exchange or other public-utility building or structure, except a storage yard, garage or repair shop.
The pertinent portions of the amendatory ordinance under attack (No. 1 -- 1954) are as follows (the amendments being indicated by underscoring):
"SECTION 1. That Section 7 entitled 'Exceptions and Special Provisions' sub-paragraph (a) of the ordinance to which this is an amendment be and the same is hereby revised and amended to read as follows:
(a) SPECIAL USES PERMITTED.
Under special conditions set forth below, the Board of Adjustment as hereinafter created, after public notice and hearing , may recommend in writing to the Township Committee and the Township Committee may authorize the issuance of a permit for any of the following buildings and uses:
1. In a Residence 'A' or Residence 'B' District , a boarding or rooming house or tourist home; a public or quasi-public building;
clubhouse, private athletic field; a railway or bus station; a nursing home or hospital for other than mental or contagious diseases; and a telephone exchange or other public-utility building or structure, except a storage yard, garage or repair shop; also, landscaped administrative offices, laboratories devoted to research, design and/or experimentation and processing and fabrication incidental thereto and appurtenant buildings consistent with and designed to promote and benefit the value and use of property in residence districts or in areas which are predominantly residential although partly lying in less restricted districts, providing no materials or finished products shall be manufactured, processed or fabricated on said premises for sale, except such as are incidental to said laboratory research, design or experimentation conducted on said premises, and further providing that any project for such landscaped administrative offices and research laboratories:
(a) shall occupy a plot not less than fifty (50) acres;
(b) not more than 25 per cent of such plot shall be occupied by buildings;
(c) the buildings upon such plot other than the entrance gate houses shall be set back not less than one hundred feet (100') from the nearest property line and not less than two ...