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Grundlehner v. Dangler

Decided: June 27, 1958.

ELISE L. GRUNDLEHNER, ET ALS., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
J. HENRY DANGLER, ET ALS., DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS



Price, Haneman and Schettino. The opinion of the court was delivered by Haneman, J.A.D.

Haneman

The appeal is from a dismissal by the trial court of a complaint which contested the validity of the action of (1) the board of adjustment of the Borough of Belmar in recommending, and (2) the board of commissioners of said borough in approving a variance from the borough's zoning ordinance.

The facts are:

Defendant Dangler is the owner of property at the corner of Eighth Avenue and South Lake Drive in the Borough of Belmar. That location is within 200 feet of property owned by plaintiffs. Dangler has there conducted a funeral home for some years prior to 1953. In that year the borough amended its zoning ordinance and thereby placed the Dangler property in the A-1 Residential Zone, which zone limits buildings to single one-family dwellings. Since the date of the amendment referred to, Dangler has been operating his funeral home as a non-conforming use.

On February 14, 1957 Dangler applied to the building inspector of the borough for a permit to erect an addition to his building. Under the plan of construction Dangler proposed to enclose an open side porch which is attached to the building, and to integrate the enclosure as a part of the building proper. The dimensions of the open porch are 10 feet in width and 26 feet in length. He intended to devote the enclosed addition to his business, and planned to include therein a powder room, office, elevator and a smoking room. At that time Dangler also applied for a permit to extend a garage in the rear of the property.

The building inspector denied Dangler's application. He, Dangler, then applied to the board of adjustment for a

variance. Upon a recommendation from the board of adjustment, the board of commissioners, on April 9, 1957, adopted the following resolution:

"Whereas, the Board of Commissioners of the Borough of Belmar have received a recommendation from the Board of Adjustment that permission be granted to J. Henry Dangler to erect an addition to the funeral home and garage located at Eighth Avenue and South Lake Drive, Belmar, New Jersey; and

Whereas, the Board of Commissioners have considered the testimony and evidence given before the Board of Adjustment and having also read the memorandums of law submitted by the Attorneys for the applicant and the objectors, and further, having viewed the premises in question;

The Board of Commissioners do make the following findings:

1. The premises in question have been utilized as a funeral home for a great many years and its use as such antedates the 1953 Zoning Ordinance of the Borough.

2. The granting of the addition to the funeral home itself by squaring off the building and adding elevator and other facilities will correct a peculiar and exceptional practical difficulty and hardship to the owner of the premises and the granting of this addition would be without substantial detriment to the public good and would not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the zoning plan and the zoning ordinance. This condition is not true insofar as the erection of an additional garage to the garages ...


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